Ipplepen Village Pump

Ipplepen Village Pump

Village pump. Date 1868. Cast iron. Octagonal casing with plain base; above are decorative gothic paneled sides, each one arched at top and bottom with cusping; crenelated cornice and octagonal ogee domed top. The curved handle on side with the ornate terminal. Water spout on the front also with the decorated end. Carved on it is “In memory of William Field who died 21st February 1868”.

William Field
At the time of his death in 1868, William Field had not spent that much time in Ipplepen. His home was Barton House on Edgelands Lane which was still not quite complete. The six-acre estate there included a quarry and it is this which would have excited his interest in our area.

William Field was a Londoner and was described as a builder and a master marble mason. By the 1850s he was at the top of his game and was known as a building contractor as well as a marble mason. He worked with Sir Charles Barry and Edward Barry on the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster. His company also worked on the Albert Memorial Chapel at Windsor.

In both enterprises, he would have come into contact with high-quality red and grey Ipplepen Marble which was rare and highly prized. At the time of his death, he owned properties in London and Winchester as well as Ipplepen and his estate was worth £18,000 (about £2million in today’s money). His daughter Naomi and son-in-law William Thorpe lived periodically in Barton House after it was completed. There is a stone in the floor of the entrance hall at Barton House marked ‘W.F 1868’ and there are several fireplaces made with Ipplepen marble.

It seems likely that William Thorpe commissioned the building of the pump. Owens & co of London in honor of his father-in-law. By the 1880s the Barton quarries were no longer in use.

Written John Marsh – Ipplepen History Group

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Ipplepen Village, Devon, Community Information