North Wyke

by Robert Weeks
Researching the Weeks name in England leads one to realize that North Wyke is a central area from which many Weeks families originated.  I report the following information about this possible earliest point of origin of our family relatives.

In the reign of Henry II (c 1227), the land at North Wyke belonged to William de Wigornia.  He was either the son or grandson of Robert, Earl of Mellant, and Worcester (Wigornia).  The aforesaid Robert took the place of his father as head of the Warrior line 'Bernard the Dane', a Saxon prince who accompanied his cousin Rollo as second in command on his invasion of Normandy.  The Wykes sometimes known as Wyk or Weekes, were in occupation of North Wyke in 1216.

"North Wyke, (also anciently North Wike, Northwick, modernly North Week,) is an estate now comprising about four hundred acres, (formerly much larger), located in the northern part of the parish of South Tawton, near Okehamton, in western Devonshire (England), about twenty miles from Exeter.”

There is a mansion at North Wyke today that was restored by the Reverend Wykes-Finch, a descendent, at the turn of the 20th Century.  This house is in the center of Devon and is divided into four sections according to age: a) The East Wing which is the oldest, b) the Chapel and the Gatehouse Wing, c) the South Wing and d) the connecting rooms which join the East Wing to the Chapel.

The walls are built of locally quarried Cocktree freestone and are (practically throughout) three foot thick with an inner and outer face of stonework filled with cob or similar clay-like substance.  The blocks of stone in the East wing are smaller and more irregular than elsewhere in the house.  This wing dates from 1242 when William-de-Wigornia made North Wyke his principal residence. The main entrance to the house was by an external staircase to the first floor of the East Wing, which was a common feature in English manor houses of the period.
Our family members came from the parish of Staines, which is outside London.  Most probably, they originally had roots in North Wyke. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have visited North Wyke and photographed the tomb of Warrior Weeks in the church which also displays the Weeks/Wyke coat of arms. My name is Tessa Weeks, a direct descendant of this estate in Devon.