Coming-of-age presentations at Hartland Abbey
Last (Wednesday) evening Sir Dennis and Lady Stucley entertained some 150 tenants and employees to supper at Hartland Abbey to celebrate the coming-of-age of their son, Mr Hugh G C B Stucley, who is a lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues).
On behalf of tenants and employees of Hartland, Affeton, North Molton and Moreton estates, Mr Tom Allin, who farms Stoke Barton (540 acres) at Hartland, presented Mr Hugh Stucley with a gold watch and bracelet and three cases of vintage port. A film and slides of Sir Dennis’ agricultural tour of New Zealand, Australia and California were shown.
It is interesting to note that of the 36 farms remaining of the Stucley estates 26 are occupied by the sons or grandsons of former tenants. The longest tenure is that of Mr Robert Ayre’s family at Cobley Farm on the Affeton estate for his wife’s forbear became tenant there in 1774.
The Affeton estate became Stucley property about 1390 when Hugh Stucley married the heiress, Katherine Affeton, daughter of Sir Thomas Affeton. Sir Dennis Stucley sold Moreton House and part of the Bideford estate to pay estate duty when his father, Sir Hugh Stucley, died in 1956. Moreton is now owned by Grenville College.
Lady Stucley’s tenants and employees from the Bampfylde estate at North Molton were among those present at the supper. Her family’s ownership of this property dates back to the 13th century.
Hartland Abbey, where the party is being given, was presented to Mr Hugh Stucley’s family by Henry VIII in 1540 when the monasteries were dissolved at the Reformation.