The mysteries of Milfordleigh Wood

I went to Milfordleigh Wood the other day – it is a small area of woodland at the top end of  the Teign near to the village of Murchington. I’ve always been interested in the derivation of words – so Milfordleigh…

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To my eyes it looks like a piece of ancient woodland – but is it?

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Lets start with Leigh – this is an old word that means meadow and more specifically a meadow cut out of the original woodland – there is even a name on the OS map called Leigh – it looks like meadows were created hundreds of years ago between Gidleigh Park and Milfordleigh – see the map

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Next the Ford bit – here is an ancient track coming down the hill side next to Milfordleigh Woods by the Teign

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Here is the track at the top of the wood – this is the track which fords the Teign

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The next bit is the Mill – this old map shows a Mill at Holy Street – a corn mill

The maps also shows Milfordleigh as a plantation and it also shows a field pattern within the wood – so Milfordleigh isn’t an ancient woodland – it is a plantation – probably Victorian planted on an old field system – so perhaps this is the Leigh – the meadow!

Milfordleigh 3The woodland also contains this building which is either Edwardian or Victorian – we are not entirely sure what it was built for – either a summer house or perhaps a fishing lodge

So much history in a name and so much history and mystery in a place!


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