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The Widecombe and District Local History Group has unearthed once again the "Tucker Stone" which local folklore states was made for the Tucker family when they were "Lord of the Manor of Natsworthy", in this Parish.
William John Owen Tucker (Lord of the Manor), 1869 - 1888
Lewis Owen Tucker ( .. .. .. .. ), 1888 - 1893
When entering the churchyard through the Lychgate, the Tucker family vault can be found on the right. Inscribed:- In loving memory of William Owen John Tucker who died February 27th 1888 aged 61 years and of Sarah Elizabeth his wife who died June 23rd 1877 aged 52 years. There are no further inscriptions.
William O.J.Tucker had the present pulpit made in the middle of the last century from granite that came from the side of Hameldown at Wooder Goile, and was carved by the local stonemason Aaron Warren.
This stone has had a chequered history, believed originally to have been made to be co-opted into the pulpit, the vicar and churchwardens of the time did not agree with this idea, perhaps they felt that: "The pulpit was to the "Glory of God" not to the glory of the donor, W.O.J. Tucker"
The Arms and Crest on the stone are those of the family of TUCKER of Throwleigh and of North Tawton, County of Devon, later of Milton and Gravesend, County of Kent, and of London as recorded at the Heralds Visitation of Kent in 1619, namely:-
Arms: Azure (blue) a chevron or between three sea-horses argent (silver white).
It was conveniently "lost", only to come to light in c1930 when a wall in the vicarage garden fell down. While the wall was being rebuilt this stone was found buried in the earth and leaves. Correspondence at that time between Brig Van Straubenzee (churchwarden) and Mrs Marion Wood (Vicar's wife) substantiates this.
When Mrs Wood left the parish and moved to Newton Abbot she took it with her and Miss Deborah Hannaford and Mr Hermon French were instrumental in bringing it back in the 1970's for a village exhibition. It apparently ended up in the broom cupboard down stairs in The Church House, out of sight and out of mind.
Recently "found again" the local history group felt that as it is an important part of local and church history it should be on public display and The
Please click on the Tucker Crest Thumbnail to view the full sized picture. This may take a little while to load.
This is said to have been an inn on the Ashburton Road at the top of Widecombe Hill near the Hemsworthy Gate. So the story goes: the womenfolk had it burned down because the men spent too much time (and money!!) there on their way back from market.
Paul Rendell has written an article on Newhouse in the July/August 1995 edition of The Dartmoor Newsletter. He mentions that the Newhouse Inn replaced an earlier inn known as Culver House and that the Newhouse Inn was built by the Woodley family. There was a Leaman who was host in the late 1700's. Subsequently there was the Foale family (note nearby Foale's Arrishes) and then the Hannafords.
Remains of the Newhouse buildings are still present on site, close to Hemsworthy Gate, but apart from the above, and the other things Paul mentions in his article, little is known about the history. Any information appreciated.
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