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Hemyock Castle
Ancient Heart of the Blackdowns

Devonshire Manors in the Domesday Book

The principal land owners in Devonshire and their holdings as recorded in the Domesday Book.

In Devonshire at this period there were 980 vills containing about 9000 hamlets or farms.

Manors Held from the King

William Cheever, or Chievre

Was at the Battle of Hastings. Became a senior Baron of Devon, holding 47 lordships in barony in Devonshire. He and his brother Gosfried held in Normandy at La Chieve (Capra, Chevercourt, Capricuia) in the Seine-Inf. They were allied to the Busli or Bullys. William later became one of the chief barons under King William Rufus. His daughter, Sibylla, married Robert, Sire de Cuilla.

Manors: Ash, Barton, Awliscombe, Badgworthy, Bradford Witheridge, Colebrook, Cullompton, Hemyock?? Ivedon, Lynton, Mackham, Membury, Mildon, Pirzwell, Puddington, Radworthy, North Molton, Shillingford, Southleigh, Virworthy, West Putford, Whipton, Yowlestone, Cadeleigh, Buckland, Braunton, Buckland, Haccombe, Combe-in-Teignhead, Countisbury, Eastleigh, Huntshawl, lkerton, Ingsdon, North Buckland, Oakford, Rapshays, Lyn.

Walter Claville

Does not appear in the rolls of the Battle of Hastings. Following the battle, he seems to have acquired holdings as an under-tenant in Suffolk under Robert Malet, and holdings in Devon. His home domain in Normandy was at Claville de Caux in the Seine-Inf near Rouen.

Manors: Appledore, Ayshford, Boehill Leigh (Churchstow), Leonard Shobrooke (Morchard Bishop), Withycombe Raleigh, Wolfin, Bywood, Buckland Tout Saints, Burlescombe, Craze Loman, Dowland, Drayford, Loosedon, Murley, Canonsleigh, Instow Coombe (Uplowman), Sydeham.

Ralph de Pomeroy

Was at the Battle of Hastings. His home domain was at La Pommeraie in Bayeux, Normandy. Earthworks of his Castle still remain near Falaise called the Chateau Ganne. Granted 60 manors by Duke William, many in Devonshire. His chief domain in Devon was at Berry Pomeroy. Joselin Pomeroy succeeded him. Through Henry, his son, they retained their estates in Normandy at the Castle of Pont-Antou. Either this same Henry, or his son, supported King John (of Magna Carta fame) and held the Castle Pomeroy at his disposal and garrisoned it. The wealth of the Pomeroy estate was large and in the Exon Domesday he held many livestock in the northern part of the county. In the mid sixteenth century the castle and estates went to the Seymours, Dukes of Somerset and the main line became extinct. Junior branches were at Ingeston and Sandridge, and in southern Ireland by the Viscounts Harberton.

Manors: Ash (Bradworthy), Ashcombe, AunkBerry Pomeroy, Radworthy, Brendon, Clyst St George, Curtisknowle, Dunsdon, Heavitree, Highleigh, Huxham, Keynedon, Lank Combe, Mamhead, Peamore, Sheldon, Smallridge, Southweek, Stockleigh Pomeroy, Strete Raleigh, Tale, Upottery, Washfield, Weycroft, Yeadbury, Great Torrington, Bruckland, Caffyns Heanton, Cheriton (Brendon), Dunkeswell, Dunstone (Widecombe in the Moor), Gappah, Holcombe, Mowlish.

Alfred or Auvrai Le Breton

Came from Brittany with Count Alain Le Roux (Red) Count of Penthievre. The Count, son of the Duke of Brittany, was sent by his father with a huge contingent of knights to the invasion of England. Count Alain was made Earl of Richmond by Duke William for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings. Auvrai Le Breton held 22 Lordships, mostly in Devonshire, at the taking of the Domesday Book. Throughout England there were another eight Le Bretons. Each probably had a different genealogy and it is not known what their relationship, if any, was to each other. However, judging from the size of his grants, it is reasonably certain that Auvrai Le Breton was no mere knight. Possibly the son of Count Alain.

