Roborough, Torridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Roborough Church - - 550960.jpg
Roborough Church
Roborough is located in Devon
Roborough shown within Devon
OS grid reference SS 576 170
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EX19
Dialling code 01805
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°56′09″N 4°01′39″W / 50.935715°N 4.027534°W / 50.935715; -4.027534Coordinates: 50°56′09″N 4°01′39″W / 50.935715°N 4.027534°W / 50.935715; -4.027534

Roborough is a village and civil parish 5.5 miles from Great Torrington. Situated topographically on the plateau between the Torridge and Taw Rivers, the parish covers 1258 hectares and contains a population of some 258 parishioners. It is surrounded by a pastoral landscape of rectangular fields, high hedges and scattered farmsteads.


With a thriving pub, village hall, church and chapel, Roborough is perfectly located for the weekend break or a leisurely holiday with plenty of attractions within easy reach. There is a range of community initiatives such as the Women's Institute, 'biscuit club', and a youth club. More information can be found on the village website.[1]

Historic estates[edit]

Various historic estates are situated within the parish of Roborough, including:


The estate of OLECU(M)BE is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the 7th of the 27 Devonshire holdings of Theobald FitzBerner (fl.1086),[2] an Anglo-Norman warrior and magnate, one of the Devon Domesday Book tenants-in-chief of King William the Conqueror. His tenant was Gotshelm. The mansion house survives today as "Owlacombe", south-west of the village of Roborough.

Combe / Over Wollocombe[edit]

Much confusion exists in historical sources concerning the estates of Over Wollocombe and Combe, which appear to refer to the same place. Over Wollocombe, a seat of the Wollocombe family, was stated by Pole (d.1635) to have been situated in the parish of Roborough:[3]

"Over Wollacombe, in the parish of Rowburgh, hath had of the name of Wollacomb his owner many generacions & doth contynewe it unto this day".

Certainly in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries many members of the Wollocombe family "of Combe" were baptised, married and buried at Roborough.[4] The family became extinct in the male line on the death of Roger Wollocombe (1632-1704), buried at Roborough, who left two or three surviving daughters as his co-heiresses. The 5th-born daughter Mary Wollocombe (1666-1701) married John Stafford (1674-1721) of Stafford Barton in the nearby parish of Dolton, whose eldest son Roger Stafford (1696-1732) assumed the surname Wollocombe in lieu of his patronymic, following the death of his uncle Roger Wollocombe (1632-1704). He died without surviving male progeny, when his heir became his younger brother Thomas Stafford (1697-1756), who likewise assumed the surname Wollocombe and was buried at Roborough. He married a daughter of the prominent Rolle family. His sons adopted the surname Stafford-Wollocombe. His daughter Henrietta Stafford (born 1732) married Henry Hole of Ebberly, in the parish of Roborough. Her son Thomas Hole in 1819 was resident at Stafford Barton.[5] The Stafford-Wollocombe family later moved to Bidlake in the parish of Bridestowe, having inherited that estate by marriage.[6]

Risdon (d.1640) however stated Over Wollocombe to have been in the parish of Mortehoe,[7] about 18 miles north-west of Roborough, the modern beach-resort of Woolacombe. This estate in the parish of Mortehoe was the original home of the Wollocombe family, which later moved to "Combe"[8] in the parish of Roborough, which it inherited following the marriage of Thomas Wollocombe to Elizabeth Barry, daughter and heiress of Henry At-Combe (alias Barry, a younger son of the Barry family, lords of the manor of Roborough, who "was called after the name of this house"[9])[10] Risdon calls the Wollocombe seat in the parish of Roborough simply "Combe".[11] "Combe Barton" survives today as a Tudor house, which contains in the hall a "large heraldic late Tudor (or early c.17) (sic) plaster overmantel"[12] displaying within a strapwork cartouche the arms of Wollocombe "with two figures and two fronds" below.[13]


Ebberly House, viewed from south
Ebberly House, viewed from south

Ebberly is a hamlet within Roborough parish (although the postal town is Great Torrington not Winkleigh as for most other addresses within the parish). The hamlet is characterised by several prominent white houses by the roadside, a mansion house known as Ebberly Barton, and a Methodist chapel.

