A bit more about North Molton, which featured in yesterday’s blip.
Immediately after World War 2 North Molton was an estate village, owing its existence and many of its jobs to the Bampfylde family, the Barons Poltimore, who owned much of the land around. Many of the houses in the village were owned by the Poltimores, as could be seen from the distinctive red colour of doors and woodwork. As I recall, Lord Poltimore, ‘Lordy’, was regarded with a slightly amused deference. Lady Poltimore was much loved for her beneficence, which included annual Sunday School trips to the seaside and the production of village pantomimes at Christmas.
Lord and Lady Poltimore emigrated to Rhodesia, disheartened, it was said, by the death of their son in a riding accident, as well as a series of lesser misfortunes which included the election of a Labour government. Most of the estate lands and farms were sold, and North Molton lost its character of estate village. When the Poltimores left, it was said, the rooks deserted Bampfylde Cluster, a huge ring of beech trees on the skyline above the village.
This is the closely guarded tomb of an earlier Poltimore, Sir Amyas Bampfylde (d1626), in North Molton Parish Church. His widow Elizabeth is depicted mourning with their children. They had seventeen, which might have contributed to her sorrowful demeanour.
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