Manors: Battleford, Bradninch, Creacombe (Witheridge), Peters, Tavy, South Milton, Sprytown, Tamerton Foliot, Ugborough, Willsworthy, Battisborough, Blaxton, Creacombe (Newton Ferrers), Curworlhy, Grimpstone, Grimpstonleigh, Ingleigh, Moreleigh Budshead.

Countess Gytha

Daughter of Thorgils Sprakaleg, first cousin of King Cnut, wife of Godwin, the great Earl of Wessex, mother of Earl Harold, and descended from Danish King Harald Bluetooth, kindred to the Norman Viking element, also received grants in Devonshire, continued from Edward's time and confirmed by Duke William.

Manors: ??

Theobald FitzBerner

Probably the eldest son of Hugh or Hugo de Bernieres, of Bernierers, near Falaise, Normandy who, with brothers Ralph and Richard Berners, held in Essex, Cambridge and Middlesex. The family eventually descended to Lord Berners in the mid 15th century. Descending further, the name evolved to the surname Wilton and Strangeways.

Manors: Rifton, Bickleton, Milford (Hartland), Oussaborough, Speccott, Spreakcombe, Widworthy, Bucks Cross, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Coombe (Cheriton Fitzpaine), Little Marland, Molland (Forth Molton), Owlacombe, Saunton, Culm Davy, Georgeham, Gorwell, Hollowcombe (Fremington), Woolacombe.

Robert d'Aumale

Descended from Stephen, Count of Aumale in the Seine-Inf region of Normandy.

Manors: Stoke (Devonport), Thuborough, Westleigh, Whitefield (Marwood), Willestrew, Woodleigh, Bickham, Cookbury, Wick Milton, Damerel, Collacombe, Flete, Gidcott, Goodleigh, Ottery (Lamerton).

Robert le Bastard

Claimed to be an illegitimate son of Duke William, the other one being William Peverel who received holdings in Shropshire. A recipient of Duke William's favours. It is claimed that Robert commanded a ship of the Hastings invasion but was blown off course, down the channel, landed at Salcombe, and received a barony in Devonshire. From the size of the barony granted by Duke William there had to be more than just a passing relationship. His descendents later became Sheriffs of Devonshire. Robert's chief domain was at Efford. The name is sometimes spelt Baistard and Bestard, but the main stem of the family retained the spelling Bastard with some pride.

Manors: Combe, Royal Dunstone (Yealmpton), Backstone, Bickford, Efford, Hazard, Stonehouse.

Baldwin the Sheriff, (aka Baldwin de Brionne)

Constituted, by Duke William, the hereditary Viscount or Sheriff of Devonshire. He was known by a number of different names such as Baudoin of Exeter, Baudoin de Meules, Baldwin the Viscount, Baudoin de Meules et du Sap. He was also known as FitzGilbert, since he was the eldest son of Gilbert, the Count of Brionne and Eu, who was the son of Richard I, Duke of Normandy. William (Baldwin the Sheriff) was granted vast domains, 164 manors, 159 of which were in Devonshire, 19 in Exeter. He built Rougemont Castle. He was Governor of the city of Exeter, Sheriff of Devonshire, one the most powerful men in the west country. He also built his Castle at Okehampton. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard FitzBaldwin (aka Richard de Brionne), who also succeeded as Sheriff of Devonshire. Richard died without issue. His sister, Adeliza became Vice-comitissa Devoniensis. There is some confusion between this family and the Redvers family who were later Earls of Devon, but they are two distinct, unrelated families.

