Kennerleigh & District Heritage Group
including Washford Pyne, Woolfardisworthy East & Black Dog

Welcome to the Kennerleigh & District Heritage Group, covering Kennerleigh, Woolfardisworthy East, Washford Pyne and Black Dog.

Forthcoming Events for 2013-2014
All events take place at Kennerleigh Village Hall    7.30pm - 9pm    £2 to cover hall costs and purchase of licences and resources.
 In addition to ongoing local projects, Judi Binks will give a series of talks followed by Q&A sessions.

Tuesday 28th January 2014
"19th Century Field names, land use and ownership in Kennerleigh: a closer look at the 1841 Tithe Map of Kennerleigh."

Talk on Prisoners of War in Devon (1756-1949)
by Judi Binks @ 7.30pm Tuesday 18th March in Kennerleigh Village

I chose this topic because of my original interest in the French
POWs from the Seven Years’ War and Napoleonic wars who were stationed in the
Parole town of Crediton. This part of Devon continued to be used as a base for
POWS working on local farms in both the First and Second World Wars.

I think the way a nation conducts war and treats its
captives reflects its degree of civilisation  and I have been struck by the way that people
from Devon, and particularly our part of Mid Devon, have responded to these
strangers in their midst. Waging war is a huge strategic operation: winning
battles and winning wars is further complicated by the problem of what to do
with the captured prisoners of war. Sometimes in history a barbaric necessity has
dictated the cry of ‘Take no Prisoners!’ and massacres have occurred of the
unfortunate defeated combatants. Long before the Geneva Convention of 1929, a
code of honour existed between warring nations, where exchanges of prisoners
could take place and that generally POWs should be treated humanely. This was
not always practical or possible when the guarding troops were themselves enduring
terrible hardships and deprivations. The process of being captured and
processed as a POW was a long, hard, dangerous business for all concerned.

So, why Crediton? Simply put, places like Crediton, North
Tawton, Tiverton, Okehampton and Tavistock are established market towns with a
fairly stable population and are judged to be secure enough to accommodate levels
of well-behaved prisoners, who have given their word of honour or ‘Parole’ to
observe restrictions in return for limited freedom. Another factor is that
these towns often had a good muster roll and were also several miles inland away
from escape routes by sea, yet still close enough to ports like Plymouth,
Bideford and Ilfracombe for prisoners to be shipped in. Additionally, the
surrounding terrain of moors and rural isolation hinder escape attempts. Interestingly,
the same towns that were earmarked in the 18th century for holding
prisoners continued to be used in the 20th century for the same reasons.

What you are going to see and hear is not academic, although
I have carried out lots of research, but I am interested in how events affect
real people in our area and I realise that I don’t know everything – and that
is where some of you can help with your valuable contributions. I’ve put together
a  series of sketches of prisoners of war
in Devon over 200 years. It’s a look at ordinary people in extraordinary
situations living in our towns and working on local farms. . I am so grateful
to Michael Lee who will speak about the German POW, Hans, who worked at Dowrich
and all the people who’ve contacted me, since the article in the Courier, with
their own family recollections of both German and Italian POWs working on local
farms, including Mrs Saunders, Dr Jean Shields and Mrs Nunn.

Where possible, I have used archive film footage, newspaper
cuttings, paintings and  photographs to
bring the stories to life. I hope the topic interests you and that you will
stay afterwards for tea and home-made biscuits.  £2, including refreshments. Please tell your
friends and if you have further information, contact me on: 01363 866 668 or email
me at:


Judi Binks, Sheraton
House, Kennerleigh, Crediton, Devon EX17 4RS

Tuesday 18th March 2014
"POWS in Devon: the experiences of prisoners of war  from the Napoleonic Wars to the First and Second World Wars."

Thursday 19th June 2014 in Kennerleigh Church. All proceeds to this church.

"A talk on "Saint Boniface" by Judi Binks will take place on Thursday 19th June in the church of St John the Baptist at Kennerleigh at 7.30pm. Over two hundred letters to and by Boniface remain in existence, illuminating the turbulent life and times of this fascinating European religious leader, said to have been born in Crediton. In her term as Farmington Fellow, Judi's research on St Boniface involved retracing part of his journey across Europe, exploring his European legacy and how he established a strong brand of Christianity in a 'disordered world'. Judi is particularly interested in his recognition of the important role played women in the process, including her special favourite Saint Lioba, a West Country kinswoman of Wynfrith, who is now regarded as the Patron Saint of Education in Germany. There may be more academic appraisals of Boniface around, but this is an attempt to take a closer at the man himself and bring to life both his strengths and weaknesses.
As part of a Boniface Festival in Crediton in the 1990s, Judi Binks wrote the libretto for the 'Boniface Cantata' with music speically composed by Reg Thompson, the former music master at Blundell's School, and musical direction by Dorothy Worthington.
The presentation will be followed by refreshments of Wine and Cheese, including tastings of local cheese and cider, in this delightful old church. Printed notes will be available to guests. All proceeds will go to Kennerleigh Church. Tickets £5 including refreshments."

