Lyson, Magna Brittanica, 1822
YARNSCOMBE, in the hundred of Hartland and in the deanery of Barnstaple, lies between eight and nine miles from Barnstaple, and about five from Torrington.
The manor of Great Yarnscombe belonged anciently to the barons of Torrington. The Hundred Roll of Edward I speaks of Hugh Peverell and John Hureward as lords of Yarnscombe1, and as having power of life and death. In the reign of Henry V, the manor belonged to the family of Cockworthy, whose heiress brought it to Trevelyan. It is now the property of Lord Rolle, whose ancestor, Sir John Rolle, died seised of it in 1708. Court, which was once a seat of the Cockworthy family, and afterwards of the Trevelyans, is now a farm-house. The manor of Little Yarnscombe was anciently in the family of Salvain, and pased by successive female heirs to Fitzwarren, Davailes, or Davel2, and Harris. It was purchased of the latter, in 1721, by Peter Wellington, Esq., grandfather of the Rev. Peter Wellington Furse, the present proprietor. A manor called Yarnsford Hankford (no doubt from the Hankfords, who were connected with the Fitzwarrens,) was the property of John Bellew Esq., of Stockley English, recently deceased. The manor of Way also extends into this parish.
Cogworthy, sometime the property and residence of the Champneys family, now belongs to Mrs. Harding, a widow lady of Barnstaple, whose grandfather (Cottle) obtained this estate by marriage with the heiress of Champneys.
The parish-church is said to have stood formerly at a place called Chircombe. Risdon says that there was, in ancient times, a chapel at Little Yarnscombe, and that the families of Herward and Barry presented alternately to Great and Little Yarnscombe. The chapel spoken of by Risdon has been converted into a cottage: it is on an estate called Lower Chapple. Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, in the early part of the fourteenth century, is said to have given the church of Yarnscombe to the hospital of St. John at Exeter, for the relief of poor children; but it appears by the Originalia in the Exchequer, 18 Edw. II, that the Bishop gave it to the priory of Frithelstock.
In the parish-church is an ancient monument of the family of Cockworthy, with an imperfect date (14..); and some memorials of Trevelyan3, Pollard4 and Champneys5. Mr. Incledon, in his Church Notes, mentions Hugh Fortescue, of Weare, 1609. The impropriation is now vested in Lord Rolle. The King is patron of the vicarage.