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Church House, South Tawton, Devon, UK

 

 

 

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Historical Timeline


Date
World Events
South Tawton, St. Andrew's and Church House

1086  

The Manor of South Tawton (Tauetona) appears in Domesday Book (1086) as a demesne of the King, and as a portion of the dowry of Githa, the mother of King Harold.

1199   The church probably originated as a manorial chapel, but the "parochia de Suthaw- thune" South Tawton Parish is met with as early as 1199.
1262  

First known Parish Priests: Nicholas Lungespeye appointed Rector of St Andrew's Alan de Yeteminstre appointed Vicar

1387

Geoffrey Chaucer begins work on The Canterbury Tales

 

1431

Jeanne d'Arc burned as a witch at Rouen ; Henry VI of England crowned king of France in Paris

? Was there an earlier 2 bay Church House on the site that the current one (built in 1490) now stands?

1454

Printing with movable type is perfected in Germany by Johannes Gutenberg

 

1469

 

Walter Rendell appointed Parish Priest (to 1499 - in post when Church House was built)

 

1476

William Caxton sets up printing press at Westminster

 

1483

 

Richard III King of England (to 1485); Edward V and his brother (little princes ) are murdered in the Tower of London

 

1484

Caxton prints Morte D'Arthur , the poetic collection of legends about King Arthur compiled by Sir Thomas Malory

 

1485

Battle of Bosworth Field Henry Tudor defeats and kills Richard III in the decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses. Takes throne as Henry 7th

Late 1400s - St Andrew's church enlarged and rebuilt - main patron Wyke family & other wealthy landowners. Statues to St. Andrew, St. Peter, St. George, St. Katherine, Jesus, Mary.

1490

 

Church House is (re?)built as a five bay Parish Hall with kitchen for baking, brewing and cooking on ground floor and feasting hall on upper floor. Church Ales (feasting events with entertainments) a regular feature at the many church holidays to raise money for church upkeep, charities and running costs.

Roof carvings in St Andrew's paid for by Church Ales

1497

John Cabot discovers Newfoundland

 

1509

Henry VIII becomes king

 

1517

The Protestant Reformation begins; Martin Luther nails his "95 Theses" against the practice of selling indulgences, on the church door at Wittenberg

 

1534

Act of Supremacy : Henry VIII declared supreme head of the Church of England

 

1536

Dissolution of monasteries in England begins under the direction of Thomas Cromwell, completed in 1539. Act of Union - England Wales

 

1539

 

Statues, altars and paintings etc removed from St Andrew's by royal decree

1543

 

145 Householders noted paying tax in South Tawton Parish (main income Sheep Farming and Cloth Making)

1548

 

The church authorities banned Church Ales

1549

Edward VI's Book of Common Prayer - abolished the Latin mass

Adjoining Parish Sampford Courtenay Murder and Rebellion against Book of Common Prayer

1553

Mary I daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England (to 1558); Restoration of Roman Catholic bishops in England

St Andrew's - altar rebuilt & mass book and pyx bought again

1554

 

New rood for St. Andrew's and cross & cope brought back

1555

 

A new face for St Peter statue carved and new image of St. Andrew. Note regarding payment for "game, meat, drink and making a dressing board"

1555 - 1562 A poor child's keep paid for by the Parish

1558

Elizabeth I daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, becomes Queen; Repeal of Catholic legislation in England

John Servys appointed Parish Priest. Statues, altars etc. stripped again and 4 parishioners excommunicated for failing to take down rood loft in time. Various attempts to ban church ales. An inventory of 1558-59 notes contents - boards, tressels, "crockes & and olde pan.... a lytell cawdron" and "Fetch crock from Colbroke - boards, planks, spit, cauldron etc."

1563 - 65

 

"Great crock" (brewing pot) mentioned. Crock mended.

1571

 

Notes of barrel repair& cloth made.

1572 -73

 

Major building/repair works to church house - west end wall & hearth reconstruct "taking down a wall, carry stones, scaffolding, pointing, nails, thatch, oven, clean up" plus a Rood for Church House

1575

 

Oven repaired and re-thatched

1572 - 76

 

" paid for food, clothes & lodging for Eston's child"

1579 - 83

Stubbes abuses "merrie making" calls to end ales and church holidays

 

1586

Expedition of Sir Francis Drake to the West Indies

 

1588

The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English fleet under Lord Howard of Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins

 

1597

Tillage Act

 

1599

 

In 1599 CHURCH ALES were declared unlawful at all times in Devon and in a Canon of 1603 they were prohibited everywhere.

