Wooleigh Barton

Wooleigh Barton

Wooleigh (or 'Ullegh' as it was known in old documents) near Beaford, was the former home of the Wooleigh Mallets who were close cousins of the Mallets of Ash. Both branches were descended from the Mallets of Enmore.

Wooleigh was originally known as Wolves' Wood, written "uullegh" in early Saxon times. The early Saxons had no letter w, but of course that's what their double u eventually became. This double u construction (which was originally pronounced "oo-ugh", naturally mutating to "wugh" if said rapidly) was often dropped in later spellings (i.e.Ullegh), probably because later peoples had forgotten the etymology.

The family held the barton until the early 17th century until it passed to the Acland family through John Mallet's grand-daughter Eleanor when she married Arthur Acland. Her cousins became the second St Audries branch of Somerset, with landholdings in east Devon (Honiton area), Dorset (Poyntington) and Wiltshire (Newton Toney).

The farmhouse as we see it today retains most of its features from the days of Mallet ownership (16th century) and is Grade II* listed.

[With special thanks to Mr. Pengelly]

A very good history of Wooleigh is available in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolleigh,_Beaford


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Linked to Wooleigh, Beaford, Devon, England, Sir Sir Arthur ACLAND, Eleanor MALET, John MALET, Robert MALET