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St Cuthbert's Church, Widworthy
Widworthy Barton

Widworthy is a village, parish and former manor in Devon, England. The village is situated 3 1/2 miles east of Honiton. The parish church is dedicated to St Cuthbert. Near the church is Widworthy Barton, the former manor house, which is largely unaltered from its early 17th century form.[1] Widworthy Court is a mansion within the parish built in 1830 by Sir Edward Marwood Elton to the design of G.S. Repton.[2]



The Domesday Book of 1086 lists WIDEWORDE as the 26th of the 27 Devonshire holdings of Theobald FitzBerner (Anglicised to Theobald son of Berner,[3] Latinized to Tetbaldus Filius Bernerius[4]) an Anglo-Norman warrior and magnate, one of the Devon Domesday Book tenants-in-chief of King William the Conqueror. His lands later formed part of the Feudal barony of Great Torrington.[5] His tenant was a certain Oliver, who also held from the same overlord the manors of Culm Davy[6] and Marwood[7]


The 13th century Book of Fees lists John de Humfraville as the tenant of the Honour of Torrington,[8] having his own tenant at Widworthy.

de Widworthy[edit]

The earliest lord of the manor listed by the Devon historian Sir William Pole (d.1635)[9] is Sir William de Widworthy, who as was usual had taken his surname from his seat. After a few generations the male line died out and in the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307) the manor passed via the heiress Emma de Widworthy to her husband Sir Robert Dynham.


The manor later was inherited by the Wotton family.[10] The last in the male line was John Wotton who married Engaret Dymock, daughter of Walyter Dymock, by whom he left a sole daughter and heiress Alis Wotton, who married Sir John Chichester (1385-1437),[11] lord of the manor of Raleigh in the parish of Pilton, North Devon.


The great-grandson of Alis Wotton was John Chichester (1472-1537/8) of Raleigh, who as well as his eldest son the heir to Raleigh, had two younger sons by his second wife Joan Brett, daughter of Robert Brett of Pilton, Devon and Whitstanton in Somerset. To the elder son by this second marriage, Amias Chichester, he gave the manor of Arlington[12] and to the younger son John Chichester, he gave Widworthy.[13]


  1. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.910
  2. ^ Pevsner, p.911
  3. ^ See Fitz, "son of"
  4. ^ Genitive case per Domesday Book: Tetbaldi Filii Bernerii
  5. ^ Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, part 2 (notes), Chapter 36
  6. ^ Thorn, 36:18; Part 2 (notes), Index of Persons, shown holding 3 manors only in Devon
  7. ^ Thorn, 36:16
  8. ^ Thorn, Part 2 (notes), 36:26
  9. ^ Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, pp.144-5
  10. ^ Pole, p.145
  11. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.172
  12. ^ Vivian, p.173
  13. ^ Pole, p.145

Coordinates: 50°47′17″N 3°06′40″W / 50.788°N 3.111°W / 50.788; -3.111