David Inch

 Incredible information, fascinating statistics, mainly true but completely useless historical facts and improbable things that you didn’t really need to know about Winkleigh but always wanted to,  just in case  you ever went on ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire.’ 












  In his research for the Television series ‘Secret Britain and fascinating book ‘Strictly come Winkleigh,’ the History of the Devon village of Winkleigh and its WW II RAF base, local author David Freeman, alias David Inch brings you a rare insight into the stories, the facts and historical trivia surrounding this ancient Devonshire village.

Be prepared to be amused and amazed




Examples of over 400 useless Facts and Figures about Winkleigh


1/ There are at least 2 Winkleigh’s in the world. One in Devon England, the other in Tasmania, Australia.

Ironically, both are on islands but neither are twinned!


2/ Apart from the name ‘WINKLEIGH’ the only common link between Winkleigh in Devon and Winkleigh in Tasmania

is sheep and apples.


3/ Fact: Winkleigh in England does not have a ski slope.


4/ There are a total of 11.2miles of roads and lanes in Winkleigh in  Devon


5/ There are more chickens living in Winkleigh than there are people.


6/  Winkleigh does not have a surfing club.


7/ Statistic: The residents of Winkleigh in Devon own 562 televisions.


8/ There is a house in Kissimmee, Florida called Winkleigh Manor and another in Windsor hills Florida called  “Chateau Winkleigh”


9/ There is no house called Winkleigh Manor in Winkleigh.


10/ Statistic: There are 309 houses in Winkleigh and most have a front door.


11/ Fact: The flagpole on Winkleigh church is 30 feet long.


12/  On a clear day from the top of the tower of Winkleigh church, you can see Devon.


13/ There are 1,363 people living in Winkleigh but only about half of them can drive.


14/ Information: We are not the only Winkleigh in the world though are obviously the best!


15/ There is no one in Winkleigh, Devon who can speak Cherokee.


16/ Statistics: When it comes to road names in Winkleigh we have quite a batch full!

Winkleigh has:

 1 Airfield, 1 View, 1 Gate, 1 Garden, 1 Park, 1 Walk, 3 Ends, 3 Ways, 3 Drives, 7 Streets, 8 Roads, 9 Lanes and 12 Crosses.


17/ The postcode for Winkleigh in Tasmania, Australia  is 7275.


18/  7% of all married people in Winkleigh are divorced.


23/ did you know that John DOWN, of Winkleigh in Devon, testified in 1848 in the case of John CRUWYS from Chumleigh who was accused of nicking a cow.

In his testimony he told the judge that John Cruwys couldn’t possibly have got the cow in his haversack.


36/  Absolute fact: Winkleigh, in Tasmania, Australia has a public toilet called Winkleigh Hall.


82/  In 1828 a Mrs Parr of Winkleigh in Devon was accused of selling her husbands body to a surgeon for dissection.

The poor departed man’s body had to be exhumed to prove that the accusation was false!


109/ Some of the scenes from the TV show ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ starring Dawn French were filmed in Winkleigh. But most of them weren’t used.


14206/ Devon cyclist Les Sprason narrowly escaped serious injury whilst cycling near Winkleigh, when a ten foot fuel tank which had detached itself from an RAF Harrier jump jet shot over his head and thundered into the grass verge. Les was unhurt but shaken and the Harrier continued on to make an emergency landing at Yeovilton.
One heck of a lucky fact!


251/ Bing Crosby due to appear with Arty Shaw at the Winkleigh airbase in 1944, cancelled the concert because he had the flu



265/ October 1718, Joseph Grenville an apprentice carpenter from Winkleigh appeared in court in Exeter charged with robbing the Kings highway near Eggesford.

 Local Sheriffs had at first put the robberies down to the notorious Devon highwayman Tom Faggus, but oddly the robberies continued long after his capture.

Modus operandi: The Winkleigh highwayman would stop the coach by felling a tree across the road and threaten the driver with a pistol, declaring loudly to the nervous passengers that; “It is I, Faggus, lay down your purse.”

So they did.

Puzzled that the robberies still continued and realising that the man was definitely local, officers posing as wealthy passengers rode the Biddeford stage disguised as travellers and the highwayman’s  fate was sealed.

 When asked by the judge how they knew the man was a local and earlier robberies were not in fact by the notorious Tom Faggis, police explained that the deduction was simple.

The Winkleigh highway man had no horse.



275/ In 1704 a Winkleigh herbalist and apothecary died after demonstrating his' Elixer of Life' to an eager audience at Winkleigh fair.

It’s believed that his young assistant had mistakenly picked Amanita Phalloides, the Death Cap Mushroom, instead of local Ink Cap mushrooms from a Beech Wood near Eggesford and added them to the recipe!


383/  A duel was fought in a farm yard near Hollocombe in 1823 between two Winkleigh brothers, both claiming the right for the hand of the same local girl  Mary Fallon.

 The duellers seconds ruled that as the men were kindred, ink covered sand and not lead shot would be used in the fight and that the dueller hit nearest the heart from ten paces would be declared the loser.

At the respectful count of ten, the brothers turned, aimed and fired their pistols.

 The fearsome blasts scattered the sand so hard into the eyes of both men that they both fell heavily backwards onto the flagstones, fracturing their skulls and killing them both!



Much much more in the book including 100 new plans and revisions for the use of the disused airbase at \Winkleigh


 British Coal who have been taking soil samples from the airfield in recent weeks “are excited over their finds,” say a spokesperson.

Mobile mechanic Phil Spanner whose house backs on to the airfield, told police that it had absolutely nothing to do with where he dumps his engine oil!


Car giant Honda, have put in a bid to use the airfield as a test track


Torridge District Council rejected outright an application from British Airports Authority,  adding that it was absurdly silly to propose that the old airfield be used as an airfield!


Sadly, the RNLI have denied rumours that a lifeboat station may be on the cards for Winkleigh!







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