Lyson, Magna Brittanica, 1822
HIGH BICKINGTON, in the hundred of North Tawton and in the deanery of Barnstaple, lies about eight miles from Torrington, about ten from Barnstaple, and about the same distance from South Molton. The villages of Little Bickington, North and South Hele, and Stowford, are in this parish.
There was formerly a market on Wednesday at High Bickington, which continued to about the year 1725. The market house has been removed within the memories of persons now living. Two fairs held May 14 and October 2, were continued till after 1773.1 The fair on the 14th May has been revived for cattle, &c. within these ten years, and is well attended.
The manor of High Bickington belonged, at an early period, to the Champernownes, and passed by successive female heirs to Willington, Beaumont and Basset. It is now the property of Joseph Davie Basset, Esq. Of Watermouth. Bickington Loges, which was granted at an early period by the Champernownes to Loges, and continues in that family till the reign of Edward II, is now parcel of the manor of High Bickington.
The manor of Stowford, in this parish, belonged formerly to the Giffards, of whom it has been purchased by Saltren. It was sold in lots by the Willets, representatives of the latter, about the year 1807.
Another manor in this parish is a divided property, one third of which belongs to the Right Honourable R.P. Carew, Esq. M.P. of Anthony; the remainder to the trustees of Mrs. Pyncombe's charity.
A small manor, called High Bickington Green, belongs to Joseph Davie Basset, Esq. being an appendage of the manor of Umberleigh.
The barton of Langley belonged formerly to the Brittons, whose heiress married a younger son of the Pollard family. The representative of this branch was usher to Queen Elizabeth and James I. It has been some time extinct. Langley was afterward successively in the families Barry and Buck. By the latter, it was sold to George Smith [sic], Esq., the present proprietor, who resides at Langley.
Snape gave name to a family, whose heiress brought it to Baghill, and the heiress of Baghill to Stowford. Snape is now the property of Mr. Veale of Hatherleigh.
King Athelstan gave to the church of High Bickington a yoke of land, which now constitutes the rectorial manor, and consists of several lands and houses in the village called Corps-land.
There are some memorials in the parish church for the Addington family.2
The advowson of the rectory belongs to the Rev. William Moggridge Stawell of South Molton. It was purchased by his father, George Stawell, Esq.
Mrs. Gertrude Pyncombe gave £10 per annum for the support of two charity schools in this parish.
1 Chapple's MSS.
Note: Langley Barton was purchased by George Cooke in 1783 and remained in the Cooke family until 1878.