Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), p. 22.
Oswald J. Reichel
Hillersdon House was built in 1848 by William Charles Grant, a Lieutenant of the First (Kings) Dragoon Guards and a nephew of Sir William Grant (1752-1832), Member of Parliament, Solicitor General and Master of the Rolls. Grant purchased the estate in about 1847. In 1843 Grant had married Maria May (d.1891), a noted pteridologist and W.C. Grant built the surviving house to replace the earlier house which was in a dilapidated state, and which had been offered for rent in the early 19th century. In 1877 W.C. Grant died and Hillersdon passed his second and eldest surviving son William John Alexander Grant (1851-1935),a distinguished Arctic photographer who in 1895 married Enid Maud Forster, whom he divorced in 1901. After the death of William Grant in 1935 the house was inherited under his will by Sir Mark Beresford Russell Sturgis (1884–1949), KCB, Assistant Under-Secretary for Ireland, who took the additional surname of Grant, as a condition of the will. In the Second World War it housed US Officers and then became a bed and breakfast and was later divided into five flats. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.
13. EST HILLERDON (V., p. 279, par. 151.) - In answer to Sir Roper Lethbridge's enquiry, the manor of Hillersdon is in the parish of Cullompton. In the Great Survey of 1086 it appears as Hillesdona (Vict. Hist., p. 494; Devon Domesday, p. 1074), and was then held by Rainald of Odo, son of Gamelin, i.e., of the honour of Torington, its area being some 313 acres. In 1166 it appears to have been one of the two fees held by Daniel de Brailega of William, son of Robert [de Toriton] (Liber. Niger., 124), the other fee being Braileigh. In 1241 Roger de Hele and William de Hilderesdon were the tenants, holding it "for one fee but of old it was an entire fee" (Testa de Nevil, 124, p. 176a.) In 1303 Roger de Hele and Roger de Hillesldon are returned as the tenants (Feud. Aids, p. 368.) In 1346 Roger de Hillerysdon had 1/2 fee in Est Hillerysdon and West Hillerysdon held of the honour of Toriton which Roger de Hele and others aforetime held (Feud. Aids, 425), and in 1428 John Bozon held ½ fee " in Est Hillerisdon and West Hillerisdon which Roger de Hillerisdon aforetime held" (Ibid., 487). OSWALD J. REICHEL.