Colleton, Chulmleigh

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1892 signed drawing by the ecclesiastical architect Edward Ashworth (1815–1892) of his childhood home Colleton Barton, Chulmleigh, Devon. View from south-east
Colleton Barton viewed from south-west across the River Taw
Colleton Barton viewed from south west, showing the River Taw in the valley bottom

Colleton is a hamlet and former manor in the civil parish and ecclesiastical parish of Chulmleigh, in the North Devon district of Devon, England. It is situated on the north side of a valley containing the River Taw. Its nearest town is Chulmleigh, which lies approximately 3.6 miles (5.8 km) to the south-west. It consists of the grade I listed[1] Colleton Barton (the former manor house) and Colleton Mill, the former manorial mill, with another former industrial building situated at the approach to the bridge over the River Taw.


Descent of the manor[edit]


Arms of Cole of Colleton: Argent, three ravens sable[2]

According to Pole (died 1635), the earliest recorded holder of the manor was the Cole family,[3] which presumably gave its name to the settlement "Cole's town/ton". The arms of "Cole of Coleton" according to Pole were: Argent, three ravens sable.[4] Risdon stated it to have remained in the possession of that family for many generations, until during the reign of King Richard II (1377–1399) it passed by inheritance to an heir general of the Bury family.


Arms of Bury of Colleton: Ermine, on a chevron engrailed azure three fleurs-de-lys or[5]

The manor passed to the Bury family, the descent of which was as follows:[6]

  • John I Bury
  • John II Bury, son, who during the reign of King Henry VI (1422–1461) married a widow named Johanna
  • John III Bury (died 1479), who married Elizabeth Hatch, a daughter of John Hatch (1394–1477) of Wooleigh, Beaford, which lady remarried to William Pollard of Langley, Yarnscombe.[7]
  • William I Bury (1455–1504), who married Agnes de Reigny, a daughter of John de Reigny lord of the manor of nearby Eggesford.
  • John IV Bury (1481–1533), son, who married Joane (or Jane) Coffin, a daughter of Richard Coffin[8] of Portledge, lord of the manor of Alwington in North Devon, Sheriff of Devon in 1511.[9] He resided at Heanton Punchardon, where his monument survives, of which manor he held a lease from the Beaumont family of Shirwell.[10]
  • Richard Bury (1516–1543), son and heir. He was a minor aged 17 at the death of his father and his wardship was acquired by Sir Hugh I Pollard (fl.1535,1545), lord of the manor of King's Nympton,[11] Sheriff of Devon in 1535/6 and Recorder of Barnstaple in 1545, possibly through the influence of his younger brother Sir Richard Pollard (1505–1542), MP for Taunton (1536) and Devon (1539, 1542), of Putney, Surrey, King's Remembrancer of the Exchequer and an assistant of Thomas Cromwell in administering the surrender of religious houses following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. As recorded in the Lisle Letters his wardship had been sought after by Lady Lisle of Umberleigh, who wished to marry him to her daughter Philippa Basset.[12] He was thus married off to Elizabeth Pollard, a daughter of his warder Sir Hugh Pollard. Whilst Sir Richard Pollard was negotiating his brother's acquisition of the Bury wardship, he acquired for his own wife Richard Bury's sister Jaquetta Bury.[13]
  • John V Bury (1540–1574), son and heir. He was aged 3 at the death of his father. It is not known who acquired his wardship. He was said by Pole to have been "simple". He married twice, firstly when both parties were aged only 13, and contrary to ecclesiastical law, to Wilmota Giffard (1540/1-1581), daughter and sole-heiress of John Giffard (died 1540/1) of Yeo, Alwington,[14] Devon, without progeny. He was divorced from her in 1560 by Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker[15] and she remarried to Sir George Cary (1541-1616) of Cockington in the parish of Tor Mohun, Devon, Lord Deputy of Ireland. Her monumental brass survives in St Saviour's Church, Tor Mohun (today Torquay). John V Bury's younger brother Hugh Bury (born 1548) (married to Anne Pollard, a daughter of Sir Richard II Pollard of Way[16]) was said by Risdon to have been "envious", and "much molested his nephew, yea wasted and sold some of his estate, endeavouring to deprive him of the whole".[17] Pole states as follows:[18]