1600

Elizabeth I grants charter to East India Company

 

1601

Elizabethan Poor Law charges the parishes with providing for the needy; Job creation & chastisement

1603 Church House possibly used as a Poor House?

1605

Gunpowder Plot ; Guy Fawkes and other Roman Catholic conspirators fail in attempt to blow up Parliament and James I

 

1610

Hudson Bay discovered

 

1611

James I's authorized version (King James Version) of the Bible is completed

 

1624

Virginia becomes crown colony

 

1629

Famine in England

 

1642

Civil War breaks out

 

1649

Charles I is tried and executed ; The Commonwealth is established and lasts until 1660

Church Ales finally die away in the country due to Puritan pressure - Church House used for meetings and as a store (building materials, tables, etc)

1660

Parliament restores Charles II to throne

 

1661

English acquire Bombay

 

1663

 

Parish applies to appoint schoolmaster - various repairs to Church House

1664

England siezes New Amsterdam from the Dutch, change name to New York

Purchase of benches for school in Church House

1665

Great Plague in London

 

1666

Great Fire of London

 

1679

Act of Habeas Corpus passed, forbidding imprisonment without trial. Whigs ( Liberals ) & Tories ( Conservatives ) formed

 

1690

King William defeats the Irish and French armies of his father-in-law at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland

 

1694

Foundation of the Bank of England

 

1699

 

Stephen Morehouse appointed Parish Priest

1700

 

New chimney added in center of Church House. Timbers cut 1699-1700, adding 4 more fireplaces (2 up and 2 down) and 2 rooms up and 3 down. Also east first floor ceiling added and door to lobby.

Were the outside stone steps added now?

1704

The British capture Gibraltar from Spain

 

1707

The Act of Union unites the kingdoms of England and Scotland and transfers the seat of Scottish Government to London

 

1719

South Sea Bubble bursts, leaving many investors ruined after speculating with stock of the 'South Sea Company'

 

1723

Poor Law Act - Workhouses for commercial exploitation & to punish

 

1726

Jonathan Swift publishes his 'Gulliver's Travels'

 

1738

John and Charles Wesley start the Methodist movement in Britain

 

1740

 

Notes regarding 'Righting' the oven - purchase of wood for oven to burn & straw to make cob

1744

 

Sweeping the chimneys became a regular expenditure - for instance 15 times between 1744 and 1769.

1754

 

Thomas White appointed Parish priest
'Little Necessary House' built outside Church House

1755

Johnson's Dictionary published

 

1769

James Watt patents the Steam Engine

 

1775

American War of Independence begins

 

1776

On 4th July, the American Congress passes their Declaration of Independence from Britain

 

1783

Britain recognises American independence at the Peace of Versailles

 

1789

Outbreak of the French Revolution

 

1799

 

About this time, the use of Church House as a school ends

1801

The first British Census is undertaken

 

1804

 

First mention of Church House as a Poor House

1805

Nelson destroys the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar

 

1813

Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' is published.

 

1815

The defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo marks the end of the Napoleonic Wars

 

1818

Mary Shelley's publishes her 'Frankenstein '

 

1819

 

Alteration to Church House - west end chimney blocked up. Fireplace (& partition?) installed upstairs

1821-23

Famine in Ireland

 

1825

The World's first railway service , the Stockton and Darlington Railway opens. Trade Unions are legalized

 

1829

The Metropolitan Police Force is set up by Robert Peel.

 

1830-32

First major cholera epidemic in Britain

 

1833

Abolition of Slavery in British Empire . Factory Act prohibiting under nines from work in factories and reducing working hrs of women & older children

 

1834

Parliament passes the Poor Law Act , establishing workhouses for the poor

 

1837

Queen Victoria to throne. Charles Dickens publishes 'Oliver Twist ,' Births, deaths and marriages must be registered by law

 

1840

The penny post is instituted

 

1841

The first British Census recording the names of the populace is undertaken.

