North Petherwin


North Petherwin c.1900. Photo courtesy of Ray Boyd.
North Petherwin c.1900. Photo courtesy of Ray Boyd.

North Petherwin is a parish and village in north east Cornwall. The village is situated five miles northwest of Launceston on a ridge above the River Ottery (Attery) valley.
North Petherwin is a rural parish which has transferred between Devon and Cornwall in the past. Historically, the Dukes of Bedford have been major land owners in the parish. As well as the church town, settlements include Hellescott, Brassacott or Brazzacott, and Maxworthy. Penheale Manor has land within the parish.

It is considered that the original church was probably a Field church or a private chapel of the grange of some monastery or other religious settlement, most of which had farm buildings on their estates, to which often chapels were attached. The majority of Churches like North Petherwin, were built during the middle ages, but with the passing of time serious deterioration would set in and many were restored during the reign of Queen Victoria, North Petherwin included.
Although the church is built on a Celtic site there are no remains of a Celtic building. The first translator of the scriptures into Anglo-Saxon was Aldhelin, Bishop of Sherborne in 709 and it wasn’t long before Cornwall and Celtic sovereignty surrendered at Hengist Down (Hingston Down), near Callington, to King Egbert. In consequence of this, the Cornish bishop acknowledged the Archbishop of Canterbury as his superior, and the King of Wessex acquired lands in Cornwall and Devon for the royal estates. Whereas up till now the Anglo-Saxons had divided the country into a number of small kingdoms, these were united finally under Egbert, who thus became the first King of England in 838. Egbert gave to the Bishop of Sherborne three Cornish estates, “one of which was Lanwithian, or Lawhitton. This included the future parishes of Dunheved, Lawhitton, Lezant, Trewen and South Petherwin.” The episcopal estate appears to have been carved out of properties belonging to the native church. The unit broken up in this case, was a district seemingly known as Petherwin. The only clue to this being the names of the two parishes of North and South Petherwin, which share the name and are both dedicated to the Celtic saint Paternus. In the course of the English conquest North Petherwin was annexed to the royal demesne (estate).
North Petherwin with its mother church of St. Paternus, continued to be the ecclesiastical centre of a large district; but the principal names in Stratton, because the King of Wessex appointed officials to administer the crown lands and keep the colonists in order. The kingdom was divided into “shires” and the shires into “hundreds.” In the will of King Alfred he bequeathed to his son, Edward, Stratton and with it probably its dependencies in Triconshire; that is, in the future hundreds of Trigg, Lesnewth and Stratton.
By 1050 the two bishoprics of St Germans and Crediton became one at Exeter and the old tribal divisions of Cornwall were reorganised on the English model as “hundreds.” Triconshire, which included Werrington and North Petherwin, became the hundred of Stratton. Just before the landing of William the Conqueror at Hastings, North Petherwin was part of the royal estate, as has been pointed out. As such it descended to Gytha a pious woman, the wife of Earl Godwin and mother of Harold.

St. Paternus Church Memorial Inscriptions

Vicars of North Petherwin

1656, July 8, Isaac Rowse.
1681, May 18, Digory Cradacott.
1728, Apr. 12, Edmund Herring.
1785, June 1, Christopher Cunningham Vickery.
1793, Apr. 23, Robert Sleeman.
1796, Nov. 25, William Elford.
1833, Feb. 14, John Kingdon

Non-Conformist Memorial Inscriptions

North Petherwin School Boys Class in the early 1900’s.

The School Board was formed on 20 Feb 1873, and was composed of Richard Banbury, Richard Hawke, Jun (clerk), William Rockey, John Symons, Rev. Thomas Braithwaite Trentham  (chairman). The new school at Brazzacott was built and opened in June 1878.

North Petherwin Gallery.


North Petherwin’s Fallen from World War One.
Samuel Banbury
Samuel was born in 1883 to Samuel and Mary (nee Bray) Banbury at Kilford, North Petherwin and was the eldest of 5 children. His Father was a Farmer. On leaving school, Samuel joined his Father to work on the farm. He initially enlisted at Launceston with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry (Regimental No 24021) but was subsequently transferred to the Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment) (Regimental No 28058) serving with the 1st Battalion. He was killed in action on the 18th of September 1918 at the Battle of Epehy as the Allies were now pushing the Germans back.
After a lot of fighting and general reorganization the battalion ended up a Thiepval at the end of July remaining there throughout August. On the 24th August attacked Miraumont Ridge then five days later led the advance towards Beaulencourt which was captured on the 1st September. They continued the advance beating of a determined attack on the 11th, followed by an attack on the 18th. The battalion were in action nearly every day.
His body was never recovered but his name is commemorated on panel 9 of the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.

Samuel John Davey (With thanks to Ron Mason)

Samuel J. Davey.
Samuel J. Davey.

Samuel was born in 1889 at Trecarne, Tintagel to Samuel and Kate (nee Glover) Davey. His Father was a Cattleman. The family moved to Egloskerry in 1901. On leaving school, Samuel went to work for Mr. Thomas Parkin at Higher Whiteleigh Farm, Maxworthy as a Cattleman. He enlisted at Launceston with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Regimental No. 15459) serving with the 7th Battalion. He died of his wounds sustained fighting in France on the 20th of November 1917. He is interred at the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery, Nord France.

