Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Continuing to Turn the Ancestral Family-Wheel - Wildridge

Continuing to turn the ancestral family-wheel, our paternal grandmother Jane, who - though she like her siblings, was born and brought up in London - had Devon parentage on both sides (mother's in East Devon and father's roots in and about Okehampton), and after marriage to Samuel Sampson returned with him to find and link up again with both of their ancestral home-zones in mid Devon. After a search around the area looking for a suitable house for their 4 - soon with the addition of my own father - 5 children, the couple decided to build their own house back in the vicinity of both Jane's and Samuel's roots. I'm not sure why they settled on North Tawton. Perhaps because the Sampsons from nearby Broadwoodkelly already owned land there. I'm not yet sure. But the house our grandparents built in and around 1910, high on the red ridge above the town, their children's and our childhood home and our cousin's sometime holiday home, has become locked in my mind as a presence the central lodestone of childhood life and beyond. That is why it features here, in another layered piece of writing, which is part of a longer text. Next door Grandfather's brother John built Wildridge's twin called Highcroft and that became home to the other branch of Sampsons of that family.

Sampson family at Wildridge circa 1920.

Wildridge Lych-Gate 1963.
The following poem written some time ago and published in the online, but I think now non-existent magazine Cyclamens and Swords, was inspired by Wildridge's lych-gate.

copyright Julie Sampson

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