An Historical Town, East Devon
Colyton is a small town nestled into the Axe Valley,with the river Axe winding its way through the narrow streets of medival and modern houses and interesting pubs and shops which make up the town itself. Colyton was once the fourth richest town in Devon and at the top of the church tower sits a rare octagonal lantern which describes its wealth in about 1600.
A landowner Henry Courtney was beheaded by Henry VIII and his lands were taken away. Local merchants and yeomen raised enough money for the return of that part of the estate which lay within Colyton. The community regained the properties on condition that an assembly of Feoffees ensured that all income was spent on good things for the local community.
The Feoffees began work in 1546 and they established the first Grammar school. Later on, they took charge of getting fresh water into the town and forming the early fire service.The Chamber of Feoffees meets regularly and still help the town council today in order to benefit the community. The Grammar school they founded is still going but has moved to Colyford to be able to house a sufficient number of pupils and staff.
The town always strived for independence and preferred to do things as they wanted rather than because they had to so during The Monmouth Rebellion in 1664 they earned an entry in Chancery records as “The most rebellious town in Devon.”