George Gilbert
George was born in 1896 one of eight children, to Daniel and Mary Grace (nee Horrill) Gilbert at Petherwin Gate, North Petherwin. His Father was an Agricultural Worker. On leaving school George went to work for Mrs. Jane Dinnis at Hellescott, North Petherwin as General Farm Worker.
He enlisted at Tavistock as a Private with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 16639) serving in the 9th service Battalion. He died on the 26th of October 1917 aged 21. His body was never identified but his name is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panels 38 -40).

Kenneth Reed Gubbin
Kenneth was in 1894 to Francis and Catherine (nee Rogers) Gubbin at North Petherwin. His Father was a Restaurant Proprietor and Confectioner and the family were residing at 8 East Street, Taunton in 1901 but in 1904 Francis died. By 1911Kenneth had returned to Cornwall and was working as a Waggoner for Mr. Samuel Prout at Trebeath Farm, Egloskerry but by 1918 had passed away. His mother moved to Trillacott, North Petherwin.
Kenneth enlisted as a Private with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (Regimental No 15587) serving with the 8th Battalion in Greece. He rose in the ranks finally ending up as Quarter Master Sergeant. He died at the 29th stationary hospital Turin of Pneumonia on the 1st of December 1918 aged 24. There is no known resting place.

John Henry Hutchings

John Henry Hutchings
John Henry Hutchings.

John was born in 1883 to Thomas and Amelia Hutchings at South Sydenham, Devon. His Father was a General Labourer. The family moved to North Petherwin, and in 1891 were living at Daws Cottage, North Petherwin. In 1909 he married Blanche Jane and they set up home at Tregoiffe, Linkinhorne where he worked as a Farm Labourer. The family were living at Hurdon, Launceston at the time of his death.
He first joined the Royal Vetenary Corps (A.V.C. 19884), but was transferred to the Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment) as a Private (Regimental No 33969).
He was instantly killed when a shell exploded near a trench he was guarding on the 1st of January 1918 and is buried at the Mory Abbey Military Cemetery, Mory, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, Plot: II. A. 9. He is also commemorated on the Launceston and North Hill War Memorials.

Alfred Martin
Alfred was born in 1898 at Tredidon, St. Thomas, Launceston to Samuel and Emma Martin. His Father was a Farm Labourer. In 1911 the family were living at Tredundle, Egloskerry although by 1917 they were residing at Weston farm, North Petherwin.
Alfred enlisted at Launceston with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No 33295) serving with the 8th service Battalion. He died at home of his wounds sustained in battle on the 7th of June 1917 aged 19. He was interred at the Bordon Military Cemetery.

William James Phillips
William was born on the 9th of August 1893 to Henry and Fanny (nee Rowland) Phillips at South Moor Cottage, Whitstone, Cornwall. His Father was an Agricultural Labourer.
He enlisted at Launceston initially with the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry (Regimental No. 18649) but he was later transferred to the Gloucestershire Regiment (Regimental No.40077) serving with the 12th (Service) (Bristol) Battalion. He died of his wounds on the 15th of November 1918 just 4 days after the armistice aged 25. He left a Widow, Mary A. Phillips (nee Banton) of Egginton, Derby and a Son, John Henry Phillips born after his death in 1919. He is buried at the St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen.

Harry Wills
Harry was born in 1882 to Alexander and Thomasine Parkian (nee Hill) Wills at Jacobstow, Cornwall. His Mother died in 1886 and his Father remarried in 1887 to Mary Squance. His Father had been in the Royal Navy. In 1891 the family were living at Tredundle Gate, Egloskerry. By 1901, Harry was working for Mr. John Skinner at Darracott Farm, Boyton as a Horseman and by 1911 he was working for Mr. Richard Hawke at Bodgate Farm, North Petherwin as a Wagonner.
He enlisted at Plymouth as a Private with the Devonshire Regiment (Regimental No. 30221) but was transferred to the Somerset Light Infantry (Regimental No. 204170) serving with the 6th Battalion. He was killed in action on the 23rd of August 1917. He was interred at the Poelcapelle British Cemetery.

North Petherwin’s Fallen from World War Two

William H. Cobbledick
William enlisted with the Royal Navy Stoker 1st Class (Service No. D/K 29420). He was killed whilst serving aboard ‘HMS Wryneck’ which was sunk by German aircraft, whilst helping to evacuate Allied troops after the fall of Greece on the 27th of April 1941.

North Petherwin Homeguard. Photo courtesy of Charles Tucker. 3rd row from left: ?, ?, Frank Jones, ? 2nd  row from left Albert Werren, Gordon Uglow, ? Fry, Jack Sloman, Tom Werren 1st row Roy Neale, ?, Will Ridgman,  Charlie Hilson, ?,Dan Gilbert ?, ?.
North Petherwin Homeguard. Photo courtesy of Charles Tucker. 3rd row from left: ?, ?, Frank Jones, ?
2nd  row from left Albert Werren, Gordon Uglow, ? Fry, Jack Sloman, Tom Werren
1st row Roy Neale, ?, Will Ridgman,  Charlie Hilson, ?,Dan Gilbert ?, ?.