Cullompton History


Cold harbour Mill

Cold harbour Woolen Mill lies in the county of Devon and can be found a little off the beaten track, near the village of Uffculme. The mill is a unique survivor of a West Country industry that was hugely important to the country during the 17th and 18th centuries. This fact alone makes the mill’s history particularly interesting as it was constructed late in the 18th century and continued in profitable production well into the 20th. This was at a time when the industry in general was in decline and most other mills were being converted by their owners, to paper or flour production. It appears that there has been a mill of some description on or near the Cold harbour site since Saxon times, the Domes day Book recording two mills in the Uffculme area. Prior to development as a woolen mill, references suggest that the mill was formerly a paper mill. Two Quaker brothers, the Fox brothers, purchased the Cold harbour site for 1100 Guineas in 1797. The sale included the original mill buildings, along with fifteen acre’s of grazing land. Although major redevelopment of the site was required the important factor in the purchase was that the head of water available from the River Culm was good. At this time irtually all mills were still being powered by water, although the advent of the steam engine was soon to change that. The water wheel, which continued in use right up until 1978, can still be seen and is currently awaiting restoration. The Fox Brother’s success lay in their ability to produce two types of cloth – Serge and Flannel. Serge is a hardwearing cloth much used in the manufacture of uniforms, and Flannel was the softer cloth preferred for underwear and trousers. The serge would be produced in ‘Long Ells’ which were long strips of cloth measuring 75ft long by 31 inches wide (an Ell), each weighting some 21 pounds. Both products found good export markets in the colonies, China and later America. In 1865 Cold harbour
Woolen Mill moved over to producing Worsted Yarn rather than Woolen Yarn and this necessitated the need for more power to drive new combing machines.

(Worsted is made from long fleeced sheep and the wool has to be firstly combed to ensure all the fibres are parallel.) Initially a 25hp steam powered beam engine was installed, followed by a second in 1890. A Pollit & Wigzell 300hp, cross compound steam engine then superseded these engines in 1910 and continued in use, along with the water wheel, until Fox Brother’s closed the mill in April 1981. Today the cross compound steam engine remains fully operational and in
situ. A replacement beam engine has also been re-erected on the site of one of the originals; this also is fully operational. Today the mill is a working museum, and an informative guided tour will take you through every step in the process from combing and carding to spinning. All machinery is operational and much of it is over 100 years old, giving the visitor an insight into working conditions during the industrial revolution. Volunteers give demonstrations of the part each machine plays in the overall process. Outside the mill there is also plenty to see. The engine and boiler room, the Gas Retort House (gas was used to light the mill as well as part of the village), the weaver’s, carpenter’s and dye workshops, and an old air-raid shelter.


Hemyock Castle

Originally, this was possibly a Roman, a Romano-British farm, or a Roman stronghold. But there has not yet been a proper excavation. Much has yet to be discovered. There are legends of secret passages and buried treasure. General Simcoe suggested that the ground plan of the site was similar to that of Roman strongholds (He mentioned the citadel at Cairo). He believed that it may have been built to protect Roman iron smelting at the nearby iron pits. Scoria and cinders are found on the site. During the 1100s the Norman ‘Hidon’ family built a fortified manor house. Later, the Dynhams (originally from Brittany) married into the family. On 5th November 1380, King Richard II granted Sir William and Lady Asthorpe (née Dynham) licence to crenellate their fortified manor house. The plan of the castle has similarities with Bodiam Castle, built some 5 years later in Kent.Two towers at the front, about 13 metres (40 feet) high, formed the entrance gate house. This housed the portcullis and the drawbridge over the moat The curtain walls, about 7 metres (20 feet) high, were pierced by putlog holes through which wooden beams projected to support the roofed galleries (hourdes). From the safety of these, defenders could fire arrows and missiles, or pour noxious liquids onto any attackers who crossed the moat. By the 1600s, Hemyock castle and most of Hemyock belonged to Sir John Popham, who as Lord Chief Justice, sentenced Sir Walter Raleigh, Mary Queen of Scots, and Guy Fawkes to death. (The original licence to crenellate Hemyock Castle had been granted on 5th November 1380!) According to local legend, Sir John is reputed to have been rewarded for his controversial life by being thrown from his horse into Popham’s Pit, a deep local bog, dying horribly, and descending to Hell. During the Civil War (mid 1600s) the castle was garrisoned by the Pophams for Parliament and used to imprison Royalists. Eventually, after a short brutal siege in 1644, it was captured by the Royalists. 200 prisoners were released. 3 of the garrison were hanged immediately, and the remainder marched off to prison in Exeter. Not long afterwards, it was recaptured and held for Parliament until the Restoration in 1660, when King Charles II ordered that it be slighted – ie. partly demolished – to destroy its military value.From then, the manor house became a farm, and the castle was used as a stone quarry for local buildings. General John Graves Simcoe, bought Hemyock Castle in the 1790s following his distinguished career in the New World. One of his first acts as the first Lt. Governor of Upper Canada (Ontario) had been to abolish slavery in the province, subsequently allowing some 40,000 slaves escaping America to gain their freedom in Canada. At Hemyock, he had visions of restoring the Castle to its former glory. The house was sold in the early 1970s, without the farm land. Work continues to discover the history, and to stabilise the castle remains.


