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HER Number:MDV12578
Name:Site of the Last Battle of the Prayer Book Rebellion


The last battle of the Prayer Book Rebellion took place in August 1549, to the east of Sampford Courtenay village.


Grid Reference:SS 640 015
Map Sheet:SS60SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNorth Tawton
Civil ParishSampford Courtenay
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH TAWTON
Ecclesiastical ParishSAMPFORD COURTENAY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS60SW/36
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BATTLEFIELD (XVI - 1549 AD to 1549 AD (Between))

Full description

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 233-234 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Fulford Williams, H., 1957, Sampford Courtenay and Honeychurch, 230-232 (Article in Serial). SDV337291.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1973, SS60SW9 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV350821.

Site of Battle (1549)
1. Site of last battle of the Devon Rebellion fought on the 17th August 1549. Sir Humphrey Arundel the rebel leader, posted his army on top of the hill, east of Sampford village on the North Tawton road, where he was attacked by the Royalist army led by Lord Russell. The rebels were driven into the village, then back onto the hill, where they finally broke and fled.
2. Sampford Courtenay was the village where William Hellions was murdered on June 11 1549 for defending the use of the vernacular Prayer Book, thus starting the Devon Rebellion.

Devon County Council, 1977, Survey of Roadside Stones, Okehampton Division (Report - Survey). SDV348247.

Foard, G. + Hodgkins, A., 2009, Battlefields of the Prayer Book Rebellion: An Archaeological Resource Assessment, 36-42; figures 20-25 (Report - Assessment). SDV350808.

With the battle at Sampford Courtenay, on 18th August 1549, the military action of the Prayer Book Rebellion ended. The battlefield area has been defined to encompass the eastern part of the settlement of Sampford as action extend to the town including a rampart at the 'end' of the town. It covers the majority of the hill where the camp is believed to have lain extending as far south as the A3124, although the southern extent of any action is not clear. On the east it has been extended to the settlement at Week as it is likely that the royal army's advance was from this direction. The hill is completely unaffected by development or other disturbance other than arable agriculture. Even the approach to the village of Sampford from the hill is unaffected by modern development. There is thus a high potential for the survival of battle archaeology. See Report for full details.
Map object based on this source.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 233-234.
SDV337291Article in Serial: Fulford Williams, H.. 1957. Sampford Courtenay and Honeychurch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 230-232.
SDV348247Report - Survey: Devon County Council. 1977. Survey of Roadside Stones, Okehampton Division. Devon County Council Report. Foolscap + Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV350808Report - Assessment: Foard, G. + Hodgkins, A.. 2009. Battlefields of the Prayer Book Rebellion: An Archaeological Resource Assessment. University of Leeds. Digital. 36-42; figures 20-25.
Linked documents:1
SDV350821Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1973. SS60SW9. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV10109Related to: Battlefield, Clyst Heath and Clyst St Mary (Monument)
MDV62606Related to: Possible Site of Battle at Windmill Hill (Monument)
MDV10971Related to: Site of Battle in 1549 at Fenny Meadow, Feniton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 4 2020 3:45PM