The village has been fortunate over the years in having had a number of residents who have spent much time in accumulating historical records relating to our past, along with a large collection of memories collected and written down to preserve them before they were lost for all time. A collection of photographs which now numbers over 700 has also been collected by Peter and Freda Tout and John Usmar and can be viewed on our main history site at www.witheridge-historical-archive.com. Work by a previous vicar in the shape of Rev JAS Castlehow, and retired teacher and traveller John Benson, are complemented by the large collection of personal memories and photographs collected by Peter and Freda Tout and John Usmar, as well as a number of books, again written by Peter and Freda Tout and John Usmar.

More recently the Witheridge Historical Archive, formed to ensure that these works are preserved for future generations, commissioned an electronic copy of the 1837 Tithe Map, and, with co-operation from the Devon Record Office this has now been completed and has exceeded everyone's expectations.  We have added to this a modern copy of the original Tithe Apportionment and copies of this will be made available to genuine researchers upon request.

Copies of the 1841, 1851, 1861,1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 Census are now also held by the archive. It is our policy to ensure that all original material is passed to the County Records Office with the archive retaining copies.

Witheridge, occupied by man for several thousands of years, is set amidst un-spoilt undulating countryside linked by two rivers, the Little Dart and the Adworthy Brook. Situated at a height of 600 feet above sea level, and set on rolling hills in the beautiful Country side of North Devon, with Exmoor National Park to the North, and Dartmoor National Park a short distance away to the South. It is an enchanting, often forgotten region of the county, with many wooded valleys associated with the path of the Little Dart River, and a variety of beautiful countryside scenes, rolling hills, hidden woodlands, and spectacular scenery, all of which give it a remote and tranquil feeling difficult to find elsewhere these days. Many of our farms appeared in the Doomsday Book of 1086. In earlier times, Bronze Age people grew crops, and raised their funeral mounds on Witheridge and Dart Raffe Moors, and before them Stone Age folk left flint flakes in the soil for us to find.

The material on our Historical Archive site spans the centuries with a range of events, in the 13th century there were a couple of grim murders, in the 14th we felt the effects of the Black Death, and the Reformation saw us acquire five church bells from a priory in Barnstaple. Some Witheridge men played a part in the Civil Wars, and at that time others lost their lives in an attempt to steal hidden treasure. The 18th Century had a local man, William Chapple; describe the parish in detail in his reply to the Milles Inquiry.

At the end of the 1700s, our first school was established, and in the 1830s, an extra section was added to the church tower. In 1839, the Witheridge Union Society formed, and the new Turnpike road to South Molton and Tiverton passed through Witheridge. In 1848, new Church and Chapel Schools came. Later, in spite of our efforts, the railway never came, but this led to the success of our two carriers, and the Transport Company they formed together.

The 1914-1918 war hit us hard, and afterwards some emigrated, following in the steps of those who had gone in the reign of Edward VII. Locals and evacuees alike remember the 1939-1945 war. Afterwards, the population fell below 700 for the first time for 200 years. Since then it has doubled, and today we have a thriving community, with employment, new housing, community facilities and a range of organisations. People here have always had a certain independence of mind, and we look forward to the future with confidence.


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Last Edited 03/03/2011    Copyright © 2000-2011 Witheridge

Unless otherwise indicated on the page in question, the photographic images reproduced on this site belong to the Witheridge Archives. Whilst you are welcome to use any of the photographs belonging to the archive for personal or non-commercial use, you must obtain prior written permission for any commercial use. You cannot make use any material not owned by the Archive in any form without first receiving written permission from the owner of the material in question.