High Bickington village, Devon
High Bickington is a small rural village in North Devon. It lies between Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor.
With a population of about 700 people, the village is situated some 9 miles from Barnstaple, 10 miles from South Molton, 8 miles from Great Torrington and 33 miles from Exeter.
The village is situated on the valley top, almost 600 feet above sea level, overlooking the river Taw valley, and has spectacular unbroken views across the valley towards Exmoor.
The village dates from about 650AD and the manor of High Bickington is referred to as 'Bichentone' in the Domesday Book of 1086. Before the Norman Conquest, the manor belonged to a Saxon nobleman, Britric, nicknamed Meau ('the fair'), who also held rights to the land revenues of Gloucester and extensive estates in the West Country. He spurned the advances of Matilda, the Duke of Flanders' daughter, who later as Queen of England imprisoned Britric and eventually had him put to death.
All his lands passed to her, including Bichentona, Clovelly, Bideford, Winkleigh and Tiverton. The lands were later inherited by Matilda's son, William Rufus, who became William II of England.
William gave Bichentona to Robert Fitzhamon whose daughter was later married to Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, illegitimate son of Henry I.
At around 1150 the manor of High Bickington came into the possession of the Champernownes of Umberleigh. Lady Joan Champernowne gave some of the lands to the Lodges family. Hugh de Loges held the manor of Buckington Loges during the reign of King John, (1199-1261). This was later inherited by William Boyes in 1364, although by this time the lands around the village had been divided between several others including Holt, Clavil, Snape, Stowford, Corpsland, Burvet and Wotton, whose names still survive today in hamlet, farm and field names around the parish.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns: