Doddiscombsleigh

Doddiscombsleigh is a small farming village and scattered parish in Devon about 6 miles south-west of Exeter. It is almost surrounded by wooded hills which rise to around 600 feet in the north-east towards Dunchideock and to a similar height in the south where Haldon Hill overlooks the villages of Ashton and Trusham.

The Teign valley lies a mile or so west of Doddiscombsleigh, with the nearby village of Christow just beyond the river Teign and Bridford a few miles to the north-west. Dunsford town lies about 3 miles to the north up the Teign valley alongside the village of Holcombe Burnell. The town of Chudleigh lies a similar distance along the Teign valley to the south.

Doddiscombsleigh Church
Doddiscombsleigh Church by Stephen McKay
© Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Doddiscombsleigh has two notable buildings – the Town Barton and the church of St Michael. The Town Barton is probably 16th century and backs on to the church grounds. It was formerly a manor house but now provides guest accommodation, complete with original four-poster "tester" bed, for the Nobody Inn, a pub-restaurant serving excellent food.

The church is 15th century, with traces of earlier work, and is noted for its medieval stained glass – five large windows in the north aisle dating from the middle of the 15th century – said to be amongst the best of their kind in the country. Opposite the east window, the graveyard contains the headstones of several COLDRIDGEs who were buried in the 1800s, including my great-great-great-grandparents.

The 1888 Ordnance survey map shows the village of Doddiscombsleigh including Pitt, Perry and Whitemoor farms. Woodah farm is just off the map to the north-west, unfortunately Holmbush farm isn't marked but the censuses put it next to Shute and Denthouse.

In the early 1800s Doddiscombsleigh also had three working manganese mines employing around 150 men. They were shallow mines exploiting the ores found in the metamorphic rock adjoining the Dartmoor granite and appear to have closed before 1900.

Doddiscombsleigh was also celebrated for its cider – "esteemed to be the finest in the county" according to the Topographical Dictionary of England (1848).