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Membury Parish, Devon

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Location: Devon, Englandmap
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(Manburia, Maimburgh) Said to have derived its named from being the place where the maimed survivors of King Athelstan's army recuperated after the defeat of the Danish Army.

Membury, in the hundred of Axminster, and in the deanery of Honiton, lies on the borders of Dorsetshire, about 3 miles from Axminster. The villages, or hamlets, of East Membury, Longbridge, and North Membury, are in this parish. Acreage of the civil parish was 4394 acres.

Manor of Membury

At the time of the Domesday survey, William Chievre, or Capra, held the manor of Membury (Manburia) in demesne. King Henry I. granted the manors of East and West Membury to Robert de Chandos, who gave West Membury to a priory which he had founded at Goldcliffe, in Monmouthshire. This priory was made a cell to the abbey of Bec, in Normandy; the estates of which having been confiscated, as belonging to an alien monastery, the manor of Membury was, in 1474, given to the dean and chapter of Windsor.

Manor of East Membury

East Membury belonged, in the reign of Edward II., to the family of Heles (Lord Hele of Hele in the parish of Bradninch), from whom it descended to Franceis, of Comb Flory (in Somerset), and was later sold to Hurde. It was afterwards in the Petres, and later the property of the Right Honourable Lord Petre.

Manor of Yarty

Yarty, in this parish, gave name to a family whose heiress, in the reign of Henry IV., brought it to Frye. It was later the property of the Right Hon. Lord King, whose great uncle, John Lord King, married the heiress of Robert Frye, Esq., who died in January, 1725–6. Yarty is now a farm-house.

According to Risdon (page 21) Yarty (Yartye) derives its name from hill and gave the name to the family assigned the property, going by the name of William and Simon Yarty for three generations. The last, a Simon, died without heir and his sister brought the property into her husbands, a William Frye, line.

Manor of West Waters

West Waters was the property and residence of the family of De la Water, whose heiress brought it to Hele, and the heiress of Hele to Perry: it continued in the last-mentioned family for six descents. The co-heiresses of the last heir male sold it to Frye where it formed part of the estates of Yarty. See Yarty.

Risdon in his work enhances the history of this manor stating that a family of Waters, or Atwaters, was the "ancient" owner. Settling near the river of that name the family, earlier named De l'Eau, later de la Water, later Water and then Atwater. It provides that the last of the line was an heiress, Isabel Atwater, that married a Nicholas Hele, stated to be the younger son of Hele in Bradninch. They had a child, Emma Hele, who married a Christopher Perry, during the reign of Henry VI (1422 - 1460). The land then being held by Perry until the death of a William Perry without heir when his sisters sold it to William Fry (Frye).

Barton of Chaldanger

Note: A barton was used to designate a piece of land, likely once part of a demense but often forming a demense in itself, albeit a small one. The name is derived from "barley enclosure"; the enclosure where they grew barley.

The barton of Chaldanger, (now called Challenger,) belonged to a family of that name; afterwards to the Bonvilles. After the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, it was granted to Petre and later the property of Mr. B. C. Tucker, solicitor, of Chard.


  • The chorographical description or survey of the county of Devon; Tristram Risdon; 1811 Google Books

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Categories: Membury, Devon