An elegant early 19th century manor house, built by a local gentleman circa 1834 and listed by English Heritage (ID no. 85022) as ‘Medium-sized house. Early-mid C19 with later additions.’ The site is much earlier, being the name of a manor and an earlier house. It is mentioned on the 1332 Subsidy Roll. In 1537 William Howton granted William Gose and Margery his wife, daughter of the grantor, an annual rent of 20s from his tenements called Heyhen and Elecombe. (Devon Record Office, D1508M/Moger/255/2). At this time it still formed part of the manor of Hayne or WrayHeghen, owned by the Cary family. When the manor was dismembered in the late 16th century, ownership of the house and its land passed to the Nosworthy family of Sloncombe, and when the last Nosworthy heiress, Judith, married John Southmead in 1730 the estate was joined on to that of the Southmeads, who owned Wray Barton and also property in Chagford. For details of the complicated inheritance, see the entry for Pepperdon.
The last male Southmead passed the estate in 1833 to John Courtier, a distant relative of the Southmeads. From a letter Courtier wrote in 1842, headed ‘Hayne Manor House’ (among the Stockdale letters in the Devon and Exeter Institution) we know that Hayne had by then been allowed to fall into ruin, and he was building himself a new house on the ruins of the old one. In another letter, dated 1846, he says he has sold Hayne with 26 acres to John Newcombe Stevenson and now 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.