ARTHUR FRENCH MEMORIAL PRIZE
For their Local History project this year pupils from all classes produced work to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ipplepen Primary school moving to its present site on Biltor Road. We were fortunate to be given a zoom presentation of this work by all the classes with representatives explaining what they had learnt about the changes from 1970 to the present day. It was clear that the 1970s seemed a long time ago to our current pupils. Some of the best presentations showed good historical skills showing how the classrooms and teaching styles had changed but also pointing out areas of similarity like sports days and Christmas fairs.
Year 6 students, Amos, Freddy and Oliver, who did a joint piece of writing, were the overall winners of the 2020 award.
IT’S MENTIONED IN DOMESDAY!
It is not uncommon for people to claim their house is mentioned in the Domesday Book and I have come across a few in Ipplepen. It may be that they are claiming that their house is of great age and are just using Domesday as a yardstick because the truth is that their house would, almost certainly, not appear in Domesday. The compilers of Domesday were charged with counting people and livestock and estimating the acreage of land, but they had no interest in individual dwellings.
Some of this confusion may arise from instances where individual farms and manors do appear to have been mentioned. I can think of Battleford, a farm tucked away to the west of the road to Totnes, or Loventor, an old manor house near Berry Pomeroy. These are examples of places where there was a settlement in the eleventh century, but which never developed into a hamlet or a village, so it appears that an individual house has got a mention.
If it is any consolation and you would like to feel good about the antiquity of our village then settle for the fact that Ipplepen was the largest village in the area at the time of Domesday. It had 56 families – perhaps 280 people – and only Totnes was bigger. The Church was the centre of a rural deanery that stretched as far as Paignton and it occupied a key position on ancient trade routes.