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St Peter's Church, Bittadon

Bittadon is a village, civil parish and former manor in the North Devon district of Devon, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 45. The village is about seven miles north of Barnstaple.

Descent of the manor[edit]

de Bittadon[edit]

During the reign of King John (1199–1216) the manor was held by the de Bittadon family, which took its surname from the manor. They remained seated there for six generations.[1] The later descent of this family was as follows:[2]

  • Richard de Bittadon (fl. 1242)
  • Walter de Bittadon (fl. 1295)
  • John I de Bittadon (fl. 1314)
  • John II de Bittadon (fl. 1345)


Lovering arms

The Lovering family next acquired Bittadon, by means unknown.[3] John Lovering held it during the reign of King Henry VI (1422–61) and Thomas Lovering held it during the reign of King Henry VII (1485–1509).[4] A possible descendant of this family was John I Lovering (died 1675) of Huxhill in the parish of Weare Giffard, and of Hudscott, Chittlehampton, a merchant.


Luttrell arms

The Luttrell family purchased Bittadon following the tenure of the Loverings.[5] This was a junior branch of the Luttrells of Dunster Castle in Somerset, and also held in the 17th century the nearby Devonshire manor of Saunton, purchased from Arthur Chichester, 1st Baron Chichester (1563–1625), a younger son of the Chichester family of Raleigh, Pilton, near Barnstaple.[6]


Chichester arms

In about 1635 Bittadon was held by the Chichester family, the senior branch of which was seated at Raleigh, Pilton, near Barnstaple.[7]

Historic estates[edit]



Arms of Poyntz: Barry of eight or and gules

The Pointz family of Northcote, Bittadon,[8] was a junior branch of the ancient and prominent Norman family of Poyntz, feudal barons of Curry Mallet in Somerset and later of Iron Acton in Gloucestershire. Little is known about the Pointz family of Devon. In the 16th century Edward Pointz, "son and heir of Richard Pointz" married Margaret Chichester, a daughter of Amias Chichester (1527–1577) of Arlington in North Devon, by his wife Jane Gifford.[9] It is not recorded where Edward Pointz resided. A mural monument survives in Bittadon Church of a later Edward Pointz (died 1691).[10] and shows the arms of Poyntz of Iron Acton, Barry of eight or and gules, and the Poyntz canting crest of a clenched fist (French: poing). The Pointz arms were later quartered by the Barbor family of Fremington, as is visible on several funeral hatchments in Fremington Church.[11]


Detail of funeral hatchment of Barbor family of Fremington House. St Peter's Church, Fremington. The quarterings are: 1&6: Barbor; 2:Acland; 3:Lovering; 4:Pointz; 5:Unknown

The Barbor family originated at Upcott in Somerset.

  • William I Barbor, an eminent physician[12] educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, was the first of the family to settle at Barnstaple. He married the daughter and heiress of the Pointz family of Northcote.[13] It is not known whether the Barbors lived at Northcote, but certainly William I's son moved to Fremington House, near Barnstaple, having married the heiress of Fremington.
  • William II Barbor (1723–1800), son and heir. He attended school at Barnstaple under Mr Lucke for six years, then attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, as had done his father and his brother John. He married in 1748 Susanna Acland, heiress of Fremington and other estates.[14]
  • George Barbor (1756–1817),[15] youngest surviving brother and heir.[16] His other two brothers were Richard Barbor, a captain in the British army who fought in the American War of Independence and died in Pennsylvania at the Battle of Brandywine[17] in 1777; and Arthur Barbor, Chaplain to the East India Company, who died in India. George also owned the estate of Croscombe in the parish of Martinhoe, Devon.[18] He served in the army of the East India Company in India and in 1810 held the rank of major.[19] He married (as his second wife) Jane Jeffreys (1779–1845), eldest daughter of Gabriel Jeffreys of Swansea, Wales, who survived him and died at nearby Rawleigh House, Pilton, as is recorded by her mural monument in St Peter's Church, Fremington. Gabriel Jeffreys, from a family of bankers and lawyers, was a Freemason and Master of Beaufort Lodge in Swansea from 1771. In 1770 he drew up plans for a Masonic Hall in Swansea "which will compare to any in England", but which were never implemented. He was a notary public in 1780 and was an alderman and was portreeve (i.e. mayor) of Swansea in 1775 and 1786-7[20] and served as County Treasurer for Glamorgan until 1785. In 1770 he was appointed the deputy steward of the Manor of Pennard. He was active in the development of the Docks and Canals, and was one of the promoters of the construction of the Mumbles Railway, which in 1804 became the first passenger-carrying railway in the world.[21] The arms of Jeffreys as displayed on the mural monument to George Barbor in Fremington Church are: Ermine, a lion rampant a canton checky, which are similar to the arms of ancient family of Jeffreys of Acton, Denbigh, Wales, which has canton sable.[22]
The mural monument to George Barbor (1756–1817) survives on the south wall of Fremington Church, above that of his wife, and his funeral hatchment survives on the west wall, of St Peter's Church, Fremington, both of which display the arms of Barbor with six quarters: 1st & 6th: Barbor; 2nd: Acland; 3rd: Argent, on a fesse wavy azure a lion passant or (Lovering); 4th: Barry of eight or and gules (Pointz of Bittadon (and Iron Acton, Gloucestershire)); 5th: Per pale gules and azure semée of crosses crosslet fitchée argent, a lion rampant or (unknown family).
  • George Acland Barbor, son and heir, of Fremington House. He was nominated High Sheriff of Devon in 1834, but was not pricked. His will was dated 1839.[23]

External links[edit]

Media related to Bittadon at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Risdon, Tristram (died 1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.345
  2. ^ Pole, Sir William (died 1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p.402
  3. ^ Risdon, p.345
  4. ^ Pole, p.402
  5. ^ Risdon, p.345
  6. ^ Risdon, p.339
  7. ^ Risdon, p.345
  8. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, Vol.6: Devon, "Gentry"
  9. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.173, 179, pedigree of Chichester
  10. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.186
  11. ^ See: Summers, Peter & Titterton, John, (eds.), Hatchments in Britain, Vol.7: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Somerset; Phillimore Press, Chichester, Sussex, 1988, pp.23–24
  12. ^ Risdon, p.423
  13. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, Vol.6: Devon, "Gentry"
  14. ^
  15. ^ Dates per his mural monument in St Peter's Church, Fremington
  16. ^ Stated in the 1810 Additions to Risdon's Survey of Devon (p.428) to have owned Rawleigh House, Pilton, but statement withdrawn by Corrigenda, p.443. His widow Jane did however certainly die at Rawleigh House, as is recorded by her mural monument in St Peter's Church, Fremington
  17. ^ "Brandymire" per Risdon, pp.423–4
  18. ^ Risdon, Tristram (died 1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.432
  19. ^ Risdon, p.424
  20. ^ Nicholas, Thomas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales, p.617 [1]
  21. ^ Davies, Peter, The History of Beaufort Lodge – No.443
  22. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 15th Edition, ed. Pirie-Gordon, H., London, 1937, pp.1241–2)
  23. ^ Will at North Devon Record office

Coordinates: 51°09′N 4°05′W / 51.150°N 4.083°W / 51.150; -4.083