The estate of Ebberley is first recorded in surviving records in the 13th century Book of Fees as Emberlegh.[14] In the mediaeval era it was the seat of the de Ebberleigh[15] family which as was usual[citation needed] had taken its surname from its seat. During the reign of King Henry VI (1422-1461) following the death of Walter de Ebberleigh without male progeny, the estate passed to Roger Davy (alias Dewy) who had married Walter's daughter and heiress Thomasine de Ebberleigh.[16] The Davy family remained seated at Ebberly until after 1620.[17] A junior branch of the Davy family of Ebberly, 5th in descent from Roger Davy and Thomasine de Ebberleigh was seated at "Beauford", where it remained until after 1620.[18]

The Davy family of Ebberly bore similar arms to the prominent Devonshire family of Davie of Creedy, Sandford later the Davie Baronets, and it is believed they were of the same origin, descended from the de la Way family (Latinised to de Via ("from the way/road")) seated at Way, St Giles in the Wood, about 2 miles north-west of Roborough. The manor of Way was inherited by the Pollard family, but junior branches of the de la Way family continued elsewhere, and over time their surname altered to Dewey, De Vye, or Davy.[19]

Robert de Via, or Davye, in the early part of the fourteenth century married the heiress of Owlacombe in the parish of Roborough and later the family married the heiress of the Upcot family of Upcot, in the nearby parish of Beaford. The Davy family "flourished for many years at Upcot, and at Ebberleigh and Owlacombe or Oldacombe".[20] Hugh Davy of Oldacombe (d.1768) was the last of this elder branch of the family.[21]

William Davie of Ebberleigh was a Member of Parliament for Barnstaple in 1446.[22] His son Richard Davie had two sons, William the elder, who continued at Ebberleigh, and Robert Davie, who settled at Crediton and became a wealthy clothier and was the ancestor of the Davie family of Creedy.[23]

The estate was inherited by Henry Hole from his uncle (the Hole family resided at Combe, Roborough). Henry Hole was a builder and wood-engraver from Liverpool[24] who in about 1816 rebuilt the mansion house, possibly incorporating some elements of the former building.[25] The architect was possibly Thomas Lee. Ebberly House was classified as a grade II* listed building in 1952.[26] Ebberly House is noted for being the first country house in England to sell for more than £1 million.[citation needed] In 2010 the estate comprising six cottages, farmland and farm buildings, produced an annual income of £50,000.[27]


  1. ^ "Roborough North Devon, Church, Pub, The New Inn". Roborough North Devon, Church, Pub, The New Inn. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  2. ^ Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Part 1, 36:7, Part 2 (Notes), 36:7
  3. ^ Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p.394
  4. ^ Vivian, p.795-7, pedigree of "Wollocombe of Combe"
  5. ^ Lysons, Daniel & Lysons, Samuel, Magna Britannia, Vol.6, Devonshire, London, 1822
  6. ^ Vivian, pp.796, 84
  7. ^ Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.341
  8. ^ Risdon, p.270
  9. ^ Risdon, p.270
  10. ^ Risdon, p.270; Pole, p.394; Vivian, p.795
  11. ^ Risdon, p.270
  12. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, pp.287-8
  13. ^; See images[1][2] The arms show Argent, three bars gules (Wollocombe) impaling a lion rampant, apparently for Elford: Per pale argent and azure, a lion rampant gules (Vivian, p.329), see File:ElfordArms.png. This therefore represents the marriage of Roger Wollocombe (1632-1704) (4th son and eventual heir to his father John Wollocombe (1598-1663) of Coombe) to Gertrude Elford (d.1681), a daughter and co-heiress of John Elford of Sheepstor. His father married a Fortescue, whose own father married a Coffin, whose own father married a Basset, whose own father married a Pollard, none of which well-known and prominent Devon families bore arms containing a lion rampant.
  14. ^ Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Part 2 (notes), 3:19
  15. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.274, pedigree of "Davy alias Dewy"
  16. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.274
  17. ^ Vivian, p.274,Heralds' Visitations of 1620
  18. ^ Vivian, p.274,Heralds' Visitations of 1620
  19. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, p.cxii[3]
  20. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, p.cxii
  21. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, p.cxii
  22. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, p.cxii
  23. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, p.cxii
  24. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.351
  25. ^ Stuff, Good. "Ebberly House - Roborough - Devon - England | British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Luxury property for sale in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset - Country Life". 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2016-08-04.