Ivybridge

took its name from ‘ye bridge which lieth over ye Erme, being much inclined to ivy’.

Sir William Pole, Devon historian.

Welcome to Ivybridge Uncovered

A Mill Town Heritage

The Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

The History of Ivybridge

The remains of stone-age hut circles can be found on Harford Moor, above Ivybridge, but the ivy-covered bridge, after which the town was later named, was first recorded in 1250; it is possible that it existed as a river crossing prior to the Doomsday Book of 1086. An early ‘King’s Highway’ from Exeter to Trematon Castle near Saltash, the 12th Century crossing may have been constructed by the monks of Plympton Priory (founded in 1121) to give them access to their lands at Wrangaton, Dean Prior and Buckfastleigh.

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Feb22.11
Feb22.11

Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

THE HISTORY OF IVYBRIDGE >

Fore Street in Ivybridge in bygone times had a variety of small traditional shops, ranging from butchers, bakers, grocers, haberdashers and hardware stores. There were also saddle and harness makers and even blacksmiths during a time when there was a greater dependence on horses.

The shops stayed open for large parts of the day which meant the shop assistants were required to work very long hours and generally all for a meagre wage. During the 1890s, several acts addressed their plight, giving these under-valued employees much better working conditions.

The large tree in the background was referred to as the ‘Meeting Tree’. Located outside Island Villas it was often the place to meet when special announcements were made.

Horace Salter, a local shopkeeper and historian documented that he believed the tree had been felled around 1930. “No ropes were used and a team of experts did a magnificent job. They needed to be inch perfect and as the tree fell the tree’s branches brushed shops on both sides of the road.”

Ivybridge

is picturesquely seated on the banks of the River Erme, where there is an ancient ivy mantled bridge …

The South Devon Railway crosses the valley by a bridge and viaduct, a little to the north, and has a station … It has a post office, several neat villas, and many good lodging houses; three large and commodious inns, two paper mills, a large corn mill, several good shops, an extensive joint-stock tannery and leather manufactory, a district church, and two chapels …The enchanting scenery of the village and neighbourhood attracts numerous visitors in summer and autumn, from Plymouth, Devonport, and other places ; and the inns and lodging houses afford excellent accommodation for all ranks…

History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire by William White 1850

By 1850, directories were fairly common; Pigot, Kelly and William White provided coverage of the country at fairly frequent intervals. These directories included street indexes, alphabetical lists of inhabitants, miscellaneous information on transport, religion, education and civic matters along with lists of classified trades and have proved invaluable to historians.

Ivybridge

is picturesquely seated on the banks of the River Erme, where there is an ancient ivy mantled bridge …

The South Devon Railway crosses the valley by a bridge and viaduct, a little to the north, and has a station … It has a post office, several neat villas, and many good lodging houses; three large and commodious inns, two paper mills, a large corn mill, several good shops, an extensive joint-stock tannery and leather manufactory, a district church, and two chapels …The enchanting scenery of the village and neighbourhood attracts numerous visitors in summer and autumn, from Plymouth, Devonport, and other places ; and the inns and lodging houses afford excellent accommodation for all ranks…

History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire by William White 1850

By 1850, directories were fairly common; Pigot, Kelly and William White provided coverage of the country at fairly frequent intervals. These directories included street indexes, alphabetical lists of inhabitants, miscellaneous information on transport, religion, education and civic matters along with lists of classified trades and have proved invaluable to historians.

Jan22.18

Our aim is to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

THE HISTORY OF IVYBRIDGE >

The Sportsman’s Arms

Established around 1830 this public house was formerly known as the Grocer’s Arms. It has seen many inn keepers and publicans come and go over the decades. During the Second World War it became popular with the American servicemen who were billeted at Uphill Camp in Ivybridge from May 1943.

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The Sportsman’s Arms

Established around 1830 this public house was formerly known as the Grocer’s Arms. It has seen many inn keepers and publicans come and go over the decades. During the Second World War it became popular with the American servicemen who were billeted at Uphill Camp in Ivybridge from May 1943.

