Filleigh, north devon

 

During some genealogy work on Jason's family (done by his Uncle), it was discovered that prior to emigrating to the US, their family had roots in North Devon.  Although various people came from assorted towns, there was a concentration in the Filleigh area.  As the title above points out, Filleigh is in North Devon, about 12 miles SE of Barnstaple.  The nearest big-ish town is South Molton.  So when Jason's parents came to visit us, we went on a field trip to Devon. As we discovered, Filleigh itself is very small, and unfortunately no longer has a village shop or post office.  However it does have a hotel that is very nice indeed, the Stag's Head Inn:

As you can see, the building is quite old (dating from the 1600s I believe they said) and features a thatched roof. If you're interested in thatched rooves, try this site:
http://www.britainexpress.com/History/thatching.htm

Some of us liked the thatched roofing, others didn't.  Certain other family members who are complete PANSIES when it comes to spiders spent the two nights we had there nervously leaping about at any sign of (imagined) spider activity. Others of us grew up in places with spiders that can kill you before you'd even notice (AND if you DID notice it wouldn't do you any good) so don't waste time boggling in fear at harmless British spiders.  Crikey and all that. (Yes I had to say it before certain other readers out there had a go!).

As you can see in the above picture, the thatching extends to the door....thingies..... note also the 'bird' on top of the main door thatching here.  My room is the one with the open window over the bar entrance  :)  And speaking of the room:

Note the thatching isn't bare on the inside, but is safely (arachnoid wise) plastered out of sight! You can, however, see the exposed beams.  Very "British" :)

The Stag's Head was built beside a former quarry (former quarries are also known as "big holes" I believe!) and this particular one had been turned into a pond.  Or lake.  Not sure at what size ponds start being lakes..... but anyhow:

A very pretty pond/lake, and hopefully you can make out in the third picture above that it was also heavily stocked with trout!  There was even a fish-food dispenser there where, for the sum of 20p, you can fling food into the water and watch it churn like a scene from a piranha movie.  Anyway, it was a great place to stay.  The people were very helpful and nice, the rooms were comfortable and the food was superb!  So consider that a recommendation for the Stag's Head Inn: http://www.stagshead.co.uk/

Anyhow, we were there to see Filleigh, so the morning after our evening arrival we wandered off to find the church.  This turned out to be about 2 miles away via road.  The scenery there was very pretty if, like me, you prefer fields and little stone buildings to big cities.  Once we reached the church, St. Paul's, we found that this too was very picturesque.

St. Paul's has a bit of a complicated history, as the local Lords of the Manor had it moved at one point in it's history. This current version dates from the mid seventeenth century.  It is on a hill, and so commands a lovely view:

The view is attractive, but the neighbours are nosey.  The graveyard is relatively small, but featured a few of Jason's relations so they (Jason and his parents) were pleased with that  :)  There was also the common sight in Britain, the village War Memorial:

The inside of the church was also very attractive.  An interesting feature were the real bells (and therefore bell-pulls!) - quite unlike our local church which, although much older, has an electronic chiming clock and no bells that ever sound.

   

The local lords, the Earls Fortescue, had donated most of the money concerned in the building and equipping of the church over the years.  Here are the last Fortescues in the cemetery:

There is no current Earl Fortescue as the heir of the time (Viscount Ebrington) was killed in 1942 at El Alamein during World War Two (he was a Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Guards).

Strange to end on a fungal note, but this was an interesting bit in the cemetery!  I think I saw a murder mystery movie once that hinged on a fungus like this.  Be warned  ;)

In case you're interested in Filleigh, here are a couple of links:
http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/Filleigh/    This site features a description of Filleigh as it was in 1850.
http://www.filleighchurch.org.uk/    Here is the website of St. Paul's
 

And that's about it for Filleigh.  We had a very quick trip (only one full day) but enjoyed it very much.  We hope to go back sometime before leaving the UK, as the countryside was beautiful and well worth a relaxing stay.

 

Go back if you want to see anything else  :)