The 'Crediton Area' page.

Places and items of interest in the Crediton area.

Prepared by S.G.Smith, Crediton, Devonshire, England

St. Luke's Posbury

Posbury St. Francis


St. Luke's Chapel, Posbury

Posbury lies approximately 2 miles S.W. of Crediton.

Photographs S.G.Smith.

The name Posbury is of uncertain derivation but is probably connected with the British proper name Possa. First settled in the Iron Age it remained a British hill fort throughout the Roman occupation of Britain, and the Dark Ages that followed. As the colonisation of Devon by the Saxons crept westward in the seventh century Posbury remained an outpost of the kingdom of the Dumnonii until, in 661A.D. King Cenwalh of the Saxons, fought and won a battle at Posbury and drove the British off the fertile redlands westward.

In the twelth century a quarry was opened to obtain the red/brown ignious rock, much of which was used in building Crediton Church, and the door arches of other churches in the area. By the eighteenth century Posbury formed part of the Tuckfield estate. The Tuckfield family had long been established in the locality. Members of the family appeared in the subsidy rolls of both 1524 and 1547. In 1836 Richard Hippisley Tuckfield had resolved to build a chapel at Posbury, on the proposed site, formerly called Blackadown otherwise Petham's Postbury, the chapel was built. To comply with legal requirements Mr. Tuckfield founded a maintenance fund of 1000 plus 5 for every 100 of the cost of the building, which fund, together with the chapel and the land surrounding was transfered into the trusteeship of Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart, Sir Humphrey Davie, Bart, James Buller Esquire, and John Sillifant Esquire.

On the 18th of October 1836 the Bishop of Exeter signed the sentence of consecration, which, curiously divested the trustees of the chapel and site, vesting it in Richard Hippisley Tuckfield who became Patron and owner, leaving the four trustees in possession of the funds. The Church was dedicated to St. Luke, and the Rev. FitzHerbert Marriott was appointed curate in charge with a stipend of 45 per annum.

The present Patron is Dr. Sir John Shelley. In recent years it has been usual for the vicar of Crediton to be appointed chaplain of St. Lukes Posbury.

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Posbury St. Francis

(The Community of the Franciscan Servants of Jesus and Mary.)

Posbury lies approximately 2 miles S.W. of Crediton.

Photographs S.G.Smith.

On the 28th of June 1935 Mother Teresa and Sister Margeret made their Life Professions, their vows being received by Bishop Curzon of Stepney, and for two years they worked in London. In 1937 they moved to Whitwell in the Isle of Wight, renting a house which they called The House of St. Francis. Here they worked with women and children in neighbouring parishes and held retreats for Externs, until the outbreak of the war in 1939. Travelling to and from the island became difficult making an end to the retreats, but the Sisters accepted four evacuees. As the island suffered from bombs droped by raiders returning from London and surrounding areas, the evacuees were returned to the mainland.

The Sisters continued to work on the island, speaking to young men at Camp Hill Borstal and to the wives of prison officers at Parkhurst and helping with Sunday schools, until in 1942 the authorities advised them to leave the island.

The Sisters moved to Posbury House, which they renamed The House of St. Francis. With a great deal of hard work the house was made habitable and the grounds brought into cultivation. Hospitality was extended to many guests. During the heavy bombing of Exeter in 1942, the Bishop of Exeter asked the Sisters to hold a retreat for the Ordination Candidates. Additions to the house have been made over the years, including the enlargement of the chapel.

Mother Teresa (1888 - 1979) is buried in the graveyard at Posbury St. Francis.

St. Francis.

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The information contained in this web page is correct to the best of my knowledge.