"His brother Hugh, abusinge his simplicyty, enjoyed the profits of his land & kept him as a prisoner & wastfully consumed and sold the land. But John, having stollen (away) from his brother, secreatly maried on(e) Mongey's daughter & had issue Humfry which was secreatly brought upp (away) from the knowledge of Hugh Byry which Humfry, when hee came to full age, sued for ye land & after much trowble concerninge the validyty of the divorce betwixt his father & his first wief, at length recovered back all the land which was sold by his unkle Hugh".

Thus, secondly John V Bury married secretly a daughter of "Mountjoy", alias "Mongey", by whom he had issue. On his death in 1574 his younger brother Hugh Bury was declared his heir, in ignorance of the existence of John's second marriage and son Humphry.[19]

  • Humphry I Bury (died 1632), son, who in 1623 married (as her 2nd husband) Gertrude Stucley, a daughter of John Stucley (1551–1611) lord of the manor of Affeton.[20] As Pole relates, on attaining adulthood he successfully sued for the recovery of his paternal inheritance from his uncle Hugh. A datestone of 1612 survives and Humphry I Bury is believed to have rebuilt or remodelled the mansion house in that year.[21]
  • John VI Bury (born 1590), who married Mary Arscott, a daughter of Arthur Arscott (1554–1618) of Tetcott,[22] who rebuilt Tetcott House in 1603.[23]
  • Humphry II Bury, son
  • John VII Bury (died 1667), eldest son and heir, died without progeny
  • Arthur Bury (died 1675), younger brother, who married Mary Clotworthy (died 1651), daughter of John Clotworthy (1587-pre-1636) lord of the manor of nearby Rashleigh, Wembworthy. Her mural monument survives in Wembworthy Church.
Heraldic escutcheon above the front door of Colleton Barton, showing the arms of Bury of Colleton: Ermine, on a bend engrailed azure three fleurs-de-lys or impaling Bere of Huntsham: Argent, three bear's heads erased sable muzzled or
Left: arms of Bury of Colleton: Ermine, on a chevron engrailed azure three fleurs-de-lys or. Detail from mural monument (right) in Chulmleigh Church erected in 1706 by Joanna Bere, widow of Humphry III Bury, of Colleton
  • Humphry III Bury, son and heir, who in 1679 married Johanna Bere, daughter of Thomas Bere (1631–1680), lord of the manor of Huntsham, Devon. An escutcheon, carved in wood and now much decayed by age, survives within a rectangular stone niche above the front door of Colleton Barton, showing the arms of Bury of Colleton: Ermine, on a bend engrailed azure three fleurs-de-lys or impaling Bere of Huntsham, whose canting arms were: Argent, three bear's heads erased sable muzzled or.[24] The mural monument she erected in 1706 to her seven children survives in Chulmleigh Church. It is inscribed as follows:
"In memory of ye four chilldren of Humphrey Bury Esq, deceased., and Joan his wife, daughter of Thomas Bere of Huntsham, Esq. John died ye 18 October 1695 in ye 14th year of his age. Arthur died ye 30 April 1701 in ye 16th year of his age. Humphry died ye 20 April 1701 in ye 14th year of his age. Gartrud died ye ... of December 1691 in ye 9th year of her age. And there are still living Christian, Anne and Thomas, whom God long preserve. This was set up in 1706 at ye only charge of there mother".

Above are shown the arms and crest of Bury alone.

  • Humphry IV Bury, "son and heir" (according to Vivian (1895),[25] but not in agreement with above inscription on 1706 mural monument in Chulmleigh Church), who married (as her 2nd husband) Anne Cutcliffe (born 1702), daughter of John Cutcliffe (1655–1729) lord of the manor of Damage, Mortehoe, Devon.[26]


The last male member of the Bury family died in 1804,[27] when the Bury estates passed to:

  • Vice-Admiral Richard Incledon (1757–1825), third son of Chichester Incledon (1715–1771) of Barnstaple, a junior branch of the ancient gentry family of Incledon of Incledon, later of Buckland, both in the parish of Braunton, Devon.[28] As required under the terms of his inheritance, he assumed the surname of Bury. He resided at Doniton in the parish of Swimbridge, Devon. In 1792 he married his second cousin Jane Chichester, second daughter of Charles Chichester (1723–1798) of Hall, Bishop's Tawton[29] (adjacent to Swimbridge), by his wife Amy Incledon, daughter of Robert Incledon (1676–1758) of Pilton, mayor of Barnstaple in 1712 and 1721,[30] the second son of Lewis Incledon (1636–1699) of Buckland.[31] His portrait was published in the Naval Chronicle Vol.XI, I. His biography was published in the Naval Chronicle Vol. 29, Jan–July 1813, pp. 177–180, which commenced:[32]

"REAR-ADMIRAL BURY, of whose professional life a slight sketch is here submitted to the public, is the son of a private gentleman, and descended from a family of the name of Incledon, in the north of Devonshire. In addition to his paternal name of Incledon, he, about five years ago, assumed that of Bury. Mr. Incledon's entrance into the navy was in the year 1772; he was made a lieutenant in 1778; and he served as second of the Agamemnon, Captain Caldwell, of 64 guns, in Admiral Rodney's memorable action with the Count de Grasse, on the 12th of April, 1782. In that engagement, the Agamemnon suffered severely: Lieutenant Incledon was wounded; as was also Lieutenant Brice, who subsequently died of his wounds; and fourteen seamen were killed, and twenty-two wounded. Mr. Incledon was promoted to the rank of commander, in the year 1789, in consequence of his being first lieutenant of the Magnificent, of 74 guns, Captain Richard Onslow, and attending on his Majesty at Weymouth. On his promotion, he was appointed to the Childers sloop. On the 22d of November, 1790, he was promoted to the rank of post captain; and, at the capture of the French West India Islands, by Admiral Sir J. Jervis, and General Sir C. Grey, in 1794, he commanded the Ceres frigate, of 32 guns".

His tenant in the early 19th century was the father of Edward Ashworth (1814–1896), the West Country's leading ecclesiastical architect, who was born at Colleton Barton and lived there until 1822.[33]

Incledon_Bury had three daughters, Jane, who died young, Lucy, wife of Stephen Bencraft, a banker from Barnstaple, and Penelope, heiress of Colleton.

  • Penelope Incledon-Bury, 3rd daughter, heiress of Colleton, who married Rev. John Russell (1795–1883) (Jack Russell), the "Sporting Parson", vicar of Swimbridge, who developed the Jack Russell Terrier, a variety of the Fox Terrier breed. Russell is said to have had expensive sporting habits both on and off the hunting-field, which drained the substantial resources of his heiress wife and left the estate of Colleton in poor condition.[34] In 1850 Colleton Barton was being used as a farmhouse, occupied by George Routcliffe, a farmer.[35] In 1883 it was also described as a farmhouse.[36]


The arms of the Martin family of Colleton are: Argent, two bars gules overall a chevron or thereon three talbots passant of the second.[37]

  • William Pethebridge Martin (1859–1935),[38] tenant of Heanton Court, Heanton Punchardon, Devon, who in 1901 purchased Colleton manor.[39][40] He founded the leading Sydney, Australia, wool-brokerage firm W.P. Martin & Co. He was a JP for Devon, High Sheriff of Devon 1919–20 and was Master of the Eggesford Foxhounds 1924–33. In 1891 he married Maude Price, daughter of William Price of Sydney, Australia.[41] With his partner Harry Austin, William equipped a hospital for soldiers during WW I, which he later donated to the municipal council as a children's hospital. He died at Colleton in 1935.[42] He had three sons:[43]


Colleton Barton has been owned since 1987 by Simon and Grania Phillips, who have carried out much restoration work[44] and have been rearing Red Ruby Devon cattle on the estate since about 2000.[45]