Manors: Inwardleigh, Lincombe, Aller (Kentisbeare), Appledore (Clannaborough), Ashclyst, Ashford, Ashmansworthy, Aylesbeare, Blackborough, Blakewell, Boasley, Bradford (Cookbury), Chevithorne, Clayhidon, Clifford, Englebourne, Germansweek, Great Fulford, Haccombe, Hemyock?? Hennock, Highampton, Hittisleigh, Hockworthy, Ilfracombe, Kentisbeare, Kentisbury, Landcross, Langford (Cullompton), Langstone, Lashbrook, Manhood, Manaton, Manhood, Meeth, Melanin, Melhuish, Mockham, Monkokehampton, Musbury, Neadon, Newton (Chittlehampton), Nymet Rowland, OakOffwell, Okehampton, Oldridge, Parkham, Payhembury, Ringcombe, Ringmore (in St Nicholas), Rocombe, Rushford, Shirwell, Smallicombe, Snydles Parkwell, Spreyton, Stedcombe, Tapps, Tedburn St. Mary, Teigngrace, Uppacott, Walson, Wembworthy, West Buckland, West Clyst, West Prawle, Whimple, Whitestone, Whiteway, Whitstone, Wilmington, Wilson, Wolborough, Woodburn, Woolladon, Woolleigh, Worthy, Yard, Yarde, Yarnscombe, Exbourne Shapley (Chagford), Beetor, Belstone, Bratton Clovelly, Bridestowe, Brixton, Brushford, Burston, Charles, Chawleigh, Chettiscombe, Chichacott, Chulmleigh, Clannaborough, Clyst Hydon, Colwell, Comboyne, Culm Pyne, Dolton, Dotton, Drewsteignton, Dunsland, Dunterton, Eggbeer, Exwick, Fursham, George Teign, Gorhuish, Great Beere, Greenslade, Halse, Heanton Punchardon, Heanton Stachville, Holcombe, Honeychurch, Kelly, Kenn, Kigbeare, Kingsford, Leigh ( Coldridge), Lewtrenchard, Loxhore, Maidencombe, Martin, Meshsaw, Middleton (Broadwood Kelly), Poltimore, Ponsford, Potheridge, Rackenford, Rose Ash, Sampford Courtenay, Sellake, Bridford, Cheldon, Larkbeare.

Fulk, Count of Anjou, or Fulk le Rechin

His son, "the younger" was crowned King of Jerusalem in 1130. He was closely related to the Norman heirarchy and lent his assistance to the Hastings venture being close to the Norman Montforts through marriage.

Manors: Four manors held from Iudhael of Totnes: West Portlemouth, Ilton, Alston, Sorley; Ferding held from Alfred the Breton.

Iudhael of Totnes

An unfamiliar spelling, probably one of the many variations of Eudes, which in turn translates to Odo. There were two Odos, the Bishop of Bayeux, half brother of Duke William (who later founded Winchester Cathedral); and Odo, Count of Champagne. Which one is herein referred is questionable, but is most likely, Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux who received many manors and lordships scattered throughout England after the Conquest, the name being modified by a local spelling. Eudo or Odo. The Count of Champagne came into prominence about the time of the Domesday survey when he was granted Holderness by Duke William of Normandy. He was not recorded at the Battle of Hastings.

Manors: Alston, Ashleigh, Baccamoor, Bagton, Blachford, Bradford (Pyworthy), Brixham, Brixton (Shaugh Prior), Brixton (Yealompton), Broadley, Broadwoodwidger, Butterford, Charleton, Chittlebum, Chivelstone, Clawton, Coldstone, Coleridge (Buckland), Coleton, Collaton (Marlborough), Compton, Gifford, Conworthy, Downicary, Down Thomas, Eggbuckland, Elfordleigh, Fernhill (Shaugh), Ford (Chivelstone), Galmpton (South Huish), Halwell, Henford, Holland, Hooe, Lambside, Langdon, Loddiswell, Loventor, Lupton, Malston, Manadon, Mary Tavy, Meavy, Membland, Mutley, North Huish, Okenbury, Pethill, Pool, Poulston, Pyworthy, Raddon (in Marystowe), Ringmore (Bigbury), Shaugh Prior, Sherford (Brixton), Shiphay, Collaton, Soar, Sorley, South Allington, South Hewish, Stadbury, Staddiscombe, Staddon, Stancombe, Sydenham, Sydenham Damerel, Tetcott, Thrushelton, Thurlestone, Tillislow, Totnes, Weston Peverel, West Portlemouth, Whitleigh, Wollaton, Woodford, Woolston, Worthele Burrington (Weston Peverel), Combe Fishacre, Leigh (Modbury), Churston Ferrers, Combe (Pool), Leigh (Harberton), North Bovey, Norton (Broadwoodwidger).