Census : There were 20 people in four rooms in Church House

1842

 

Outside steps extended, Door from first floor east room knocked out and railings added to steps

1844-45

Railways mania explodes across Britain . Massive investment and speculation leads to the laying of 5,000 miles of track

 

1845-49

Irish Potato Famine kills more than a million people

 

1848

Parliament passes the Public Health Act

 

1851

The Great Exhibition is staged in Hyde Park

Census : Details of four big families living in Church House

1853

Vaccination against smallpox is made compulsory

 

1854

Workhouses introduced

 

1859

Charles Darwin publishes his 'The Origin of the Species'

 

1861

 

Census : Church House still a Poor House

1863

The Salvation Army is founded

 

1870

Primary education becomes compulsory in Britain

 

1880s

Dairy Schools introduced

Use as Poor House gradually discontinued

1881

 

Census : ? Almshouse - Deserving Poor Women?

1888

The County Councils' Act establishes representative county based authorities

 

1899-1902

Boer War in South Africa

 

1914

First World War starts

 

1915

 

Photo of Traveling Dairy School in Church house

1916

 

Upper floor used for Sunday School & Meetings

1918

End of World War 1

 

1939

World War 2 starts

 

1940

27 th may - 4 th June - Dunkirk Evacuation

Billeting for Dunkirk Soldiers and then used as a Canteen

1945s

World War 2 ends

'3 wooden screens' noted- Store for coal, equipment and coffin

1961 - 75

Vietnamese War

Peter Apps appointed Parish Priest

1962

 

Kitchen, drains and toilets added, first floor hall re-floored and electricity installed for 700th anniversary of first Parish Priests

1967

 

Church House 'Listed' Grade 2 - 22nd February 1967

1962 - 2002

 

Used for Youth Club, Sunday School, Christening, Funerals and Quaker Meetings etc.

1969

First moon landing - 20 th July

 

1980

 

John Ellis appointed Parish Priest
Need for renovation noted.

1985

 

First Church House Management Committee (disbanded 1989)

1987

 

Listed Grade 2 * upgrade - suggested uses: art exhibitions, small family/group parties, committee meetings. working groups, reading circles, discussion groups, public meetings, workshops, exhibitions, film/tv location, training/education courses, cultural open visits

1989

Berlin Wall falls 9 th November

Barry Wood appointed Parish Priest

2001 World Trade Centre Disaster September 11  

2002

Euro currency introduced

Church House needed re-thatching. Deborah Griffiths(Head of Archaeology DNPA) suggests comprehensive restoration.
3rd October: Public Meeting. Decided to apply for grants and Working Party formed.

November: Working Party report should set up Management Committee and get Structural and Historical Surveys.
December: Dartmoor National Park funding and advice.

2003

Space shuttle Columbia explodes
Iraq war

29th January: Inaugural Meeting of Church House Committee
26th February: Okehampton Times Notice to set up "Friends of Church House" to raise finance.
Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund (DNPA & DERFA), English Heritage, Parish Council and Friends of Church House fund the commisioning of 1. Historical Survey 2. Feasibility Study 3. Architectural Condition Survey
March: Keystone Buildings Historical Survey received
April: Interest shown by artist groups
7th May: John Christian Art Exhibition
21st May: Friends of Church House officially launched
28 th May: Management Committee Constitution accepted

Jun 6: Michael Thayer appointed Parish Priest
17th July, 27th Aug, 17th October: Meetings
September: Preparation of bids for funding to HLF and other sources
3rd December: Van der Steen Hall's Architectural Condition Survey received
28th December: Cynthia Gaskell Brown's Feasibility Study received

2004

Asian tsunami on Boxing Day

10th January Application for Heritage Lottery Fund grant
24 th March: Meg Wolton resigned AGM
14th April: Cynthia Gaskell-Brown & Allen Architects appointed
16th June: Heritage Lottery Fund granted (£274,000 - 78%)
Applications to other Trusts and Charities for remaining 22%
25th November: John Letts thatch investigation
2nd December: Ian Tyers dendrochronology investigation

2005

Pakistan Earthquake

Quantity Surveyor appointed (Bare, Leaning and Bare) and tenders invited for Main Contractor.
18th February: Darrock and Brown appointed as Main Contractors and Malcolm Hayes as Thatcher
17th March: Historical Interpretation Drawings commissioned from Dr. Pat Hughes
22nd March: Inaugural Meeting of whole Restoration team
25th April: Contractors arrive and restoration commences
10th May: Thermal Imaging investigation Robert Demaus
30th November - St. Andrew's Day: Restoration complete. Church House opened by Deborah Griffiths Dartmoor National Park Authority

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