Hayne Manor

The estate of Hayne belonged for a long time to the Nosworthy family of Sloncombe, but when the last Nosworthy heiress, Judith, married a Southmead in 1730 the estate was joined on to that of the Southmeads, who owned Wray Barton and also property in Chagford. When the last male Southmead of that branch died, Hayne passed in part to John Courtier, a distant relative of the Southmeads (see the Pepperdon history for this complicated inheritance).

From letters Courtier wrote in 1842 and 1846 (see the Stockdale letters) we know that Hayne house had by then been allowed to fall into ruin, and in 1833 he says he built himself a new house on the ruins of the old one at Hayne. He then sold Hayne to John Newcombe Stevenson and himself occupied the old manor house at Wray while building the first version of the present Wray Barton.

The Stevensons were related to the Clacks (the Rector's family). The census (try searching on Hayne in the address field, and using Full search) shows that the Courtiers were living at Hayne in 1841, Frances Clack (a spinster aunt) with two Stevenson children in 1851, and other families were were there in 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891. The characteristic of all these families is that they were not local (the parents at least having been born elsewhere), and that they had large numbers of servants, nursemaids, grooms etc, so it seems that the Stevensons were renting the property to wealthy families who had made their money elsewhere. The Stevensons themselves appear from the baptism registers to have been living in Alphington for part of this time, and many of the family were serving abroad, as we see from the memorials in the church.

In 1890 the house was sold by Col. Stevenson to W.H. Smith, who at the same time bought the Manor of Moretonhampstead and North Bovey from the Courtenays. His son W.F.D. Smith (later Lord Hambleden) lived at Hayne when he came to Moreton; he and his wife spent their honeymoon in Devon and had a celebration in Moreton at the time. When Smith had built the Manor House at North Bovey, he then sold Hayne to the Seymours (Mrs Seymour was his sister) who lived there until the 1930's. We have a picture of the house as it was about 1900.

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