Go to page >
Feb22.3

February – nature diary

The shortest month of the year is here heralded by bird song, whilst in sheltered spots the earliest flowers of spring raise their heads.

 

Snowdrops are abloom but soon it will be daffodils, anemones, and wild hyacinths.

Feb22.3

February – nature diary

The shortest month of the year is here heralded by bird song, whilst in sheltered spots the earliest flowers of spring raise their heads.

Snowdrops are abloom but soon it will be daffodils, anemones, and wild hyacinths.

Feb22.4

In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was a very beautiful Spartan prince and lover of the god Apollo. One day, Apollo was teaching him the game of quoit. Zephyrus, the God of the West wind, blew Apollo’s quoit  off course to kill Hyacinth. Apollo wept, blaming himself and from Hyacinth’s spilled blood, he created a flower, the hyacinth, and on its petals inscribed the words of despair, “AI AI” – “alas”.

Wild hyacinths in the UK have no marks on their petals and were named Hyacinthus non scripta, the hyacinth not inscribed or not written upon.

Feb22.4

In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was a very beautiful Spartan prince and lover of the god Apollo. One day, Apollo was teaching him the game of quoit. Zephyrus, the God of the West wind, blew Apollo’s quoit  off course to kill Hyacinth. Apollo wept, blaming himself and from Hyacinth’s spilled blood, he created a flower, the hyacinth, and on its petals inscribed the words of despair, “AI AI” – “alas”.

Wild hyacinths in the UK have no marks on their petals and were named Hyacinthus non scripta, the hyacinth not inscribed or not written upon.

Ivybridge

Neither the shriek of the locomotive nor the tall chimney of a paper manufactory can brutify the many rural and forest attractions. It is changed, no doubt, since the time when the manor was given by Sir Hugh Peverell to his relative Alfred de Ponte Hedera from whom through the Dymocks it descended to the last of the Bonvilles…

 

Description of Ivybridge 1865

Feb22.6

Ivybridge

Neither the shriek of the locomotive nor the tall chimney of a paper manufactory can brutify the many rural and forest attractions. It is changed, no doubt, since the time when the manor was given by Sir Hugh Peverell to his relative Alfred de Ponte Hedera from whom through the Dymocks it descended to the last of the Bonvilles…

 

Description of Ivybridge 1865

The estate which had taken the name ‘Ivybridge’ in the parish of Ermington in the 13th century had attained manor and barton status by 1576.

 

A Lord of the Manor enjoyed rights to establish and occupy a residence , known as the manor house and demesne (manorial land used for their own use and not held by tenants) whilst the word barton refers to the Lord’s home farm.

 

It is not certain where the manor house stood but the barton farm is indicated on old maps at Pound Farm. The manor belonged to the Peverels, lords of the hundred of Ermington at an early period. History also records that the manor belonged to Alfred de Ponte Hedera and later his son Matthew. Through the marriage of his daughter Isabel it passed to the Dymock family before  passing to Lord William Bonville and several generations of his family. Through further marriage, the manor passed to the Crocker family.

 

Early in the 17th century, Thomas Williams of Stowford bought the manor, but within a few years it passed to the Drakes, a famous family of yeoman stock. The Drakes seemed to take little interest in Ivybridge, and the estate was sold to John Rogers of Wisdome in Cornwood during the latter part of the seventeenth century. Having also acquired the Blachford estate shortly afterwards, John Rogers and six generations of his family were to keep Ivybridge as part of their estate throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

Early Ivybridge Historians

In 1889 it was reported in the local newspaper that Robert Ford, a local farmer and member of the Local Board of Health in Ivybridge, had in his possession a publication entitled “The Gospel Magazine” from 1776. In it was a letter written by John Rogers to his wife on the night before his execution which took place on 4 February 1555. John Rogers was the first of 284 martyrs who were burned at Smithfield during the reign of Queen Mary.

What interest was this to the people of Ivybridge you might ask?

