Welcome to Worlington's Heritage

Worlington in common with most parishes, was inhabited a considerable time prior to Doomsday by native Britons and Saxons.  Proof of ancient habitation is evident in the existence of Neolithic tumuli at East and Middle Burrow, a standing stone at Stone Cross and earthworks at Burridge.

For information about places around Worlington at the time of the Doomsday Book look on the Doomsday Map website
Visit the Doomsday Book Online to search for more information.


St Mary's West Worlington

Three parishes were in existence in the mid 12th Century. East Worlington, West Worlington and Affeton and each had their own church.

Affeton remained separate until the end of the 15th Century when it was merged with West Worlington, the church was then converted to a chapel and used by the principal land owners. (More details about the history of Affeton can be found on the
Devon Perspectives website.) East and West churches have records dating back to 1261, both churches were built in the 14th and 15th Century.  West remains relatively the same but East was rebuilt in 1879 although retaining its old Norman doorway.In 1885 both East and West Worlington were merged into one parish.
After the Norman conquest the original Saxon land owners were replaced by William, Duke of Normandy who shared out the holdings to be held in fee or held under the feudal tenure system.  Affeton was orginally owned by the de Affeton family, with West Worlington being originally held by the de Worlingtons. The Marwood family took ownership from the de Worlingtons and then sold the Manor of Worlington to de Affeton in1368. In 1390 Stucley (then spelt Stewkley) and Affeton were joined by marriage and the Stucley family remain the principal land owners today.

Affeton Castle

East Worlington Primary School,
next door to St Mary's Church

East Worlington was given to the Bishop of Constaine in Normandy and by 13th century Richard Fily-Barnard held half a fee from Henry 111. In 1850, as part of the Eggesford Estate, it was under the ownership of The Honorable Newton Fellowes who later became the 4th Earl of Portsmouth. This is significant within the community because the Earl had the school built in 1886 and this remains today as the local Primary School.

Prior to the Civil War (1642-1651) the Stucley family were the owners of a prosperous estate that held 13 manors.  Affeton Manor, their family home, was described as one of the finest in the country boasting a large casellated manor house with a tower.  Because the then owner was a defender of the City of Exeter and supporter of the Royalist, Fairfax's  Parliamentarian army, then on their way to Torrington, dispatched a small party of men to destroy the manor house, probably by fire. 

East Worlington House

Old Tythe Barn now Parish Hall

Only the Gatehouse survives in today and it is suspected that the majority of the old buildings in East and West Worlington were built with the dressed stone from the ruined manor.It is possible to suggest some of this stone was also used on the 17th Century rectory in East Worlington and the adjacent Old Tythe Barn which is now the Parish Hall.

The 1850's saw the Turnpike built in the north east of the parish which is now the B3137.This resulted in the Old Toll House at Thornham Cross going out of use and Thornham Chapel was built on the old site. 
Northlake Chapel near Three Hammers was built by subscription in the late 19th Century.
In 1915 Drayford Bridge (Drayford History) was built across the Old Ford over the Little Dart River.
It wasn't until 1923 that most of the roads in the parish were finally metalled. This was because heavy machinery was removing local timber for use in the 1914-18 war effort causing degradation of the road surfaces.

East Worlington, but when?

If you know e-mail worlington@btinternet.com

War Memorial

After the 1914-18 War the War Memorial was sited at Boundy's Cross on which are recorded the names of the local 13 men who fell during the First World War, (these include two of three Butt brothers from West Worlington who fought together, sadly only one survived).  Added later were the names of the 4 men who gave their lives in the Second World War making a total of 17 fallen in the two World Wars.  Following advice from English Heritage the East Worlington War Memorial became a listed landmark at the end of 2009.

In 1939-45 during the Second World War a searchlight unit placed a searchlight in 'Camp Field' at Hensley Farm, West Worlington and this unfortunately, attracted the attention of the Luftwaffe who registered its disapproval by dropping bombs in the area.  

Snow Clearance 1939

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Where are East and West Worlington? Map

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