The Poles
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Amongst the many Estates that Sir William Petre owned was that of Shute, just outside Axminster in Devon and about 7 miles from Charmouth. It had been granted to him by Queen Mary and had previously been owned by the distinguished family, the Bonvilles who had built the Manor House in 1380.
He was to only possess it briefly and in 1560 sold it to William Pole for £300. This gentleman was an eminent Lawyer and had been Justice of the Peace for Devon. He went on to also purchase the Colcombe Castle Estate near Colyton and in 1575 the Manor of Charmouth from Sir William Petre. He possessed many estates in the neighbourhood and when he died in 1587, aged 73, his eldest son, William,then only 26 years of age was to inherit them. He later erected an impressive monument to his father and also one to his mother, Kathryn, daughter of Alexander Popham, Lord Chief Justice of England, at the Church in Colyton.
Charmouth was to be governed by Sir William Pole for the next 50 years until his death in 1635 aged 74 . He is famous today as a distinguished historian who produced one of the earliest histories of Devon, although it was printed long after his death. In 1685 he married Mary Perham and they were to have 11 children, but tragically she was to die through a fall in 1605 and he had to bring up the young family. He later married again Jane, daughter of the wealthy Roger How. As well as Shute Barton he was to extend the nearby Colcombe Castle.
After his death his son John, was to own the Manor of Charmouth briefly and sold it in 1649. During the Civil War he had been a staunch Royalist and after losing Colcombe Castle nearly lost Shute in a fire about the same time. He and his wife lie buried in Colyton Church, where a highly decorative canopy lies over their life size effigies which are back to back. Descendants of the family now live in the National Trust property of Anthony in Cornwall where their extensive archives and family portraits are kept.
There are few record for their time in Charmouth apart from entries on deeds of properties, but the earliest Poor Rates that have survived for the village for the year 1754 show that they still owned property then, which was later sold.

Shute Barton as it appeared in the 18 th Century. The house is much reduced today, though the Gate House is unaltered and has additional turrets either side
Shute Barton, near Axminster
Shute Barton, near Axminster
The Gateway to Shute Barton, near Axminster
Sir William Pole (1561-1635)
Sir John Pole (1588-1658) whose magnificent life size tomb can be seen in the family Chapel in Colyton Church
Elizabeth Pole whose figure lied back to back to her husband Sir John Pole(1588-1658) in the costumes of the day.
Colcombe Castle Farm House, near Colyton as it was painted in the early 19th Century by James Ward. Now only a ruin a field exists to remind us of this once important Castle.
The earliest Poor Rates for Charmouth for the year 1754 show that they The Honourable Sir John Pole still owned property then, which was later sold.

In 1575 William Pole presented to the Church a Silver Chalice