Black borough House

For more information on black borough house, you can visit this web site


The historic market town of Cullompton is situated on the river Culm. The town still has working textile and paper mills in the area. Cullompton’s textile industry dates back to the late 1700s. The Saxon word ‘tun’ means town or settlement. Columtune simply means the town on the Culm and was probably a Saxon settlement.

Water Stream

Cullomptons Water Stream, otherwise known as the Watercourse, Town Lake ran for over 600 years across the High Street in Cullompton through Gully’s. The ancient stream was donated to the town in 1356 by the Abbot of Buckland and was in
possession by the Parish Council. When the water stream was donated to Cullompton by Abbot of Buckland in 1356, the following statement was made: “Know all men, present and to come, that we, Thomas Abbot of Bolclande, and of the
Convent of the same place, have given, granted and by this present writing have confirmed to our whole homage of Columpton, leave to have a course of clear and wholesome water between the ditch of Weremede, the land of my Lord the Earl of
Devon, and the land of Thomas Vacie into the High Street of Columpton over our domain and the land of our tenants for ever, without the hindrance of us or our successors. In testimony whereof our common seal is hung to these present. These
being our witness: Thomas Gambox, Thom, Vacie, William Farneaux, William Whitemore, John Rooke, Henry Chapyn, and many others of May in the year of reign of King Edward III since the conquest of England, the 29th” This flowed for 600
years. Then it was decided in 1962 that the water stream flowing through the gully’s in town were in need of maintenance. It was offered to the Cullompton Parish Council by the Tiverton Rural Council if they would pay for its maintenance. Since the water stream was in bad condition, they decided against the offer, and the water was diverted into a river. The water stream stopped in November 1962, which had fallen into abeyance and not flowed since.

Parish Church

Building work is said to have begun on the main aisle in the Parish Church in about 1403 and finished round about 1430 from when the present structure dates. A church has stood on the present site, however, since Saxon times. Subsequent
to the Norman Conquest it belonged to Battle Abbey in Sussex and then to the Priory of St Nicholas at Exeter (a daughter house of Battle Abbey) who were patrons until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Lane’s Aisle was added to the main structure in 1527. The Tower was begun in 1545 and completed in 1549.


In 1816 two schoolrooms were built on the site of the car park in Gravel Walk, one for poor boys and one for poor girls. In 1872 a new school was built on the site of the Magistrate’s Court at a cost of £2,315. It was later modernised and used as a Secondary Modern School until 1964 when it was knocked down. The new Secondary Modern School was opened in September 1964.


Cullompton has suffered severally by fires. 1725 On Wednesday 8th December 1725 there was a very dreadful fire in the Clock Chamber of the Tower of Cullompton, which was discovered about 8pm in the evening, through the window of the
Belfrey. The town was alarmed. The wind being very high and the evening very light; the people were amazed, but after the keys of the Church were brought, some few entered just as the fire began to flame and found the planking on fire,
a board or two thereof, being three in plank, was burnt thro’, and one of the beams burnt down two of three inches deep, so that had it not been discovered in that instant of time, the Tower, Church and whole Town would have in all probability have been burnt down, but, God be thanked, it was happily discovered and extinguished without doing any more hurt than burning the planks and beams as mentioned. It was occasioned by the carelessness of a Carpenter and Locksmith’s leaving fire un extinguished in an iron pan, covered with a board in the said room, some time of the day; tho’ they tho’t it had been clean extinguished, having p—-d in the fire to extinguish it. There was also the following records by the church wardens accounts have the following records Two pounds of candles when the fire was in the Tower 11d (cost) PD the men for watching in the Tower when the fire was there 7s (cost)

