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THE SIMON LEACH MONUMENT IN CADELEIGH CHURCH

The monument of Sir Simon Leach, St. Bartholomew's Church, Cadeleigh

The monument to Sir Simon Leach in St Batholomew's Church

© Richard J.Brine

 
Sir Simon Leach was a local boy who made good, in fact very very good indeed. In 1624 he served as Sheriff of Devon and was knighted by King Charles I at Ford  in 1625 (now in Somerset but then very much within Devon's boundaries)

He began life in Credition where his father (another Simon Leach) was a blacksmith. He accumulated money through his first marriage which was to Elizabeth Rowe also of Crediton and like so many self-made men of his day, began acquiring property. He bought the manor of Cadeleigh in 1600 and a short while later, purchased Spencer Combe, near Crediton, from a member of the  Prideaux family.

Spence Combe, Nr Crediton
Now known as Spence Combe, the surviving part of the manor house Simon Leach purchased is now a Grade 2 listed farmhouse.

 

Cadeleigh Court nr. Tiverton
Should you feel drawn to it, Cadeleigh Court, set in its sunny valley with glorious views over some of Devon's most beautiful countryside, is currently for sale (2016, best part of a million pounds should secure it!)

 

The effigy of the woman on the monument is that of his second wife, Katherine Turbevile, eldest daughter of Nicholas Turbervile of Crediton.

 

Monuments like this were a story told in stone - which people could read in the 16th century.  On the side of the monument facing us, below the effigies of Simon Leach and his 2nd wife Katherine are smaller effigies of the children they had together. On the left are the boys - Simon, George and Nicholas - on the right hand side are their girls - Katherine, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Anne. The two boys of Simon's first marriage - Simon and Walter - both died young and predeceased their father.

 

On top of the monument we see the coats of arms of the local noblemen from whom Simon's family were descended.

 

This is the largest monument of its kind in any Devon church and well worth a visit.

 

 
 
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