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Devon County

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The church of St Stephen, West Putford

The church of St Stephen, West Putford

© Richard J. Brine


West Putford is a parish on the river Torridge, 11 miles south-west from Bideford Station on the Torrington branch of the Southern (late London and South Western) Railway, and 9 miles north-east from Holsworthy Station, which is also on a branch of the same line. It is in the Tavistock Division of the county, Hundred of Black Torrington, Holsworthy Petty Sessional division and union, Bideford County Court District, rural deanery of Holsworthy and archdeaconry of Totnes and diocese of Exeter.


A new and enlarged bridge of two arches crossing the river Torridge was built in 1900 at a cost of about £230, and in 1908 a second bridge was built at a cost of about £600. The land on the east and west sides respectively was given by the Hon. Mark G K Rolle and E Walter Esq. 

The church (dedication unknown but said to be St Stephen) is an ancient cruciform building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 3 bells; the second is dated 1729 and the others have transcriptions but are undated. There are 150 sittings. The Register dates from the year 1668. The living is a rectory with the Rectory of East Putford annexed; joint net yearly value £333 including 80 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of Miss C M Rowland, and held since 1913 by the Rev. Charles David Jenkins L.Div. of St David's College, Lampeter. There is a United Methodist Chapel.


Churston Manor, the residence of Percy J. Walter Esq. is an interesting house of the Elizabethan period, and was, during the 16th and 17th centuries, the property and residence of the Prideaux family. About 1660, it passed to Sir William Morice, Secretary of State to Charles II on his marriage with Elizabeth, grand daughter of Sir Michael Prideaux. In 1728 it became the property by purchase of Mr. John Walter. The manor was at an early period successively in the families of Morton and Cary; the barton of Cary, formerly and old manor house, gave its name to a family so called, but is now the property of Percy J. Walter Esq. 


Percy J. Walter Esq and Mr John Andrew Guy are the chief landowners. The soil is clayey and loamy; the subsoil is principally clay. The chief crops are wheat and oats. The are  2696 acres of land and 9 of water; rateable value £1282. The population in 1911 was 216 in the civil and 371 in the ecclesiastical parish.

Sexton: John Philps.

Post and Telegraph office: Putford - Mrs Emily Lily Ada Skinner, sub-postmistress. Letters through Brandis Corner. Bradworthy is the nearest money office.

Public Elementary School (mixed); built in 1878 at a cost of £458 for 80 children.

The West and East Putford Schools are controlled by six managers; Thomas Lewis, Putford bridge, correspondent. Miss Margaret E A Henderson, mistress.


Avery, William Church Park

Jenkins, Rev. Charles David, L.Div, Rector, The Rectory

Walter, Percy J, Churston Manor


Blight, Ernest, blacksmith

Blight, James, farmer, Wedfield

Bond, Elijah, Miller (water) Cory Mill

Brooks, Thomas, farmer, Vole House

Cann, Thomas, Kesmeldon

Cleverdon, William, farmer, Chollaton

Facey, Herbert Richard, farmer, Mills, Kesmeldon

Guy, William George, farmer, Julian, Putford

Ham, Richard, farmer, Sessacott Hill Farm

Harding, John, farmer, Field Irish

Harris, Frank, farmer, North Worden

Harris, John, farmer, Colscott

Harris, Richard, farmer, Sessacott

Harris, Richard, farmer, West Sessacott

Heard, Frederick, farmer, Colscott

Heard, John, farmer, Colscott

Heard, Lewis, farmer, Colscott

Heard, William, farmer, South Worden

Lane Bros, farmers, Iddlecott

Lewis, Thomas, blacksmith, grocer and Registrar

Millman, Frederick, farmer, Thorverton

Prance, A J, carpenter

Walter, Hugh, farmer, Cory Barton

Yeo, Thomas, farmer & landowner, Colscott


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