The gentleman in question was a relative of the incumbent Lords of Manor, the Rogers family of Blachford. History records that the family had descended from the Rev. Vincent Rogers of Stratford-le-Bow and he was believed to have been the son of this protomartyr John Rogers who was described in this book of 1776. Descendants had settled in Plymouth becoming wealthy merchants during a time when colonial trade was vast. The baronetcy was created in 1698 and during the same year, the first baronet, John Rogers, was elected M.P. for the borough. From that time onwards, succeeding baronets occupied leading positions in the town of Plymouth.

The Gospel Magazine is Britain’s oldest surviving magazine first published in 1766. An early author was Augustus Montague Toplady an Anglican cleric and major Calvinist opponent of John Wesley. In 1766 he was incumbent of Harpford and Venn Ottery, two villages in Devon. He was also a hymn writer his most famous being “Rock of Ages”.

A little history regarding the protomartyr John Rogers

John Rogers was a well educated man and had travelled to Antwerp as chaplain to the Merchants’ Adventurers. Whilst there he met with William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale. William Tyndale (spelt in a variety of ways in the history books ) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation. He translated the Bible into English, influenced by Erasmus and Martin Luther. His translation was the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation and the first to take advantage of the printing press. It was taken to be a direct challenge to the Catholic Church.

 

Tyndale’s work came to the attention of King Henry VIII and provided the king in 1534 with reasoning to break the Church of England away from the Catholic Church. In 1530, Tyndale had opposed Henry’s annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and as a result fled the country but was arrested and jailed in a castle on the outskirts of Brussels. In 1536, he was convicted of heresy and executed and his body was burned at the stake. His dying prayer was that the King of England’s eyes would be opened; this seemed to find its fulfilment just one year later with Henry’s authorisation of the Matthew Bible, which was largely Tyndale’s own work, with missing sections translated by John Rogers and Miles Coverdale.

 

John Rogers eventually returned to England and made reader and prebendary of St. Paul’s. During the reign of Mary Tudor he preached a sermon exhorting the people to beware of the errors of popery which ultimately led to his imprisonment at Newgate before being burned at Smithfield. He wrote the letter to his wife on the eve of his execution having been denied the privilege of seeing her and saying farewell.

John Rogers – First Baronet

In 1690 John Rogers entered into an agreement with John Hele to purchase the ancient estate of Wisdome, part of the manor of Blachford in the parish of Cornwood. Shortly after this the manor of Ivybridge was put on the market by William Drake (a distant relation to Sir Francis) and was purchased by John Rogers. Rogers then became interested in the remainder of the Blachford estate which  was still owned by the Hele family who had acquired it in 1620 by the same transaction by which they had acquired Wisdome. In 1694 Rogers purchased the leasehold on part of the estate and on the marriage of his son, also John, he conveyed the manor of Ivybridge and leasehold of Blachford to him.

Sir John Rogers – Second Baronet

Sir John Rogers, the first baronet died in 1710 and his son John followed his late father into Parliament in 1713. Two years later, and five years after the death of Sir John, the first baronet, the Hele family conveyed the inheritance of Blachford to John’s son, so completing the Rogers’ title to the estate. However, with his attentions channelled towards his political career there was little opportunity for attending to his estates and indeed the welfare of Ivybridge. Its small community with manor corn mills did not seem to expand and it wasn’t until the enterprising fifth baronet, Sir Frederick Leman Rogers, who succeeded to the manor in 1777, did Ivybridge resume its growth into a community recognisable as a village.

Sir Frederick Leman Rogers – Fifth Baronet

In 1780 Sir Frederick was elected to Parliament serving Plymouth but 4 years later he did not put his name forward for re-election preferring to focus on the improvement of Ivybridge. His contribution included the introduction of a cattle market at the lower end of Fore Street and the donation of land for the building of a Chapel of Ease so the local worshippers did not have to walk the 3 miles or so to Harford or Ermington, the nearest parish churches. He also built a racecourse on Henlake Down where annual race meetings were held. The village also began to expand during his time with houses and shops built on the north side of Fore Street. His last contribution was the replacement of the old ‘Royal Oak’ inn which had served the village for a hundred years, when he backed a local man, Christopher Lethbridge, in building a new inn on the old manor house land at the lower end of the village. Sadly Sir Frederick died before the inn was built but his son, Sir John Leman Rogers allowed Mr Lethbridge to fulfil his plan and a new inn, appropriately named ‘The Rogers’ Arms’, was established.

