Ken & Teresa Ripper's Ancestors and Family


North Hill, Cornwall


Domesday .. 12 Men’s Moor .. Botternell Farm .. William Ripper .. 1840 Tithe Map .. Population .. Charles Causley ..



North Hill was not mentioned in the Domesday Book. There are places in the parish which were mentioned and these are shown here. Click on the image to open a larger version as a pdf file (1mb).



12 Men’s Moor

Twelve Men’s Moor was created out of the lands given to Launceston Priory by Reginald Earl of Cornwall in 1160AD. 125 years later in 1285AD the boundaries of Twelve Men’s Moor were defined in an agreement between the Priory and twelve named men. The documents which detail these transactions were transcribed in the 15th century and again in the 20th century. Click on the image to open a pdf file (2.5mb) which offers suggestions to these features as part of the boundary in the current landscape.


If you have suggestions which change what has been presented here, please do send me an e-mail with your ideas.


Suggested variations

·         1160AD document .. Three Hills .. Could they be the three cairns on Langstone Downs which can be seen on the skyline even today? Several hundred years ago, they would have been much more prominent as they have been raided for stone since. The three together merit this description as a single landmark. Map ref: SX256737 (Peter Bousfield)


Botternell Farm

The road to Botternell was mentioned in the 1160AD document when part of the Manor of Caradon was given to the Launceston Priory (see Twelve Men’s Moor above). The Botternell Farm which is the subject of this article is in North Hill parish and has been known as North Botternell.


On the same road, a few hundred yards away across the Shales Brook in Linkinhorne parish there was once a significant farm known as South Botternell; apart from one barn which has now been developed into holiday let accommodation South Botternell has disappeared.



Click on the image above to open a larger, 7 page version as a pdf file (1.6mb). This shows the development of Botternell on contemporary maps.


Click on the image below to open a more detailed history of the farm (8.5mb).



William Ripper

William Ripper’s story is intriguing.


Why did he come from Breage in West Cornwall to North Hill?

How did he accrue his wealth?

Why did Richard Luskey a powerful local landowner not want his daughter to marry Elizabeth?

Why did he die so young and without leaving a will?

Where are the properties in North Hill which are shown on the inventory of his estate?

What happened to his wife and child?


Click on the image below to open a pdf file (4.5mb) which answers some questions and poses more.



1840 Tithe Map of North Hill


Click on the box in the top right corner to open up a full screen view, without the advertisements.

The + and – signs will help you to zoom in and out.


This is a piece of work in progress. Currently some of the 1840 field boundaries have been drawn here and the tenements coloured. As time passes you will see more fields drawn and details of the field and tenements. In the meantime, please bear with me in this labour of love. If you have any specific questions about the Tithe Map, please send me an e-mail.


Why was the tithe map created?

The 1840 Tithe Map was created to support the Apportionment book which served to assess the value of the tithe paid on each parcel of property in the parish. By Act of Parliament the payment of tithes (10% of income) was to be discontinued and the government would pay a sum of money in lieu of the tithe from the central exchequer.


How did it work?

The parish’s original tenements and the fields which made them up were identified along with the owners, occupiers, uses, names, area and tithe value. This data was recorded in an apportionment book and the accompanying map located the parcels of land. By use of a complicated formula based upon the relative prices of grain the tithe due to the rector was calculated.


Who received the tithe money?

The tithes were paid to the rector of St Torney’s who traditionally used it to pay the upkeep of himself and his family, the maintenance of the church building and to support the poor of the parish. Under the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 the responsibility for the poor had passed to the Board of Guardians.



The population of North Hill from 1801 to the present day. The information has been derived from censuses. Click on the image to open a larger version as a pdf file (0.3mb).



Charles Causley

Charles Causley is one of Cornwall’s most famous poets. He was born in Launceston and his roots can be traced back to North Hill. Click on the image below to open a pdf file (0.7mb) which shows his family line and some of his poetry.



Berriow Bridge & Middlewood

1841-1891 census returns showing the impact of Berriow Mixed Mine on the population.