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Tetcott

Tetcott is located within Torridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Black Torrington Hundred. It falls within Holsworthy Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 166 in 1801 220 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 51 adult males signed the Protestation returns.

A parish history file is held in Holsworthy Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.

Maps: The image below is of the Tetcott area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.

Tetbury area on Donn's map of 1765(tetthumb.jpg)

On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 74/1 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 74NW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX332965. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX39NW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 112, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 190. Geological sheet 323 also covers the area.

Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:

TETCOTT consists of little more than the old Arscott mansion and the parish church (plate 24). The latter (Holy Cross) is mostly a 13th century building. Some alterations were made in the early 16th century, when the tower was added. The font is Norman. There are a few old benches in the nave; the Arscott pew in the S. chapel is vigorously carved, as befitted such a robust family. The chapel contains a good mural monument to John Arscott (1675) and Gertrude his wife (1699), and a tablet to the last of the Arscotts of Tetcott (John Arscott, 1718-88), a wonderful old character who is described in R. S. Hawker's Footprints of Former Men in Cornwall and in Baring-Gould's Devonshire Characters and Strange Events (First Series). He kept a dwarf jester, known as Black John, as remarkable a character as his master: they were both survivors out of the Middle Ages.

A junior branch of the Arscotts settled at Tetcott about 1550. In 1603 Arthur Arscott built the low, rambling mansion we still see. In the time of Anne, the house was enlarged and to some extent remodelled, and the outbuildings rebuilt in brick, most unusual in this remote part of Devon. Tetcott is altogether an atmospheric place, with its mixture of rustic Elizabethan and equally rustic Queen Anne. Here, more even than in most places in Devon, we feel

Impalpable impressions on the air- A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are magical overtones in the very words Arscott of Tetcott. They epitomise all the ancient Devonshire squires and their homes: the wind-flung rooks on December afternoons, branch-strewn parks emerging from curtains of fine rain, rambling, echoing stone-flagged houses set all alone at the end of muddy lanes, darkened by beeches and sycamores. Even the historian feels his reason wavering as the genius loci takes possession of his senses, and is prepared to believe almost anything of such a place, even to see John Arscott appear on Blackbird across the deserted park,

and hear in full cry, The pack from Pencarrow to Dazzard go by.