The evening raised £200 for Kennerleigh Church funds.

Report on Meeting of 28th January on the 1841 Tithe Map in Kennerleigh

Thirty people attended the talk on the 1841 Kennerleigh
Tithe map at the Village Hall on Tuesday 28th January. Judi Binks
had produced an annotated version of the original map by adding all the
original field names and researching the family history of people living there
at the time. A future presentation will follow more closely the fate and
fortunes of these residents from 175 years ago, using local newspaper notices,
recollections and diaries.

Most of the village field names are descriptive, but
sometimes lost to the modern world. Fascinating examples are ‘Glitter Field’
and ‘Glitter Bottom’, ‘Coney Field’ , ‘Journey’ and ‘Purry’, but  thanks to local people in the audience  light was shed on these terms: glow worms in
the hedges accounting for ‘glitter’, rabbits being the derivation of coney and
the pear cider perry possibly producing the name of Purry field. ‘Journey’ is
so named because it took one day’s journey to collect the crops from the field.

Notable exceptions to the map were the Rectory and Manor
Farm which were not built until 1842.

Judi has already embarked on a similar project with the 1841
Tithe maps for Washford Pyne and Woolfardisworthy East and is keen to for local
parishioners to participate in the work.

The best part of the proceedings was the general
conversation and discussion which continued well into the evening. It’s just
what Judi wanted as she was able to offer up the bare bones of the map for the
members of the audience to add their local wisdom and knowledge. Judi is very
grateful for all the help she received from Adrian and Julia Miller and Brian
and Margaret  Baker and from all the
contributors on the night.

Brief notes on the Kennerleigh Tithe Map.
Most of the surveying and mapping
was carried out by 1839 by local Crediton firm of Warren, Luckraft, Reaney
& Warren.

The Tithe Commissioners assessed the tithe equivalent value of Kennerleigh at
£95 per annum, based on a formula of the average price of Wheat Barley and
Oats over a 7 year period. 

In 1839, the area of Kennerleigh parish was 627 acres: of which arable land was 384 acres;
pasture was 73 acres;woodland 84 acres; moorland and furze 70 acres and 16 acres of orchards.

Sir Stafford Northcote owned all the land except for Reverend John Hole who owned both Creedy Mill and Kennerleigh Mill, together with Kennerleigh Woods. Farm such as Upton, Langham,Staple Green, Woodbear and Leycotte were leased to tenant farmers:William Snow,William Squire, 
Isaac and James Brown,John Elworthy, James Lang and William Daw. Delves Cottage now known as Virginia Cottage was a public house called the Hare and Hounds.

The population was 94 in 1801 and
dropped to 80 in 1901  whereas the 1841
Census shows 118 persons and a total of 20 dwellings, some of which housed more
than one household such as farm servants living in the outbuildings of a farm.


General Background to the Tithe Commutation Act 1836

The term usually applied to a map of a parish following
the Tithe Commutation Act 1836.

Payment of one tenth of local produce to the church had been established in Anglo Saxon England before the Norman Conquest and was originally in kind - every tenth stook of corn,
etc. It originally supported the local priest and the right to receive the
tithe was acquired by organisations such as a monastery or college who paid a curate.

Tithes themselves were controversial, particularly among non-conformists who
resented supporting the established church, payment in kind was not
convenient for either the farmer or the tithe owner and in some parishes, the
tithe owner came to an agreement with the tithe payers to receive cash instead
of farm produce. This could be for a stated period of time or indefinitely.

During the period of parliamentary enclosure,the enclosure act frequently
abolished tithes in return for an allocation of land to the tithe owner.
However, in many parishes, tithes continued to be paid in kind.

Tithe Commutation Act 1836 established
a process by which tithes could be converted to money payments and so required
the drawing of an accurate map showing all the owners and occupiers of land
together with field names in the parish frequently providing the earliest
evidence for the field system in
the parish. A preamble gave the name of the tithe owner. )

Judi Binks Sheraton House, Kennerleigh, Crediton, Devon EX17 4RS Tel: 01363 866 668


               Kennerleigh and District Heritage Group, including Washford Pyne, Woolfardisworthy East and Black Dog.
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