Easton Barton in 1907 – a grand farmhouse with medieval origins and striking Tudor features—tall granite windows and arched doorways. Roman remains said to be found on Cornbury Hill point to the possibility on an even earlier house on the site.

Approaching Lapford, a road to the right  immediately before Bury Bridge, leads up Cornbury Hill to Easton Barton. For  most of its history Easton Barton and its residents were an important part the Morchard Bishop community. An effigy in Morchard Bishop church memorialises a wealthy merchant of Easton Barton who, tradition tells us, paid for the building of the aisle in which he and his wife now lay. The house was connected by road to Morchard via Iron Catch and Middlecott farms. This changed with the turnpike road of 1852. Tracks were built from the farm, down Cornbury hill to the new road and Lapford became the most easily accessible village. The Edwardian owners of Easton Barton were buried in Lapford rather than Morchard.

In the early 1900’s the old route from Easton Barton to Morchard was still inexistence but infrequently used. Similarly, the road from Iron Catch, past the site of a windmill to Bugbeare Woods, was falling out of use. Today Easton Barton is still within the parish of Morchard Bishop but its road connection to the village is gone and resident of the Barton have been more closely associated with Lapford village. Windmill Lane, the windmill ruins and the road from Easton Barton to Middlecott have all disappeared. There are no remains of Iron Catch, in 1911 home to 11 people. This was the boyhood home of Frank Leach whose name appears on Lapford’s war memorial.

The head of Easton Barton in 1911 was Louise Ann Webber (59) who shared the house with 5 of her children and 4 grandchildren. Her husband William Webber had been a wealthy farmer and huntsman. He often joined the Earl of Portsmouth hunts. The track from Easton Barton to the turnpike enabled regular evening socialising with the Earl. After a drinking evening in 1906 he was put into trap in a comatose state. His horse made the journey home but William fell after getting out of the trap and never recovered.

Louisa Ann Webber (nee Shapland)
William and Louisa Webber and their children at Easton Barton c.1905
William Webber

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