Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, Devon

The village of Manaton is situated on the south-eastern side of Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England. The 15th century church, in a prominent spot to the north of the village green, is dedicated to St Winifred. Three of the six bells in its tower are medieval - markings on the oldest indicate a date of around 1440-50, making them at least as ancient as the tower itself. They are still being rung today on a regular basis by the local team of bellringers. Its rood screen was carved around 1500, but as is the case with many old English Churches, the figures were defaced during the Reformation. A granite cross once stood in the churchyard, but was destroyed in the mid-19th century by the vicar, Rev. John Charles Carwithen. He did so because he disapproved of what he considered to be a superstitious custom of carrying coffins three times around the cross before burial. Between 1903 and 1923, the writer John Galsworthy and his wife frequently stayed in a farmhouse called Wingstone in the village. It was here that he was inspired by the nearby Jay's Grave and its legend to write his short story The Apple Tree in 1916. Manaton was known as the `ton in local dialect.