Petrockstowe One Place Genealogy


The Petrockstowe Time Line

Some Events not specific to Petrockstowe are included for reference purposes



Date Information
Pre 8th CenturyThe church in Petrockstowe, was dedicated to the Celtic Saint of Saint Petrock, possibly around the time of the 6th century. St. Petrock was one of the most important Celtic missionary saints and continued in popularity to the reformation
Pre10th CenturyPetrockstowe was part of the "Hundred" of Shebbear when Devon was divided into 36 "hundreds". All of the South and West England was divided into Hundreds and the East and North England was divided into Wapentakes. There were 715 Hundreds recorded in the Domesday Book in total, later in the 11th century
11th CenturyThe Knights Templar were founded and the crusades began
      1086The Domesday Book was compiled, just 20 years after the famous battle of Hastings in 1066. There were few towns in the area at this time
12th CenturySaw the start of a time of growth in the area, many new towns and villages were created. The landscape of the area was formed, winding lanes led from farm to farm and to nearby towns. Most of the placenames that we know today came about in this time. The nearby town of Torrington became a borough, there were some 70 created in Devon, more than any other medieval county in the country. Most of them were created later in the 13th century though. Most of the markets in the county started around this time
13th CenturyThe earliest records of cider making in Devon were discovered
14th CenturyMonks in Tavistock Produced the famous Devon Clotted Cream by scalding milk
      1348Many plagues of "Black Death" occurred from time, devastating the population. Farms in the area were left unattended due to lack of tenants to occupy them. The population of Devon dropped to 73,000 and Tin mining virtually came to a standstill
15th CenturyThe local area underwent a revival with tin mining at nearby Dartmoor booming and the building of manor houses, churches and bridges
16th CenturyA strict time in the county where a man was hanged for theft and a woman flogged for having a bastard child
      1539The time of the dissolution when Buckfast no longer held Petrockstowe. At that time it was granted by Henry VIII to Henry Dennis, a relative of the last abbot, Gabriel Donne
      1563Petrockstowe was one of 454 parishes in Devon according to the assessment carried out by the Bishop of Exeter. The parish of Lydford was said to be the largest in England at 56,333 acres being part of Devon's 1,700,000 acres
      1575Saxton's first maps of Devon produced
      1587The Parish Register started in Petrockstowe
17th CenturyPilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth in Devon
      1641Petrockstowe Protestation Return
      1646The last battle of the civil war was fought at the nearby town of Torrington
      1685Judge Jeffreys, in the same diocese as Petrockstowe, took strong action to help quell the Monmouth Rebellion, on 14th September he announced that all those making an unsuccessful guilty plea were to be hanged. After the first two prisoners received this treatment the rest, around 30 men, all pleaded guilty, 13 of those were hanged. Each of these hanged men were quartered, boiled and tarred. These remains were sent out to nearby towns and put on display
18th CenturyMany buildings in the area were made from cob, chopped straw and wet clay, constructed as straight as the builder's eye, with thatch roofs. Although cob construction can be traced back to the 13th century in London and existed in many forms around the world
      1724Records commence of an "endemic disorder peculiar to the area" which was to become known as "Devon Colic", mentions of this affliction persisted until 1770. There were two schools of thought, firstly was the fact there were more case in years when the apple crop was higher and cider apples were for "the taking", but secondly the scientific view that it was lead poisoning. The presses contained lead and cleaning of the equipment was undertaken with the use of lead shot. The use of lead was later discontinued and it was written that the only addition to cider excepting the apples was a dead rat for flavour
      1790A canal was to have been built close to Petrockstowe, from Okehampton to Weare Giffard but due to the impending French war it was shelved
      1794A report was prepared by Fraser for the board of Agriculture noting that 20% of the land area of Devon was waste land, half of this being comprised Dartmoor and Exmoor
19th CenturyThe railway came to Devon
      1801Petrockstowe Population is 467
      1814A great slump in farming prices, many farmers lost their farms at this time
      1841Petrockstowe Population is 616
      1842Petrockstowe school was built by Lord Clinton at the cost of 700, holding 20 pupils, the School Mistress being Ann Bisset
      1846The first railway by Brunel, started in Devon, it ran on atmospheric pressure and was a disaster that wasted 400,000. Luckily his reputation saved him
      1851Petrockstowe Population is 574
      1855The nearby railway between Bideford and Barnstaple was opened by John Wilson, a local printer on 29th October
      1861Petrockstowe Population is 613
      1871Petrockstowe Population is 570 (291 males and 279 females) living in 116 houses on 4,000 acres of land
      1872The first Trade Union for farm workers came about in an agricultural slump. Many farm labourers left to start a new life in America. The church was equipped with a Father Willis organ at the cost of 120
      1873The return of the owners of land gave the first complete picture of the distribution of landed property since Doomsday. This was also when the landed class was at the height of its opulence and political influence.
      1881Petrockstowe Population is 510
      1879Petrockstowe church was mostly rebuilt although much of the tower remained
      1891Petrockstowe Population is 726
20th CenturyPetrockstowe was still largely owned by the then Lord of The Manor, Lord Clinton
      1901Petrockstowe Population is 385
      1911Petrockstowe Population is 400
      1915The bells in Petrockstowe church were re-hung and a sixth was added
      1920Tourism was by now the largest industry in the county
      1921Petrockstowe Population is 399
      1925The Light Railway, stopping at Petrockstowe, was built to run between the main line at Halwill junction and Torrington where it joined the terminus of the Southern Railway
      1931Petrockstowe Population is 381
      1939Petrockstowe Population is 304
      1958Sale of the Clinton Estate, owning the village and much surrounding land, to cover death duties. Much of the estate was purchased by current tenants


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