Reference. David Pugsley

1839 – Great fire of Cullompton A very destructive fire broke out in Cullompton, totally destroying 143 houses, which started at the Boot Inn just at the end of New Street, which was kept by William Walters. History also reports that that it
caused some 260 cottages in New Street, Crow Green and the Lower Bull Ring to be burnt. As people were returning from Church about a quarter after 12 in the afternoon on Sunday last, they were alarmed by cries of “Fire” and flames were
seen issuing from a small house in Exeter Street (now known as Exeter Road), opposite New Street, Occupied by John Walters, a shoe maker. Men were immediately put on the roof of the adjoining houses to prevent the progress of the fire, but it extended so rapidly, that they could not remain. The houses were mostly covered with thatch, which owing to the previous dry weather was as inflammable as Timber and the flames spread with frightful velocity communicating from houses to houses with a truly awful rapidity. Unfortunately a strong southerly wind was blowing at the time, which carried the immense heavy flakes of fire to the higher part of the town, and the inhabitants who had gone to assist their unfortunate neighbours were obliged to return to protect their own property. Several houses and outbuildings together with two ricks of hay, a quantity of thrashed corn, furze (gorse) rick, and an immense quantity of hard wood, the property of W. Whitter, Esq, were destroyed here. The Cullompton engines were on the spot at the outbreak of the fire, and although there was an excellent supply of water at hand, it was nearly three quarters of an hour before they could be brought into operation, from their being “out of repair”, and in fact one was entirely useless. Such negligence appears most strange, as from the frequent occurrence of fires at Cullompton, one would be led to suppose that a more than ordinary vigilance would be exercised in this respect. If, however, it had not been for the better care of their neighbours there would not have been a house in the town by this time. Engines arrived from Tiverton and Bradninch, and the time the West of England and West Middlesex had arrived, the fire had extended to New Street, the whole of which was consumed, and the town was on fire in six or seven different places at one time – from the flakes of tire falling on the houses. The garden walls which are built of mud and thatched with straw to protect them from wet also caught fire by the flakes falling on the thatch, and destroyed the whole of the fruit and trees in the gardens adjoining. Both sides of New Street and one side of Crow Green and many Houses
in the Higher Bull ring at the Tiverton Junction in town were destroyed. Much credit is due to the men of the Exeter Engines for their exertions, which formed a very striking contrast with those of the Cullompton Engines – which without
any leader or organised body of men to work them were of little use. The little engine of Cullompton was first called into requisition in New Street, but the houses on fire was so vigorous on either side of the street the heat was so oppressive, that the men who were working to tackle the blaze were obliged to desist without being able to take away the little engine, so that was left to be burnt. The men of the Exeter Engines worked from half past 3 o’clock in the afternoon till 11 o’clock, when they stopped for a little refreshment, and were immediately recalled to work, where they remained until 3 o’clock in the morning. The number of dwelling houses destroyed by the fire is estimated about 143 (reference David Pugsley), leaving about 200 families homeless. It was very fortunate for the poor sufferers that there were about 50 – 60 new houses which had just been built, and were unoccupied, and into which they took what property they could save from the fire and lodged themselves much more comfortably than could have been otherwise expected. The workhouse also which was empty, now became tenanted by the destitute and forlorn – and the poor creatures