Plymouth, Stoke Damerel

The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History


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Created: April 13th 2014

The manor of Stoke Damerel was known in the Domesday Book as "Stoches" and the manor was held prior to that by the Saxon, Brismar.  When it was seized by King William I in 1066 it was given to the Norman, Robert de Albamarle, form whose name it gradually became anglicised to its present form.

However, Thomas Westcote in his "A View of Devonshire", published in 1630, tells us that 'much fair land in the county' was given by King Henry I to one Galfridus de Albamara and that in the time of King Edward III the Sheriff of Devon was a John Damerle.

Over time the manor was held by the families of Courtenay, Kemiell, Branscombe, Britt and Wise.  In 1667 Sir Edward Wise sold the manor to Sir William Morice, for 11,050.  Upon Sir William's death his son, also William, succeeded him.  There  were also two daughters, Catherine and Barbara, the first marrying Sir John Saint Aubyn of Clowance in west Cornwall in 1725 the the second marrying Sir John Molesworth in 1728.  When the younger Sir William Morice, Baronet, died in 1749 he had no issue and the title became extinct.  His estates were therefore divided and Stoke Damerel passed through his sister, Catherine, to her husband.

Until 1780, when the first Board of Commissioners was appointed, the affairs of the parish, including Plymouth-Dock, were run by the vestry of Stoke Damerel Parish Church except for the Courts-Leet and Courts-Baron overseen by the Lord of the Manor.  Plymouth-Dock became Devonport in 1824 but was still only a part of the parish of Stoke Damerel.  Stoke Damerel was a Registration District until 1898 when it became Devonport.

The original manor house was at Keyham Barton but after the Wise family moved to the new Mount Wise it became a lowly farmhouse.

For more information about the notable places within Devonport and Stoke Damerel please refer to the Stoke Damerel Gazetteer.


Text (except quotations)   Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK 2014
 as stated beneath each image