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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials



The 3-part Drake tomb in Musbury Church

The 3-part Drake tomb in Musbusry parish church

© Richard J. Brine


Musbury is a village and a parish on the road from Axminster to Seaton, near the river Axe, 2 miles north-east from Colyton Station on the Seaton branch of the Southern Railway, 3 miles south from Axminster and 9 south-east from Honiton. It is in the Honiton division of the county, hundred, petty sessional division, rural district and county court district of Axminster, rural deanery of Honiton and the archdeaconry and diocese of Exeter.


The church of St Michael is an ancient building of stone, of mixed styles and consists of chancel nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 6 bells. At the east  end of the south aisle is a fine table tomb in the Renaissance style, restored in 1926, to members of the Drake family; the base is divided by short pilasters into three compartments, each filled with ornamental scroll work enclosing a shield of arms of the Drakes of Ashe; immediately above these runs a frieze, similarly divided by plaques, and bearing three inscriptions; the upper portion of the monument is also in three compartments, separated by screens pierced with coupled circular-headed openings. Each compartment contains a pair of effigies, male and female, kneeling at a desk, the knights in full armour, with ruffs and chains; and their wives in black gowns and wearing caps and chains. the first pair represent John Drake of Ashe, Esq who died 4th October 1558; the next, Sirt Bernard Drake knt who died 18th February 1586 and Gertrude Fortescue, his wife who died  February 1601 and the last, John Drake Esq. his son buried 11 April 1628 and Dorothy Button, his wife, bur 13th December 1631 and there is, in continuation, an inscription to Mary, wife of Sir Hugh Rosewell who was buried 4th November 1643. There are other memorials to the Drake family, including Sir William Drake, bart and Sir John Drake, bart, besides inscriptions of earlier date from 1648 to 1690.


The church, with the exception of the south aisle and tower, has been rebuilt, reseated and paved and a new organ, costing 250 guineas, all built at a total cost of £1500. The register dates from the year 1622. The living is a rectory , with residence, erected in 1912, the gift of Colonel Alexander Vaughan Payne  and held, since 1920 by the Rev. Henry George Cockerton MA of Worcester College, Oxford.

ST Michael's church, Musbury
St Michael's Church, Musbury

In the wall of the church is a shrine erected in memory of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914 -1919.

There is an undenominational chapel. A reading room was built in 1910. Drake's Hall, situated on the outskirts of the village, was opened in 1929.

Musbury Castg=le, a British or Roman camp, is in this parish. Ashe House, remains now a farm, and here on 31st of August 1669, Sir John Drake was created a Baronet. His sister Elizabeth, who married Sir Winston Churchill  knt., was the mother of John Churchill, the great Duke of Marlbrough, who was born here 24th June 1659.

There are several landowners. The soil is clayey and sandy, the subsoil is gravel. The crops are wheat, barley, roots and pasture. The area is 2215 acres of land and 14 of water. The population in 1921 was 370.

POST AND TELEPHONE OFFICE: Letters through Axminster. Colyton is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.


Cheston, Charles

Coickerton, Rev. Henry George MA, rector, The Rectory

McKinnel, William, Mountfield

Parks, Frederick William, Crossway House

Pulman, Tom, Malvern House

Rowe, James Halse, Greenclose, Axminster Road

Smith, Frank Harold, The Towers

Soper, Major Frank Percy Philpott, South Cross House.


Abbott, Frederick, smallholder, Spillers Farm

Alford, Fred, farmer, Park and New Hill Farms

Bennett, Thomas, baker

Bishop, Rosina and Frances (the Misses) farmers, Beads Farm, Maidenhayne

Bishop, Walter John, farmer, Knight's Farm, Maidenhayne

Burrows, William, Hartgrove Farm

Chard, Rosdina (Mrs), New Inn

Coppock, Sidney Charles, parish clerk and rating officer

Forsey, Ernest Samuel, farmer Donishayne

Gear, Harold Alfred, smallholder. Maidenhayes

Gear, John, farmer

Gear, Oscar William, nurseryman, Rose Cottage

Giles, Frederick, beer retailer

Griffin, Frederick, beer retailer

Griffin, James, farmer, Little Trill

Hall, Albina (Mrs), grocer & post office

Harvey, Frederick Pearce, tailor

Hawker, Herbert, thatcher

Jefford, Sidney, boot repairer, Maidenhayes

Loud, Charles, smallholder, Millard Farm

Lugg, Eli, farmer, Sellers Wood

M iller, John Thomas, farmer Maidenhayne

Parsona, John poultry farmer, Maidenhayne

Partridge, William James, smallholder, Drake's Farm

Pavey, Arthur, blacksmitrh

Reading Room (Reginald Hesketh Sec.)

Rutter, William farmer, Ashe Farm

Salter, Hedley, Herbert, poultry dealer

Salter, Mrs Norah, smallholder, Baxter's Farm

Sweetland, Harry, farmer,. Beale's Farm

Symonds, Mrs Matilda, tailor, Fore Street

Veysey, George William, New House Farm

Welch Sidney, mason, Glenfern

White, Dick, smallholder, Waterford

White, Sidney John, smallholder, Drakes' Farm



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