The Manors & Origin of the Name Luppitt: An Extract from the book 'Luppitt: Parish, Church and People'
"Of greater interest to us in the south west of the country is the Exon Domesday, carefully preserved at Exeter and which is said to be more detailed than what evolved from it in the national record. The text of the original is in mediaeval Latin, but has been written in more modern English for us by Rev Oswald J Reichel in 1906.
The survey in general was very comprehensive, giving the name of the holder of each manor and who held it at the time of Edward the Confessor (T.R.E. meaning "Tempore Regis Edwardi"); the size of the area held in hides, and the number of ploughs required to till it; how many villeins, bordars and serfs tended the numbers given of beasts, swine, sheep, goats and mares; the acres of woods meadow and pasture; and the geld due as tax.
I will here give the detail of each of the four manors of Luppitt parish as translated into English by Rev Reichel without much attempt to explain further: even experts are somewhat uncertain.
Walscin has a manor called OTRI [Ottery] which Alsi held T.R.E. and it paid geld for five hides. These twelve ploughs can till. Ludo holds them of Walscin. Thereof Ludo has in demesne one hide and three ploughs; and the villeins four hides and seven ploughs. There Ludo has nine villeins, nine bordars, seven serfs, one swineherd paying ten swine, two rounceys, twenty-six beast, thirty swine, one hundred sheep, fifty goats, twenty forest mares, one mill paying ten shillings a year, one hundred acres of wood[land], twenty acres of meadow, one hundred and fifty acres of pasture. Worth ten shillings a year; when Walscin received it four pounds. Walscin has a manor called LOVAPIT [Luppitt] which Alsi held T.R.E. and it paid geld for two hides. These six ploughs can till. Ludo holds them of Walscin. Thereof Ludo has in demesne one hide and two ploughs. There Ludo has three villeins, one bordar, three serfs, twenty-six beasts, thirty goats, ten acres of coppice, ten acres of meadow and fifteen acres of pasture. Worth twenty shillings a year; when Walscin received it the same.
Perhaps a few comments on feudalism from Encyclopædia Britannica under 'Land Tenure' may be helpful.
Walscin has a manor called GRENOWEIA [Greenway] which Alsi held T.R.E. and it paid geld for one hide. This five ploughs can till. Ludo holds them of Walscin. Thereof Ludo has in demesne one half hide and three ploughs; and the villeins one half hide and one plough. There Ludo has three villeins, four bordars, four serfs, forty beasts, twelve swine, sixty sheep, forty goats, ten acres of coppice, ten acres of meadow and ten acres of pasture. Worth forty shillings a year; when Walscin received it thirty shillings.
To the aforesaid manor has been added another manor called ESCOBECOMA [Shapcombe] which in King Edward's time went with [jacuit in] Hamberia [Hembury] i.e. with Bristric's [Exch] Brictric's land, and it paid geld for one hide. This four ploughs can till. Ludo holds it of Walscin. There Ludo has in Demesne one virgate, one ferding and one plough. There Ludo has three villeins, one bordar, one serf, twenty acres of wood[land], twelve acres of meadow and fifteen acres of pasture. Worth twenty shillings a year; when he received it the same.
All land was vested in the King, and he made grants to barons, knights and others, and the unit of a grant was based on a manor.
The taxable capacity was based on the hide and this was related in some way to the size of arable land needed to support a family, variable perhaps from forty acres of good land to one hundred and twenty acres of much poorer land. Generally it is reckoned that eight oxen made a plough team, and of course, these as well as other livestock and war horses needed the pasture and meadows.
Weights and measurements were not standardised before the Assize of Measures of 1196; earlier measures may be based on the human body or its activities. For instance, those dealing with horses will know that the height of a horse is still reckoned in 'hands' today.
Three of the above mentioned manors are identifiable today as properties within Luppitt parish but the one called 'Lovapit' one cannot be certain about. Perhaps it was near, or part of the present village area; there is a strong likelihood that a Christian place of worship existed at the site of our present parish Church before the present building, and it seems fairly certain that the parish's name has evolved from Lovapit. Ten different spellings have been noted down the centuries when writers have referred to our parish . As to the origin, a few suggestions have been made, e.g., Pole in 1630 suggested 'Lufa's pit or hollow'; Polwhele in 1797 'the pit of Lofa or Loffa; Risdon 1580-1640 says:
Luppitt, anciently Love-pit, took its name of a religious order there, being in some low pit or hollow which was dissolved by William de Mohun, the monks whereof were translated to the Abbey of Newnham near Axminster, of which this William with his brother, was a founder in 1277.
Beatrix F Cresswell says in 1906 that:
Risdon has a tradition, for which there does not seem to be any proof that there was a monastic cell at Luppitt, from which the monks were transferred to Newenham.
It is known that there was a Pitt Farm between Barn Cross and Beacon and that it was inhabited at the 1891 census; as it no longer exists it might have suffered the fate of many thatched dwellings, having been destroyed by fire. However, whether its name has any links with Lovapit can only be conjecture.
Much has been written down the centuries about the very important Domesday manor of Otri and this title was linked with the owners and occupiers, notably Otri Fleming and later Otri Mohun, eventually to be named Mohun's Ottery. Mr J R W Coxhead considers that the Alsi, mentioned as holding the manor in 1066 would have been a Saxon, and that the Ludo of 1086 was a Fleming. In 1166 the property was in the possession of Ludo's grandson Richard, and a descendant William granted the estate early in the thirteenth century to Reginald de Mohun of Dunster. "
© 2000 - J. Sage