Gatehouse and chapel[edit]

Gatehouse, Colleton Barton, viewed from south, with front door to Colleton Barton visible through gateway beyond

The Gatehouse is probably C15, remodelled in circa C16 or early C17, with minor alterations probably of the early C19 and was repaired in C20.[46] Formerly occupying the upper floor was a chapel dedicated to St. Edmund of Canterbury[47] (Edmund Rich (1175–1240), Archbishop of Canterbury (1233–1240), canonised 1349), licensed in 1402 by Bishop of Exeter Edmund Stafford. The building is orientated on an east-west axis, thus suited for religious usage. The former entrance was up a steep staircase on the north side.[48]


  • Bury, Richard M.B., History of Colleton Barton, 1993


  1. ^ Listed building text "Colleton Manor"
  2. ^ Pole, p.475
  3. ^ Pole, Sir William (died 1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p.433
  4. ^ Pole, p.475
  5. ^ Vivian, p.123
  6. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.123–4, pedigree of Bury of Colliton
  7. ^ Vivian, p.455, pedigree of Hatch; p.599, pedigree of Pollard of Langley
  8. ^ Byrne, vol.1, p.605; Vivian, p.208, pedigree of Coffin; Byrne, vol.1, p.606: "died in Dec 1523 at age of 77"
  9. ^ "Regnal year 2 Henry VIII" Risdon, Tristram (died 1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions; Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.477
  10. ^ Byrne
  11. ^ Vivian, p.598, pedigree of Pollard
  12. ^ Byrne, Lisle Papers, Vol.2, p.604
  13. ^ Byrne, Vol.1, p.604, and mentioned in her father's inquisition post mortem as "to be married to Richard Pollard" (Vivian, p.123)
  14. ^ Vivian, p.404, pedigree of Giffard; Pole, p.304, Risdon p.244, Pevsner, p.127: Yeo in Alwington, modern: "Yeo Vale"
  15. ^ Vivian, p.123, note 5
  16. ^ Vivian, p.597, pedigree of Pollard of Way, St Giles in the Wood
  17. ^ Risdon, Tristram (died 1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions [1], p.303
  18. ^ Pole, p.433
  19. ^ Vivian, p.123, note 5
  20. ^ Vivian, p.722, pedigree of Stucley of Affeton
  21. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.278; Gray, Todd, Devon Country Houses & Gardens Engraved, Vol.1, Mint Press, Exeter, 2001, p.80
  22. ^ Vivian, p.21, pedigree of Arscott of Tetcott
  23. ^ Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959 (first published 1954), p.493
  24. ^ Vivian, p.59; Pole, p.470
  25. ^ Vivian, pp.124, 265
  26. ^ Vivian, p.265, pedigree of Cutcliffe of Damage
  27. ^ Lauder, Rosemary Anne, A Tale of Two Rivers, Bideford, 1986, p.72
  28. ^ Vivian, pp.497–8, pedigree of Incledon of Buckland
  29. ^ Vivian, p.178, pedigree of Chichester of Hall
  30. ^ Lamplugh, Lois, Barnstaple: Town on the Taw, South Molton, 2002, p.15
  31. ^ Vivian, pp.498–9
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ Bury, Richard M.B., History of Colleton Barton, 1993
  34. ^ Lauder, Rosemary Anne, A Tale of Two Rivers, Bideford, 1986, p.72
  35. ^ White's Directory, 1850
  36. ^ Gray, Todd, p.80
  37. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, 1937, p.1539
  38. ^ Obituary, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 1935
  39. ^ Lauder, p.72
  40. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 15th Edition, ed. Pirie-Gordon, H., London, 1937, pp.1538–9, pedigree of Martin of Colleton
  41. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry
  42. ^ Obituary, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 1935
  43. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, 1937, p.1538-9
  44. ^ Bury, 1993
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  46. ^ Listed buildings text
  47. ^ Bury, 1993
  48. ^ Bury, 1993

Coordinates: 50°54′58″N 3°53′42″W / 50.916°N 3.895°W / 50.916; -3.895