William de Poilley

Does not appear in the rolls of the Battle of Hastings. He may not have been Norman. The name comes from Bourgogne, where they were the Lords of the Castle of Pouilly sur Saone. Several knights of the name attended the first Crusade. They were to become one of the most distinguished families in 16th century France.

Manors: Battisford, Bickleigh ( Plymouth), Blagrove, Bowley, Melbury, Pedley, Stoke Rivers, Buckland Monachorum, Cadbury (Thorverton), Challonsleigh, Dart (Cadeleigh), Dart Raffe, Farwood, Goosewell, Radworthy (Challacombe), Beaworthty, Sampford Spiney.

Osberne de Sacey, or Sassy

Was from Sacey in Avranches. In 1030 Duke Robert of Normandy built a castle on the border of Normandy and Brittany which became the seat of the Sassy family, and the records became confused with the Kyriell family. Osberne was at the Battle of Hastings. The two Saceys mentioned at Hastings, Osberne and brother Ralph, received large grants, the former a barony in Devonshire, the latter in Herefordshire. After the Domesday Survey the family would proliferate to Oxford, Buckingham, Nottingham, Derby and Northampton.

Manors: Lambert, Shilston Bridge, Parford, Clyst Gerred.

William de Falaise, Sire de Falaise

Lord of Moulins-la-Marche and was closely related to Duke William of Normandy. He held 29 lordships in Devon, his chief domain at Dartington. The family adopted two surnames in England - Molines and Falaise - as well as many other locative names. They also held lands in Flanders.

Manors: Luscombe (Rattery), Rattery Stoke (Holne), Washford PyneWorth, Churchill, Combe Martin, Dartington, Dean Prior, Furze (West Buckland), Harbourneford, Holne, Parracombe, Cockington.

Walter de Douai

From Douai. near Lille, in Normandy. Son of Urso de Douai, Walter was at Hastings but his brother Hugh does not appear in the rolls and probably remained at the chief domain in Normandy. Walter received large baronies in Devonshire and Somerset. His chief domain was at Bampton, and from him descended the Barons of Bampton. Ralph de Conteville was his under-tenant in Devonshire at Huish, Chapel Allerton and Admer. Ralph was a close kinsman of the Count of Mortain, the King's half brother which seems to bear some signifiance.

Manors: Bampton, Berrynarbor, Coleridge (Stokenham), Combe Raleigh, Dipford, Dunsford, Goodrington, Greenway, Kerswell (Hockworthy), Knowstone, Little Rackenford, Luppitt, Mohun's Ottery, Shapcombe, Spurway, Stoke Fleming, Townstal, Uffculme, Woodcombe, Holacombe.

Fulchere, or Foucher

A Breton,probably younger son of Adam FitzDurand who were both at the Conquest. His main holdings were in Rutland, and the barony of Walgrove in Northampton, hence the distinguished family of Walgrave. The family were from Maloures. near St Brieux in Brittany.

Manors: Leigh (Loxbeare), CulmVale.


Probably a Saxon pre-Conquest land holder who was of some assistance to Duke William.

Manors: Doddiscombsleigh, Hook (Ashreigney), Lowley, Lowton, West Whitnold, Yard (Silverton), Halstow, Mullacott, Satterleigh.


Probably a Saxon pre-Conquest land holder who was of some assistance to Duke William.

Manors: Ash, Thomas Huish (Dolton), Newton (Zeal Monachorum), Uplowman, Villavin, Washbourne, Whitnage, Woodbeare, Dodscott, Fenacre, Gittisham, Hampson, Newton Tracey, Nichol's Nymet, Riddlecombe.


Probably a Saxon pre-Conquest land holder who was of some assistance to Duke William.

Manors: ??

Richard FitzThorold

Not well documented. Probably son of Saxon Thorold the Sheriff during King Edward's time. He was near kinsman of the Northumberland Earls, Edwin and Morcar.