although deprived of everything they possessed in the world expressed themselves thankful that there was such a place of refuge to fly to. A great many gentlemen of the town exerted themselves to the utmost to stop the ravages of the fire, and to render every assistance in their power to the unfortunate. Mr. Gabriel, Surgeon, was actively engaged in the lower part of the town when the fire first broke out, but was quickly obliged to return to the higher part on account of his own house being on fire, and which was afterwards wholly destroyed T.C Hine Esq and Lieut Moore R.N were foremost among those active to give every assistance that lay in their power – and the houses of these gentlemen were humanely open during the night to any person who might wish to place what little property they could rescue from the fire therein for safety. Wine, Spirit and other refreshments were also provided by them, and greatly received by a great number of unfortunate individuals. The principal losers from the fire are Mr. Gabriel – Surgeon, whose house burnt down, Mr. Nichols – Chemist, Mr. Webber – Builder the whole of the extensive timber yard was destroyed, Mr. John Wills – Baker, Mr. Budd – Baker, and Mr. John Mills – Paper manufacturer. The loss of property is estimated at from £15,000 to £18,009 this of course is a lot of monies worth of damage for this period of time, and the fire offices which will be the principal losers are the Alliance, Independent West Middlesex, Sun, Yorkshire, and West of England. The agents of the various offices exerted themselves with the most praiseworthy diligence. During the fire Mr. Thomas Hart’s premises, Mr. Mitchell’s at the Post Office, and Mr. Bowerman’s at the White Hart, situated in
Fore Street, caught fire several times, but men being placed on the roofs of the Houses, no serious damage was done to their property. There are various rumours respecting the origin of the fire, but the most prevalent opinion is that it was
an accidental. We are happy to have record that there were not a lots of lives loss during this great fire but unfortunately there was one accident during the fire, which happened to a poor Chimney Sweep of the name Rowe, whose back was
broken by a wall falling on top of him; he was taken away in a state of great suffering and it was because of his injuries that he did not survive. A public meeting was held, to take into consideration the propriety of petitioning her Majesty or adopting some other means in order to get subscriptions to relieve these poor people, whose property was sacrificed by this lamentable fire and we are happy to state that a unanimity of feeling exists in the surrounding Neighbourhood, to do all that can be done in order to render some compensations to those poor men, who had lost everything they were possessed of, and whose only hope of being again able to get their living is the munificence of the humane and charitable. Most of the men who were burnt out were in the employ of Mr. Upcott, being the sole proprietor of Woolen manufacture at Cold harbour Woolen Mill, and a devoted Quaker. The express was sent off to Exeter by Mr. Mitchell, of the Post Office and arrived in Exeter in the incredible short space of 32 minutes a distance of 12 miles, Mr. Bowerman, of the White Hart Inn, having kindly lent one of this most valuable horses to perform the journey. This gentleman also sent another horse for the Tiverton engine and was most indefatigable in his exertions during the fire. In a pond adjoining Mr. Whitter’s premises surrounded by burning houses were some ducks, which were completely roasted, having no way of escape from the devouring lement. Tuesday – A public meeting has been held for the purpose of promoting a subscription for the relief of the sufferers E. S Drewe, Esq. of the Grange with his accustomed humanity has taken the most active steps to promote this laudable object, and a considerable sum has already been raised £160 being the amount this morning. Tim Rev. Vicar, Mr. Sykes, has been unceasingly active in his efforts to relieve the sufferers.

