Berry Pomeroy, Devon
Berry-Pomeroy, a village and a parish in Devonshire. The village stands l½ mile E by N of Totnes station on the G.W.R. The parish includes also Bridgetown, a suburb of Totnes, on the river Dart. Post town, Totnes. Acreage, 4483; population, 1073. Berry-Pomeroy Castle, on a rock, surrounded with wooded heights, in the neighbourhood of the village, was built by Ralph de Pomeroy, a follower of the Conqueror; inhabited by his descendants till 1549; conveyed then to Protector Somerset; enlarged soon after, with magnificent additions, at a cost of upwards of £20,000; inhabited, for the last time, by Sir Edward Seymour in the time of James II.; and traditionally said to have been destroyed by lightning. The ivy-mantled walls of it, the great gateway, a round tower, a Tudor front of Protector Somerset's addition, and part of a Jacobean court of the time of Charles I., are still standing, shattered and unroofed, and form, with the accompaniments of the dell and the woods, a very romantic object. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £280 with residence. Patron, the Duke of Somerset. The church is an ancient structure of nave, chancel, and aisles, and contains a handsome screen and tombs of the Seymours. John Prince, author of the "Worthies of Devon," was vicar for forty-two years, and lies interred in the church. In 1879 the interior was thoroughly restored at a cost of about £3000.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Berry-Pomeroy St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Totnes|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1600.
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary, built by the Pomeroys, is an ancient edifice of stone, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, but with remains of Early English and Decorated work, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 8 bells, four dated respectively 1635, 1829, 1750 and 1607, two added in the year 1897, when the remainder were rehung and two others in 1909: in the north wall of the chancel is an altar tomb under a grained and canopied arch; the sides are panelled in quatrefoils, some of which have shields displaying the emblems of the Crucifixion; at the back of the arch are matrices of four kneeling effigies, four children and four shields, and two other carved shields of Pomeroy and Pomeroy impaling Denzell: this tomb commemorates Sir Richard Pomeroy kt, ob. 1501, and Elizabeth (Denzell), his wife: the east window of this aisle exhibits the arms of Pomeroy, Raleigh and Beaumont, and there is a memorial window to P. Bennitt esq. and one to the Rev. Arthur Joseph Everett M.A. vicar here 1861-1895: in the north aisle is a monument in the Elizabethan style, to Sir Edward Seymour bart, grandson of the Protector Somerset. ob. 11 Ap. 1613, his wife Elizabeth (Champernowne), and eleven children: in the chancel is a memorial tablet to the Rev. John Prince, author of "The Worthies of Devon" and 42 years vicar of this parish, who died in 1723, and in the north aisle is a brass inscription to Henry Dypforde, ob. 14 Oct. 1590, and Elizabeth, his wife: the foliaged capitals of the piers on the north side incorporate scrolls bearing the names of 7 persons and their wives who contributed to the rebuilding of this part of the church: the church also retains a fine oak screen. 46 feet in length and groined on both sides; it is of ten bays, with the original paintings and three doorways, but the doors are missing; there are also, two parcloses, with traces of colour: the south porch is groined and the bosses have the Pomeroy arms: in 1879 the interior was thoroughly restored at a cost of about £3,000 and again in 1900 at a cost of £120 and has 200 sittings: in the churchyard is the tomb of Archibald Algernon Seymour, 13th Duke of Somerset, d. 1891.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Berry Pomeroy from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Berry-Pomeroy (St. Mary))
- History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devon, by William White, 2nd edition, 1878-9
Online maps of Berry Pomeroy are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:
The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564, with additions from the earlier visitation of 1531, is online.
The Visitations of the County of Devon, comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by Lieutant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, published for the author by Henry S. Eland, Exeter 1895 is online.