West Town, alias West Woolfardisworthy

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), p. 95.


R. Pearse Chope

Prepared by Michael Steer

On local signs, the village is sometimes marked as Woolsery. The shortened pronunciation is known to have been in use since the 17th century. The name’s origin is possibly 'Wulfheard's homestead'. The parish church of All Hallows has an effigy of Richard Cole (d.1614) of Buckish within the parish, also of Slade in the parish of Cornworthy. It is a Grade 1 Listed Building. 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.

Note 87. WEST TOWN, ALIAS WEST WOOLFARDISWORTHY (VI., par. 39, p. 51). - This was part of the great manor of Hartland, and in 1566 was held by five free tenants, viz: Richard Knapman (rent 7s.), John Webbe (4s. 1d.), John Huddell (4s. 1d.), John Hele (1s. 4d.) and John Seyntleger, Knt. (1s. 4d.) See my paper on "The Early History of the Manor of Hartland" Trans. Devon Assoc., 1902, p. 448). In 1779 the tenants were: - Coles, Esq. (1s. 11d.), John Webb and - Flaxman (6s. 1d., including part of Ashcroft), the heirs of James Yeo (7s. 2d.), and William Old (1s. 4d.). It seems clear that Yeo's holding was practically the same as Knapman's in 1566, though some of the other holdings had apparently been rearranged. As the difference between the total rents is just 1s. 4d., it is possible that one of the smaller holdings was omitted from the later list, though it is more likely to have been included with some other holding.

                                                                         R. Pearse Chope.