Reference. David Pugsley and A History of Cullompton by Murray T.Foster

Various Spellings of Cullompton

Date (AD)



872 Columtune King Alfred’s Will
1086 Curemtune Exeter Domesday Book
1100 Culuntun Deed of Battle Abbey
1200 Colutuna Deed of S Nicholas Priory
1288 Colompton Letter of Pope Nicholas IV
1336 Collumpton Deed of S Nicholas’ Priory
Unknown Cylmton Polwhele’s Antiquites
Unknown Culmton Polwhele’s Antiquites
1400 Culumton Deed of gift
1546 Colomton Charity roll
1610 Collompton Churchwardens’ accounts
1616 Cullompton Tombstone
1630 Cullumpton Risdon’s survey of Devon
Unknown Culumpton Westcote’s view of Devon
1651 Cullumston Local Coin
1652 Columton Tombstone
Unknown Columbton Potwhele’s history
1662 Cullumton Tombstone
1675 Colehampton Ogilby’s Itinerarium

Reference Mr Overy’s List Here Mr James Murray Foster has collected further
variation of names for Cullompton over the years. Which is quite comprehensive.


Year (AD)


Columtune 872 King Alfred the Great. Will preserved in NewminsterAbbey -Winchester
Colitone 1080 Domesday Book of King William I
Colum 1080 Exon Domesday Book, preserved by Dean and Chapter of Exeter
Curemtome 1080 Exon Domesday Book, preserved by Dean and Chapter of Exeter
Columpton 1278 Gift Deed of Amicia; Countess of Devon of Columpton Manor to Buckland
—–“—— 1288 Taxatio Ecclesiastica Pape Nicolai IV, Bocland Abbey
—–“—— 1400 Confirmation Deed of Gift of 1278 by Isabella deFortibus, Countess of Devon
—–“—— 1406 Confirmation Deed of Gift of 1278 by Isabella deFortibus, Countess of Devon
—–“—— Var Leases granted by Abbots of Bockland (Dr. Oliver)
—–“—— 1419 List of possessions of Hugh Courtney, 4th Earl of Devon
—–“—— 1436 License of Bishop Lacy to change the Feast of the dedication of the church
—–“—— 1438 License of Bishop Lacy to John Walrond to have a chapel at Newland
—–“—— 1476 Rent Roll of St. Nicholas’ Priory, Exeter
—–“—— 1527 Gift Deed of Thomas Whyte, Abbot of Buckland to Thomas Bowden
—–“—— 1536 Valor Ecclesiasticus Henric VIII., St Nicholas’ Priory
—–“—— 1536 Valor Ecclesiasticus Henric VIII., Buckland Abbey
—–“—— 1537 Abstract of Roll Computus ministrorum. Temp. Hen VIII
—–“—— 1549 Name of William Vivian, Bishop of Hippo, William Columpton
—–“—— 1549 Gift Deed K Edward VI of the Guild of St Nicholas to Wm. Kaleway
—–“—— 1630 Tithings of Devon in Cooke’s Survey of Devon, rated at £1 13s.
—–“—— 1658 Tombstone of three children of Rd. Speed in the church
—–“—— 1788 Shaw’s tour through the Western Counties of England
—–“—— 17?? Mr Shaw’s Roll of Hospitals, & c. Art St. Nicholas’ Priory
—–“—— 1810 Cooke’s Survey of Devon, pub. At Exon
—–“—— 1821 Dugdale’s Monasticon. Arts St. Nicholas’ Priory and Buckland Abbey
—–“—— 1837 Knight’s Penny Cyclopedia, pub. London
Cullington 1657 Bess’s Narrative of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers
Colompton 1290 Taxatio om’ i Bonor Temporal ‘m Dioec’ Exon’ & c. Buckland
—–“—— 1290 Taxatio Ecclesiastica Pape Nicholai IV. Boclond (Dugdale)
—–“—— 1523 John Trott’s will, in Registery of Prerogative Court of Canterbury
—–“—— 1536 Computu Ministrorum. Tem. Hen. VIII. Buckland
—–“—— 1536 Valuation of Ecclesiastical Preferments, according to the King’s Book
—–“—— 1572 Indenture of transfer of certain lands in the parish
Collumpton 1336 Deed belonging to St Nicholas’ Priory, Exon. (Dr. Oliver)
—–“—— 1401 Bishop Stafford’s Register, preserved by Dean and Chapter, Exon
—–“—— 1445 Confirmatory deed of gift of land to Buckland Abbey.(Dugdale)
—–“—— 1445 Will of Roger Stockman, Priest; Vicar of Collumpton
—–“—— 1614 Tombstone of Alice Englyshe, in church
—–“—— 1630 Westcote’s history of Devon
—–“—— 1630 Risdon’s survey of Devon
—–“—— 1645 Sir Gilbert Talbot’s narrative of the Civil War in England
—–“—— 1654 Tombstone of John Cole, in church
—–“—— 1655 Tombstone of Thomas Atkins, in church
—–“—— 1657 Bess’s narrative of the sufferings of the people called Quakers
—–“—— 1658 Tombstone of Robert Hill, in church
