Dartmoor Explorations

A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park

GREY GOOSE NEST TO STENTIFORDS CROSS ON WIDECOMBE / ILSINGTON PARISH BOUNDARY

Steve Grigg and Frank Collinson

This post covers a small area adjacent to the Ashburton / Widecombe road between the ruins of Newhouse and Hemsworthy Gate area. There is a triple Parish meeting point (at Grey Goose Nest Boundary Stone), where the Parishes of Ashburton, Widecombe and Ilsington come together. Not far away, to the south near Blackslade Ford is Buckland Parish.

WIA Map
Map and overlay of the area covered in this post.

Of interest is the disputed area in blue, which lies just outside the modern parish boundary. It is believed that the Ashburton Parish Boundary might have extended at one time to include the area as its extent is close to where there was an ancient trackway. The Woodley family of Halsanger manor in the Parish of Ashburton built their enclosures (low walls) from Culver House / Newhouse close to the said trackway. However, in 1771 the Lords of the Manor of Buckland too the Woodleys to court over the matter, winning their case as they claimed the boundary was a straight line (as seen on the map). The confusion was partly caused by the original description of the perambulations changing over the centuries. To add insult to injury, the Woodleys were forced to breach the walls of their own enclosures. The Woodleys, who were custodians of Halsanger manor from 1586 to 1925, took the matter to court again in the early part of the 20th century but again lost as the straight line Parish boundary was very well established at that time. The source of this information is Dave Brewer Dartmoor Boundary Markers (1st edition – 1986 and 2nd edition – 2002).

WIA 1
Newhouse
Newhouse Inn replaced an earlier inn known as Culver House having been built by the Woodley family. Landlords on the inn include a Leaman who was host in the late 1700’s, also the Foale family and the Hannafords. There is story which suggest the womenfolk of Widecombe had this burned down because the men spent too much time and money on their on their way back from market.
WIA 2
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