Medieval Relics

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The crown may have granted the manor of Bideford to Sir Richard de Granville in reward for his service in Wales, for it made strategic sense. The Granville family also held the Manor of Stowe, just over the border in Cornwall, and were thus well placed to defend their stake…

Norman Conquest and the Establishment of the Grenvilles

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The Norman conquest saw the manor of Bideford pass from Brictric to William the Conqueror’s wife Matilda of Flanders. Thus becoming an ancient demesne, exempt from tax and toll by virtue of belonging to the crown. Upon her death, in 1083, it reverted to the regent, thence to be granted…

Roman and Saxon Period

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Once the Romans arrived, they established a transit camp in nearby Alverdiscott. This lay on their route to Great Torrington, but also provided a watchful presence over the Bideford crossing. Upon the departure of the Romans, a Saxon administration took over. East-the-Water fell at the NE edge of the Hundred…

The Turbulent Stream

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It was the river that defined the location of East-the-Water. The Celts named it Torridge, meaning ‘turbulent stream,’ and, as it rises on the western moors, heavy rainfall can certainly make it live up to its Celtic name. But it is not rain alone that accounts for the strong currents…

Pre History

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East-the-Water sits on folded and eroded Carboniferous rocks, in which some layers proved suitable for building stone. In a belt running east to west across the middle of the community these rocks also contain seams of carbonised plant material in the form of anthracite or, less commonly, the carbonaceous pigment…