—–“—— 1663 Journal of George Fox, Quaker
—–“—— 1750 Journal of John Wesley, Divine
—–“—— 1754 Tombstone of Rev. S Morgan in Unitarian Chapel
—–“—— 1754 MSS. Memo of meeting held to appoint a water bailiff
—–“—— 1808 C. Vancouver’s Gen. View of the Agric. of the Co. of Devon
—–“—— 1854 Report of the Commissioners of the General Board of Health
—–“—— 1859 Beeston’s dictionary of Universal Information
Cullumpton 1630 Westcote’s History of Devon
—–“—— 1630 Risdon’s survey of Devon
—–“—— 1700 Fielding’s “Tom Jones” date given as about 1685
—–“—— 1717 Deed of transfer of land in the parish
—–“—— 1785 Chapple’s “Review of a part of Risdon’s Survey”
—–“—— 1848 Ordnance Survey map of Devon
—–“—— 1877 Ordnance Survey map of Devon
Collompton 1616 Tombstone of James Skinner in church
—–“—— 1626 Star Chamber reports for 1626 to 1628 pub. In Rushworth’s hist. Col.
—–“—— 1664 Deed of Transfer of land in the parish
—–“—— 1667 Local Tradesman’s token. John Modford
—–“—— 1669 MSS. Churchwarden’s accounts, preserved in the church
Cullinton 1068 “Carta prima” deed of gift by King William I to Battle Abbey
Culuntuna 1066 No 3. Deed of gift by King William I to Battle Abbey (Dugdale)
Coluntuna 1067 No 4. Deed of gift by King William I to Battle Abbey (Dugdale)
Culintuna 1068? No 10. Deed of gift by King William I to Battle Abbey (Dugdale)
Culitona 1070 Gift deed from Battle Abbey to St Nicholas’ priory, Ex. Arch. Civ. Exon
Colonton 17?? Grose’s Antiq. Of England and Wales. Art Battle Abbey
Colunp ? Quoted in D. Lyson’s Mag. Brit. As name of Manor, ante KingWilliam I
Cullum 1630 Tombstaone of Mary Ffowler in church
Culumpton 1406 Confirmation Deed of Isabella de Fortibus to Buckland Abbey
—–“—— 1778 England’s Gazeteer, pub, in London
Cullompton 1698 Deed of Transfer of land in parish
—–“—— 1714 Deed of Transfer of land in parish
—–“—— 1754 MSS. deed relating to Town Watercourse
—–“—— 1767 Act of Parliament re-mending roads in Tiverton Division
—–“—— 1778 England’s Gazeteer, suggesting it as proper mode of spelling
—–“—— 1783 Revision list of Taxation of Devon
—–“—— 1795 Tombstone of Elias Jarman in church
—–“—— 1808 G. Vancouver’s Gen. View of the Agric. of the Co. of Devon
—–“—— 1814 Printed handbill relating to a public dinner on June 14th
—–“—— 1825 Topographical Dictionary, by B. P. Capper of England
—–“—— 1831 Topographical Dictionary, by B. P. Capper of England
—–“—— 1840 Knight’s Penny Cyclopedia, pub in London
—–“—— 1835 Local Penny Postage Seal
Columton 1652 Tombstone of Abraham Turner in church
Colupton 1356 Deed of Gift of Town Watercourse by Buckland Abbey to the town
Culunton 17?? Grose’s Antiq. Eng. and Wales. 1st ed.; no date
Columbton 1586 Camden’s Britannia, original edition
—–“—— 1722 Camden’s Britannia, original edition. Revised edition by Dr Gibson
—–“—— 1778 England’s Gazetteer, pub. in London
—–“—— 1782 Taxation of the Hundreds of Devon. Chapple’s Review
—–“—— 1805 From G Dyer’s “Mode of Restoring the ancient names of rivers, &c.”
—–“—— 1797 Polewhele’s History of Devon
Culmton 1538 Rev. Thomas Moore’s History of Devon
Colonton 1546 Chantries Certif. No. XV, made according to Commission
Culumbton 1586 Camden’s Britannia. Map of Original Edition
Cullumton 1662 Tombstone of Mary Day in church
Cullumston 1666~ Local coin, Walter Challis
Colomton 1651 Local coin, Tristram Clarke
—–“—— 1666 Local coin, Henry Hopping
Cullomton 1666 Local coin, John Harris
Cylmton 1797 Suggested as proper name by Mr. Polewhele
Culuntun 1100 Deed of Gift from Battle Abbey to St. Nicholas’ Priory (Dugdale)
Colutuna 1200 Deed belonging to St. Nicholas’ Priory, Exon
Cullemton 1664 Local coin, name illegible
Colehampton 1700 Road Book of England and Wales (?)
Colump 1273 Gift Deed of Amicia, Countess of Devon, to Buckland Abbey
Culumton 1400 Confirmation Deed of Gift by Amicia, Countess, to Buckland Abbey
Colampton 1788 Thesaurus Ecclesiasticus, or Liber Valorum, by John Lloyd
Collumston 1667 Local coin, William Skinner