Sir Frederic Rogers – Eighth Baronet

Sir Frederic Rogers was born on 1811 and succeeded his father Sir Frederick Leman Rogers in 1851.

In 1847 he married Georgina Mary, daughter of Mr. Andrew Colville of Ochiltree and Craigflower, Scotland.

Together they became well respected members of the community. They, unlike some of their predecessors, took a deep personal interest in Ivybridge, particularly regarding the building of the new church. On 8 June 1881 Lord Blachford laid the foundation stone and the church was completed the following year.

Sir Frederic died in 1889. In his honour the community arranged for a memorial brass plaque to be placed inside St Johns Church as a ‘fitting token of the deep and affectionate regard in which his memory is held’.

In the centre of Cornwood and close to Blachford Lodge entrance gates, a large granite cross was erected by the parishioners in memory of Sir Frederick Rogers, the eight baronet, and Lady Blachford. It bears the inscription:

In grateful memory of Frederick Rogers, Lord Blachford, K.C.M.G. and his wife, Georgina Mary.

Sir Frederick had been appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1869 Birthday Honours and a Knight Grand Cross in the 1883 Birthday Honours.

Nature Diary – Moving towards March

Crocuses have opened their yellow and purple chalices to the sun. Daisies are in bloom, but it is the winter aconites which afford the best garden display.

In botanical nomenclature Winter Aconite it is eranthis hyemalis from the Greek ‘er’ meaning spring and ‘Anthos’ meaning flower. This is combined with the Latin hyemalis, meaning ‘winter-flowering’.

Other common names are winter hellebore and winter wolf’s bane.

A member of the buttercup family it is readily recognisable from the polished yellow flowers and collar of green leaves. Winter aconites are spring ephemerals, appearing in the early spring to exploit the short periods of light and bloom before the tree canopy comes in leaf and shades the woodland floor. They frequently come up through the snow and even tolerate a small amount of frost, opening their buttercup-like blooms at the earliest chance. Once they are in flower they quickly disappear again along with their foliage, retreating to their underground tubers until winter appears again.

Nature Diary

Moving towards March

Crocuses have opened their yellow and purple chalices to the sun. Daisies are in bloom, but it is the winter aconites which afford the best garden display.

In botanical nomenclature Winter Aconite it is eranthis hyemalis from the Greek ‘er’ meaning spring and ‘Anthos’ meaning flower. This is combined with the Latin hyemalis, meaning ‘winter-flowering’.

Other common names are winter hellebore and winter wolf’s bane.

A member of the buttercup family it is readily recognisable from the polished yellow flowers and collar of green leaves. Winter aconites are spring ephemerals, appearing in the early spring to exploit the short periods of light and bloom before the tree canopy comes in leaf and shades the woodland floor. They frequently come up through the snow and even tolerate a small amount of frost, opening their buttercup-like blooms at the earliest chance. Once they are in flower they quickly disappear again along with their foliage, retreating to their underground tubers until winter appears again.

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HERITAGE DONOR CARD

To help preserve historical documents, objects and photographs, we have created a Heritage Donor Card for individuals to make donations of such items to Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group. Please go to our ‘Links’ page for further information.

COPYRIGHT

All rights, including copyright, in the content of these pages are owned or controlled for these purposes by Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group.

IHAG2021

HERITAGE DONOR CARD

To help preserve historical documents, objects and photographs, we have created a Heritage Donor Card for individuals to make donations of such items to Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group. Please go to our ‘Links’ page for further information.

COPYRIGHT

All rights, including copyright, in the content of these pages are owned or controlled for these purposes by Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group.

IHAG2021