The estate of CU(M)BE is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the 18th of the 27 Devonshire holdings of Theobald FitzBerner (fl.1086), an Anglo-Norman warrior and magnate, one of the Devon Domesday Book tenants-in-chief of King William the Conqueror. His tenant was Oliver, who held three of FitzBerner's Devonshire manors, the others being Widworthy and Marwood.
Feudal barony of Great Torrington
The manor subsequently became a possession of the feudal barony of Great Torrington.
As recorded in the 13th century Book of Fees, the manor was held from the feudal barony of Great Torrington by David de Wydworth (fl. tempore King Henry III (1216-1272))(alias de Widworthy), and was called after him either "Culm Davy" or "Culm Wydeworth". He lived chiefly in Wales and was a younger son of Sir William de Widworthy of Widworthy, in Colyton hundred, also a Domesday Book possession of Theobald FitzBerner, also tenanted by Oliver.
Following the de Widworthy tenure, the manor of Culm Davy was held by Sir John Wogan (during the reign of King Edward I [1272-1307]), then by Roger Corbet (during the reign of King Edward III [1327-1377]).
From the reign of King Edward III (1327-1377) and following the Corbet tenure, the manor was held by John Bourman (whose family name was later spelled "Bowerman"). It was the seat of his descendants for seven generations until the time of Pole (d.1635). The canting arms of Bowerman were: Ermine, on a bend cotised sable three boar's heads couped or. The Bowerman family of Hemyock was descended from Nicholas Bourman of Brooke in the Isle of Wight, by his wife Elizabeth Russell, a sister of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford (c.1485-1555). Two of his grandsons were Rev. John Bourman, a priest and confessor to the nuns of Canonsleigh Abbey, near Hemyock; and Rev. William Bourman, a priest and sub-dean and canon of Wells Cathedral in Somerset. In the 16th century two younger sons married two Spanish sisters. One of the brothers died at Malaga in Spain, while the eldest son of the other became Principal Counsel to the English Merchants in Spain. By the 17th century the head of the family was resident at Whitehall in the parish of Hemyock, in the person of Henry Bowerman (d.1665), lieutenant to "Captain Courtenay".
The Kerslake family acquired Culm Davy in about 1700.
Mr. Marsh of Wellington acquired Culm Davy from the Kerslake family. Thomas Marsh was the attorney of the Kerslake family. A series of deeds dating from 1612 to 1778 held at the Somerset Heritage Centre (Reference: DD\DP/11/8) are catalogued as follows:
- "Deeds of capital messuage and lands (named) of Whitehall, Hemyock, Devon, with (in 1695) manor of Comb Davy als. Culme Davy, Hemyock (1695-1778), mortgaged by Hen. Bowerman of Silverton, Dev., in 1695, 1698, 1701, released by daughters of John Broomfield of Hemyock to mortgagee Rev. Rob. Kerslake of Ashbritle, in 1745 and sold by Thos. Marsh (devisee of Rob. Kerslake, nephew of Rev. Rob. Kerslake) to Edw. Lutley of Hemyock, Whitebaker (ref. to supply of timber from Highwood, Hemyock to repair Whitehall Mills) in 1778. Court roll of Culme Davy manor (1 m.) (1611). Marriage settlement of John s. Thos.Broomfield of Culme Davy, yeo., and Agnes d.Agnes Mills of Culmstock, Dev., wid. (1713)".
In 1822 Culm Davy was the property of Mr. Henry Pook.
Part of the mediaeval manor house of the Bowerman family survives within the structure of the present Culm Davy farmhouse, including the roof timbers. Nearby was the small 15th century chapel of ease, which survives today, although it was heavily restored in 1860. It contains an unusual mural monument "of the utmost primitiveness" for such a late date, to Anne Garvis (d.1705) of Ash Culm, comprising a classical entablature below an effigy lying on its side.
- Pevsner, p.479
- Thorn & Thorn, Part 2 (Notes), 36:18
- A tilde denotes a letter or letters omitted by the scribe as was common, to save ink and parchment. The missing letter is assumed by Thorn & Thorn to be "M" (Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Part 2 (Notes), 36:18)
- Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Part 1, 36:7, Part 2 (Notes), 36:7
- Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen.ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, 36:18
- Thorn & Thorn, 36:16; Part 2 (Notes), Index of Names, "Oliver"
- Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p.202
- Pole, p.202
- Thorn & Thorn, Part 2 (Notes), 36:26
- Vivian, p.108; Pole, p.471, with boar's heads argent
- Vivian, pp.108-9
- Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.108, pedigree of "Bowerman of Hemyock"
- Vivian, p.108
- Apparently one of the Courtenay family of Powderham, perhaps Sir William Courtenay, 1st Baronet (1628-1702), a Colonel of Militia Horse from April 1660(http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1660-1690/member/courtenay-sir-william-1628-1702)
- Lysons, Daniel & Lysons, Samuel, Magna Britannia, Vol.6, Devonshire, London, 1822
- See: "Misc. papers re the Kerslake family and their attorney Thos.Marsh of Wellington", Somerset Heritage Centre, Reference: DD\DP/11/16 
- "The Discovery Service". The National Archives.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.479
- Listed building text ; see image 
- Listed building text