Reference: List Compiled by James Murray Foster F.S.A in 1878

Time Line

Time Line of Cullompton



549 St Columba, an Irish Saint preached its name Columda, which is Latin for Dove.
872 Columtune became part of the private property of the House of Wessex by the time of the Saxon King Alfred The Great, who in 872AD bequeathed Columtune and its lands to his Son Ethelward
877 King Alfred probably passed though the town on his way to besiege Exeter
1020 The manor and lands of Cullompton which was known as Colitina, belonged to the Lady Gytha a Danish Princess who was the Widow of Earl Gadran?, the Mother of King Harold (who was later defeated and killed at the battle of Hastings in 1066).
1067 King William I probably passed through the town on his way to besiege Exeter
1066-1070 The Church mentioned in several deeds as being given to Battle Abbey with its Five Prebends by King William I
1070 The Church mentioned in deed of Battle Abbey granting it to St. Nicholas Priory, and the Manor granted to Balwin, Sheriff of Devon
1073 The gift of the Church confirmed by Bishop Osbern to St. Nicholas Priory
1086 Recorded in the Doomsday’s book.The hamlets: Langford, Mutterton, Westcott surrounded Cullompton, extending seven miles around the Culm Valley
1087 William The Conqueror passed through the Villa of Colitina on his way to besiege Exeter; and Lady Gytha fled to the City, where she later held a great deal of land. Exeter fell 18 days later to the Norman Soldiers of William I who divided the land he had confiscated; giving it to his various Barons. He gave the Manor of Cullompton (Colitina). Together with Langford and Ponsford to Baldwin, the favourite Nephew of his wife.
1120 King Henry I gave the Church to Bishop Wm. Warelwast
1127 Hillersdon Manor belonged to William de Hillersdon
1190 The Manor granted by King Richard I to Richard de Clifford
1200 The Manor granted by King John to his brother Walter de Clifford. The Earls of Devon held it for many years and in 1278 Amicia Countless of Devon willed it to the Abbot and Convent of Buckford Monochorum. This bequest was later confirmed by her Daughter Isabella and by Edward I in the eighth year of his reign.
1216 Richard Walrond was Lord of Bradfield
1225 Sir Roger de Langford, Knight, was Sheriff of Devon
1239 A dearth of three months in the west of England followed by a plaque
1269 Bishop Bronescombe of Exeter taxed Cullumpton Vicarage
1278 Market and Fair granted by Baldwin de Insula to Baldwin De Bedvers, Earl of Devon.
1278 Amicia, Countess of Devon gave Cullumpton Church to Buckland Abbey
1317 A further grant of a market and a fair was made to the Abbey of Buckland, which all house the manor then belonged.
1323 William Garland gave Aller Peverell to his Son
1329 Sir John Dinham sold Luttockshele to John Hidon
1336 Leave to make a water course through their lands at Aller Peverel was given Sir Oliver de Dinham by the Prior of St Nicholas, Exeter
1334? A charter for a Market and Fair granted to Langford
1356 The water course granted the town by the Abbot of Buckland.
1361 Thomas de Pilton, Vicar, excommunicated for forgery
1419 Pontsford belonged to Hugh Courtney, Earl of Devon
1420 Date of errection of Nave and Aisles of Church (PC Delagarde)
1436 Feast of the dedication of Church altered in date
1438 Licence granted to John Walrond to have divine service performed at Newlands
1470 Date of errection of the Chancel and Clerestory of Church (PC Delagarde)
1522 John Trott’s will leaving money for foundation of Almshouse
1527 Abbot of Buckland granted to Thomas Bowden some lands at Stoneyforde Brigge
1536 William Vivian, Bishop of Hippo, was Vicar
1538 The Town mentioned as celebrated for manufacture of Karsie stockings
1545 Date of commencement of building the tower
1549 The tower finished
1551 King Edward VI leased the Rectory and Church to Sir J Moore, Kt
1552 Lane’s Aisle completed
1563 Queen Elizabeth granted the advowson, etc, to R Freke and J Walker
1601 -March 28 The register of Baptisms commences
1601 – April 4 The register of burials commences
1601 – April 18 The register of Marriages commences
1606 Sir J Acland gave 52s per annum to the poor
1606 John Manning gave land to value of £10 per annum to the poor
1620 Wm Bone gave 4d weekly to four poor persons
1623 Roger Hill gave lands, the rents to be laid out in cloth for the poor
1624 George Spincer’s charity founded
1625 John Hill gave 52s yearly in bread to the poor
1626 Catherine Bampton publicly whipped
1626 Two men hanged at Whitedown
1635 Aller Peverell belonged to Sir John Pole, Bart
