Welcome to our A-Z Blogging Challenge for 2018! This year we challenged our members to contribute a blogpost on the theme of People of My Place, and they have risen to that challenge with a variety of mini biographies of inhabitants and families from their individual one-place studies. Each day this month we'll be publishing their stories. Our first entry is from Kirsty Gray.
As one of the founder members of the Society for One-Place Studies, it is rare that you will find me writing about my study places, for various reasons (time being one!). The main challenge for me is that my places are very small and so it is more difficult to connect with a Shared Endeavour topic, find information in a Society look-up offering, find anyone else who is interested in the places I call 'mine'... you get the picture.
However, this year’s Shared Endeavour relating to Built Heritage is right up my alley. Tetcott Manor is “sited on an eminence of land within a small 18th/19th century park in the Picturesque tradition” according to Devon Gardens Trust website. It has been owned by the Molesworths of Pencarrow, Cornwall since 1788 but before that it was the manor house of the Arscotts.
The Arscott family were first recorded in the reign of King Henry III at Arscott (now South Arscott) in Holsworthy parish. During the 16th century, they were lawyers. John Arscott (c.1469-1541) had four sons, the eldest and youngest of whom were confusingly both called John. The elder John married Phillipa Battyn (who was heiress to her father's Dunsland estate) and so, naturally, they settled at Dunsland. The younger John bought the Tetcott estate in 1552 (six years before he died) and his descendants remained there until the late 18th century.
The last and most extraordinary of the line, John Arscott, died in 1788 and is said to haunt both the church and nearby house! He is said to have not cared about the opinion of others and he reputedly married Thomasine Spry, who was one of his father's household servants. They had no children and when he died he left the house to her for life and, on her death, it passed to his first cousin twice removed, Sir William Molesworth (1758-98), 6th Baronet of Pencarrow in Cornwall.
John, along with many of his Arscott predecessors, are commemorated inside the church with grand memorial stones and tablets of various sizes and shapes.
In the 18th century, the name Arscott became synonymous with hunting and, to this day, there is still a South Tetcott Hunt whose origins can be traced back to a pack assembled by the last/late John Arscott in the 1740s.