Reading an old book on line it seems Marsh Barton was once known as St Mary's de Marisco. I suppose taking the name from the Priory, St Mary's de Marisco, that once stood on the site.
The priory had considerable land in Exeter and the suburbs also several houses and gardens amounting to about 17 acres. A field that was part of The Briars' land was named on the Alphington Tithe Map as Monklands, it makes you wonder with a name like that if this plot once belonged to the Priory.
From Bishop Stafford's Register fol. 89, Vol. 1 concerning the priory: 'John Sutton a servant and cook in the house was a most violent and passionate man; and that, after having employed the most scurrilous language against Thomas Cryer, a regular Canon of Plympton, who happened to be in the hall of the priory, he proceeded to attack him with a drawn dagger. The Canon seeing no means of escaping, was necessitated to stand of self defence, and seizing a stick, which he luckily spied in a corner of the room, he struck the villain a serve blow in the head. A doctor was sent for to examine the wound; but the obstinate and malicious man would conform to no directions, nor suffer any applications, and he died three days after, Thomas, conceiving himself to have incurred irregularity, abstained from the exercise of his priestly functions, but, on mature consideration of the case, Bishop Stafford pronounced on the 5th September; A.D. 1409 that the Canon was entirely free from blame, and of course was clear from any ecclesiastical irregularity.'
Upon the dissolution of religious houses Henry VIII gave Marsh Barton to James Coffin and Thomas Godwin. James either built a mansion on the priory site or converted the old priory. He sold all the Oak, Ash, Elm etc trees that stood around the mansion to John Hoker for £27. In 1822 Mr Richard Pyne-Coffin of Portledge owned Marsh Barton.
In 1841 John Bishop an agricultural labourer lived in Marsh Barton Cottage and Michael Lanmead a gardener was recorded on Marsh Barton.
In 1851 John Bishop was still residing in Marsh Barton Cottage. Two other families were recorded, John Rowe a dairyman and John Heard a gardener of five acres.
In 1861 Thomas Periam a cattle dealer was recorded at Marsh Barton Cottage and also in Marsh Barton Lane what looked like Robines Farm was recorded; the farmer was Ann Underhill farming 33 acres. Marsh Barton Farm was recorded and John Rowe was listed as the dairyman employing two men.
In 1871 only Samuel White a labourer was recorded.
In 1881 the records were much more informative. John Pethybridge was a dairyman renting 27 acres. Richard J. Newberry was a dairyman occupying 16 acres. The occupants of Marsh Barton Cottage were John Elston and James Roberts both farmer's labourers/agricultural labourers.
Richard J. Newberry continued to work as a dairyman on Marsh Barton in 1891 and Marsh Barton Cottage was occupied by Thomas J. Shepherd a slaughterman.
In 1911 we find Richard John Newberry still on Marsh Barton but this time he is recorded as a market gardener. Alfred Newberry is residing in Marsh Barton Cottage and working in a dairy.
Marsh Barton was eventually bought by compulsory order by the Council from the Newberry family.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick