Preparations are well under way for next year’s 700th anniversary of St. Andrew’s church. Of course what we are commemorating is the Dedication of the Altar conducted by the Bishop of Exeter Walter Stapledon in May 1318. A Norman Church already existed on the site but the perpendicular building with which we are now all familiar today appears from this time.
I am sure that it is no coincidence that it was the same year, 1318, when King Edward 11 granted a market for Ipplepen on Thursdays and two fairs on the feasts of St. John and St. Andrew. The link would have been Walter Stapledon himself, an efficient and energetic public servant who had risen high in the world securing the trust of the King and eventually attaining the role of Lord High Treasurer.
Church historians have noted that Walter Stapledon was particularly conscientious and travelled extensively throughout his diocese. This dedication to duty was later to prove poor Walter’s undoing. Carrying out tax collecting duties on behalf of the unpopular King Edward 11 and his infamous ‘favourite’ Hugh Despenser was guaranteed to attract you enemies and so it was with King Edward out of the capital in 1326 and his Queen Isabella raising an army to overthrow her husband Walter was left high and dry. Charged with defending London against the Queen’s supporters Sir Walter donned a suit of armour and made his way to St. Paul’s Cathedral but to to no avail however because the mob sought him out dragging him to Cheapside where they beheaded him and allegedly threw various body parts into a dunghill.
The events described seem far removed from our dedication service and Sir Walter Stapledon was by no means a bad person. He had risen high through his own efforts but found himself, through no fault of his own, on the wrong side of history. In the following year Queen Isabella, with some remorse, had Walter’s body disinterred and he was eventually given a proper burial in Exeter Cathedral where his magnificent tomb can still be seen.
Cottage Garden photographs
The most popular of our Transport themed old photographs displayed at the fair were:
• The charabanc ride for the choir
• The carriage passing by Steven’s farm on Bridge Street
• The group party at Torbryan cross
• The bikes in the Square
Remember that old photos appear very week on the Ipplepen History Group Facebook page and at the Bring and Buy Stall every last Saturday of the month at the Hub. Please bring your photos for scanning.
Talk by John Risdon
Our next talk is on October 3rd at the Village Hall starting at 7.30p.m. The well known local speaker John Risdon will be giving a talk on ‘Raleigh and the Gilberts of Compton and Greenway – a Devonian dynasty’.
September 2017 Newsletter