Magna Britannia:

Being a concise topographical account of the several counties of Great Britain


Rev Daniel Lysons, AM, FRS, FALS, & Samuel Lysons Esq, FRS, FAS.

Vol VI, Devonshire. London: Thomas Cadell (1822).

Diptford section (pp. 163-164)

Prepared by Michael Steer

Diptford overlooks the river Avon. It is believed the village name comes from "Deep ford". Approaching the village along the Avon valley, the skyline is dominated by the spire of the 13th Century St. Mary's church, which plays a central role in village life. The Diptford and District Show takes place in July annually. Magna Britannia was an ambitious topographical and historical survey published by the Lysons brothers in several volumes between 1806 and 1822. It covers the counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, Derbyshire, and Devon. The work was curtailed in 1819 on Samuel Lysons' death. This rare book was produced from a digital copy held by the Bavarian State Library and can be downloaded from Google Books. 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

Diptford in the hundred of Stanborough and the deanary of Totton, lies about five miles from Modbury, and about six from Totnes.

The manor of Dipford or Diptford, which had been part of the demesnes of the crown, was granted to Henry II to John Boteler, and by King John, to Eustachius de Courtenay. The last mentioned monarch granted it afterwards to Henry Fitzcount. By a subsequent grant of Henry III, it became the property of Nicholas, Lord Moels, or Mules, and descended from him through the families of Bottreaux and Hungerford to the Earls of Huntingdon.

Tristram Sture, Esq, died seised of the manors of Diptford and Ashwill in 1616. In 1699 it was purchased of his descendant, Edward Sture Esq of Marridge, in Ugborough, together with the barton by Charles Taylor Esq. Upon the death of his descendant, the late Edward Taylor Esq, it devolved to the daughter of the late George Taylor of Totnes, who is as yet a minor.

The lords of the manor of Diptford had the power of inflicting capital punishment.

The manor of Bendley, the barton of Stert, and other estates are the property of Jacob Bickford Hele Esq., whose ancestors have been settled in this parish for many generations.

The manor of Craberton was long in the family of Fowell, who have lately sold it to Hubert Cornish Esq. The barton of Bradley in this parish, and North Huish belonged to a family of that name. Risdon speaks of it as the property and residence of the family of Steer. It now belongs to Miss Taylor who is patron of the rectory.

In the parish church are somemonuments of the Taylor family.