Cruwys Morchard

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Church of the Holy Cross, Cruwys Morchard

Cruwys Morchard /ˌkrz ˈmɔːrɑːrd/ is an ecclesiastical and civil parish in the Mid Devon district of the county of Devon in England. It is located about four to five miles west of Tiverton along the road to Witheridge. The parish covers about 5,765 acres (23.33 km2) of land, and comprises a number of scattered houses and farms, and three small hamlets, Pennymoor, Way Village and Nomansland. The church and the manor house are in the centre of the parish. The population at the time of the 2000 census was 461. The parish takes its name from the Cruwys family who have been Lords of the Manor here since the reign of King John (1199–1216).


The name Morchard means the great wood or forest from the Celtic: mǭr cę̃d, Modern Welsh: mawr coed. The manorial affix is from the de Crues family who held the manor here in the 13th century.

Arms of Cruwys: Azure, a bend per bend indented argent and gules between six escallops or

The manor of Morceth is mentioned twice in the Domesday book of 1086, with part being held in-chief by William Cheever, the 35th of his 46 Devonshire holdings,[1] and part being held in-chief by Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances, the 73rd of his 99 Devonshire holdings.[2][3] William Cheever's lands later formed the feudal barony of Bradninch from which Cruwys Morchard was later held by the Cruwys family.[4]

Church of Holy Cross[edit]

It is believed that a wooden church existed in Cruwys Morchard from the time of Godfrey de Sowy, who was the first rector in 1262. The Church of the Holy Cross was built in 1529[5] with a spire on top of the church tower. This, however, was struck by lightning in 1689, and the consequent major fire, which melted the bells, necessitated the rebuilding of the top stage of the tower in brick. It also destroyed painted windows which bore the arms of the Cruwys family. The repairs, which also involved a new roof and new pews, took thirteen years to complete. The windows were replaced with stained glass renderings of the Cruwys arms.

There was also a chapel belonging to Cruwys Morchard House which was the burial place of the Cruwys family, but the chapel was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell, and it is believed that many family monuments were destroyed at the same time.


Cruwys Morchard House, birthplace of Robert Cruwys


  1. ^ Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, chap.19, holdings of William Cheever, 19,35, Morceth
  2. ^ Thorn, chap 3,73
  3. ^ "Cruwys Morchard - History". Cruwys Morchard Parish Council. 2004. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
  4. ^ Thorn, part 2, 19,35
  5. ^ Transcribed by Debbie Kennett (2006). "Letter from George Sharland Cruwys to Frederick Stockdale, 2nd January 1841". GENUKI. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
  6. ^ a b Debbie Kennett (2007). "Cruwys One-Name Study". Guild of One-Name Studies. Retrieved 3 April 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°53′52″N 3°36′07″W / 50.89778°N 3.60194°W / 50.89778; -3.60194