1644 – September 20 Part of Charles I’s army passed through
1645 – October 15 General Fairfax arrived from Honiton and drove Lord Millar out of the Town
1657 Peter Atkin’s charity founded
1657 – 1662 Great persecution of Quakers
1660 Sir Charles Pratt born at Careswell
1663 George Fox, Quaker, preached in town
1664 John and Henry Hill charity founded
1666 Two tradesmen issued local coins
1667 One tradesment issued coins
1679 John Lane, Tiverton, gave 9d weekly to two poor persons at Collumpton
1684 Public rejoicing on proclamation of James II
1685 Duke of Albemarle with his army here
1685 Prisoners taken at Sedgemoor confined in the Church en route for Exeter
1688 Part of William III’s army stationed here
1688 The third and great bells cast
1688 Public rejoicings on proclamation of William III
1694 Margery Arundell’s charity founded
1695 Unitarian Chapel built
1706 Public rejoicings on news of the battle of Ramillies
1716 Public Meeting to repair the water-course
1719 Peter Newte’s charity founded
1725 Fire in Church Tower
1738 Cloth riots at Tiverton, in which the people of Cullumpton joined
1745 The Baptist church was founded with 270 sittings
1746 Other bells cast
1748 John Wesley preached at Cullumpton
1756 The Church fire engine brought to the town
1764 Wesleyan Chapel built
1794 The first company of Heyridge Volunteers raised
1795 Riots in consequence of scarcity of wheat
1798 Seven houses burnt during rejoicings at the defeat of French fleet. This was due to a rocket falling on a thatched roof
1806 New Wesleyan Chapel built
1805 or 1806 Bull baiting and cock fighting were popular sports. The last bull baiting stopped in this year
1810 Manor belonged to David Govett of Hillersdon
1811 Shambles removed and Market House Built
1812 Tower illuminated in honour of the battle of Salamanca
1814 -June 23 Public rejoicings at general peace in Europe
1815 New Unitarian Chapel built
1816 National Schools errected
1830 Independent Chapel built
1832 Cholera epidemic
1839 The Great Fire in Cullumpton
1849 The restoration of the Church commenced
1849 Town hall and lock up built
1854 The independent Chapel closed
1859 The Volunteer Chapel started
1861 The Volunteer Fire Brigade established
1863 1300 persons dined in the streets on the marriage of the Prince of Wales
1868 Last open election
1912 A Unitarian Chapel was erected at a cost of ~£1000 with 120 sittings.
1919 Cullompton was lighted with gas, which was provided by a limited company and supplied with water from a spring at Combe farm about 1 ½ miles away
1962 The water stream flowing through the gully’s in town were in need of maintenance. It was offered to the Cullompton Parish Council by the Tiverton Rural Council if they would pay for its maintenance. Since the water stream was in bad condition, they decided against the offer, and the water was diverted into a river. The water stream stopped in November 1962, which had fallen into abeyance and not flowed since
1992 The renovations in the Bull Ring also included the restoration of the waterstream. However it is not in usage, and remains dry
2001 IThe population was ~7600
2003 – 15 October Cullompton’s telephone exchange was updated, so residents can now obtain broadband high speed internet access

Reference: A History of Cullompton by Murray T.Foster; Cullompton Past and
Present by Jane Leonard.

Parish of Cullompton

The Parish of Cullompton extends some seven miles along the valley of the River Culm, covering nearly 8000 acres, with about 8000 inhabitants. During the mid 17 th century the population was ~3000 and this remained until 1970, where is increased due to residential development. Over 40 different types of spellings of Cullompton have existed over time. During the 19 th century the Wool trade largely carried out as a cottage industry or a factory at Shortlands which was later demolished to make way for the Hammett road flats, began to decline. But other sources of employment including the paper and flour mills. Cullompton is a Market Town 164 miles from London, 12 miles from Exeter, and 6 miles from Tiverton. St Andrews was built of Stone in the late perpendicular style, consisting of Chancel, Nave, Aisles, South Capel, West Porch and lofty embattled Weston tower. The Tower was 100 foot high, and contains a clock and eight bells. The higher and lower bull ring is still important places in Cullompton. Cockpit hill still indicates were this barbarous sport was indulged years ago.

Reference: Cullompton Town Book

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