Manors: East Allington, Natsworthy, Woodhuish.

Hervey de Hellean, or Herve d'Helion (sometimes Ailion)

A Breton at the Battle of Hastings. He came from Hillion, St.Brieux, in Brittany. He was granted a large Barony in Devonshire by Duke William. Descended were the Lords of Arriston, Ashton and Credy Helion.

Manors: Hackworthy.

Roald Dubbed

Another mystery. Presumably, kinsman of Raoul the Gael, a very powerful Breton Baron, Lord of the Castle of Guader. The term Dubbed may relate to his knighthood. On the other hand, he may be Raoul de Limesi, (see Ralph de Limesey) a powerful Norman who also held lands in Devonshire.

Manors: Aveton, Gifford, Hankford, Hemerdon, Hollam, Huxhill, Kimber, Lamerton, Lobb, Lovacott (Shebbear), Monkswell, Panson, Peters Marland, Praunsley, Pulham, Sigford, Train, Twigbear, Weare Gifford, Whitchurch, Winscott, Winswell, Wonford, Crockernwell, Dockworthy, Peeke (in Luffincott), Rutleigh.

Ralph de Feugeres (Fougeres)

A Breton at the Battle of Hastings. Ralph was youngest son of Main II who was the powerful Baron Fougeres in Brittany. Ralph succeeded him in 1084. He also held in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Buckingham. He was ancestor of the Bohuns, and many other noble families.

Manors: Adworthy, Afton Ipplepen, Galmpton (Churston Ferrers).

Richard FitzGilbert (aka Richard de Brionne)

Eldest son of Baldwin the Sheriff (see this page, FitzGilbert was Baldwin's father's name) by Albreda, his wife. He succeeded his father as Sheriff of Devonshire and his chief domain became Okehampton. He died in 1137 without issue and his estates went to his sister Adeliza, Vice-comitissa Devoniensis.

Manors: Lympstone.

Ansger de Montacute

Probably a close kinsman of Robert, Count of Mortain, or his son William. Both held the Castle of Montacute in Somerset as their chief domain.

Manors: Muxbere, Stafford, Brimblecome.

Alfred d'Epaignes

From a distuished Norman family.

Manors: Arlington, Ashbury, Twitchen, Orway.

Odo FitzGamelin


Manors: Almiston, Hillersdon, Plymtree, Stallenge, Thorne Stowford(Lifton), Whiddon, Willand, Chilton (Cheriton Fitzpaine), Delley, Essebeare, George Nympton, Hacche, Honiton (South Molton), Huntsham, Little Weare, Brayley, Broadhembury, Buckland ( Dolton).

Manors Held by the Church??

Cullompton, Norton (in Churchstow), Ash(Petrockstowe), Ashton Petrockstowe, South Brent, Trusham, Zeal Monachorum, Buckfast, Charford, Heathfield, Loosebeare, Uplyme, Umberleigh, Abbotskerswell, Littleham (Exmouth), Seaton, Dennington (Yarcombe), Otterton, Yarcombe, Newton, St Petrock, Swimbridge, Chardstock, Ottery St Mary, Rawridge, Sidmouth, Northam, Abbotsham, Burrington (Chulmleigh), Liddaton, Raddon (in Thorverton), Tavistock, Thornbury (Holsworth), Worthygate, Coffinswell, Denbury, Milton Abbot, Plymstock, Romansleigh, Houndtor, Leigh (Milton Abbot), Barnstaple, Ashburton, Bentton, Bishop's Nympton, Branscombe, Dawlish, Haxton, Newton St Cyres, Paignton, St. Mary Church, Salcombe Regis, Sidbury, Slapton, Staverton, Stoke Canon, Talaton Bishop's, Bishopsteignton, Bury, Chudleigh, Knighton, Crediton, Dittisham, Ide, Culmstock, Stockland.

Adapted from sources including:
Part of this source seems now to have moved to:

Note, this information is published "as is". It needs thorough checking against sources. Comments welcome.

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Hemyock Castle, Hemyock, CULLOMPTON, Devon, EX15 3RJ, UK.
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