The church (The Church of St Mary the Virgin) is the most prominent building in Morchard. The present fine building probably dates to the late C15 th but was significantly altered in C18th and C19th . The site, the highest point in the village, had previously been occupied by a church or oratory, perhaps since Saxon times. Perhaps uniquely, a meteorite struck the church tower in 1952, causing some structural damage.
The row of C18th cottages on the east side of Fore Street is the longest row of thatched cottages in Devon , possibly the West Country. Previously the cottages have housed a variety of shops/trades but are now all private houses.
Schooling in Morchard can be traced back to 1733 and the founding of what became known as the ‘ Blue School ‘. The present school was established in 1872 on glebe land and was initially known as the National School . The school has been twice extended in recent years and is now a thriving Voluntary aided C of E Primary School. The most famous ‘old boy’ is Ernest Bevin, who attended the school in 1889.
The Memorial Hall was built between 1931-1932 although the decision to build it was taken some years earlier following the end of WWI. It was originally built to benefit ex-servicemen and also for the use of village organisations and was the envy of adjoining parishes when it opened. Prior to the building of the Memorial Hall, most of the village functions were held in the Reading Room in Fore Street , now part of Beggars Roost.
As its name reveals, the London Inn was originally a coaching inn and was sited on the old coaching route between Barnstaple and London . The inn dates back to C16 th and for many years has been the only remaining public house in the village; it has an excellent reputation for its food and fine ales.
The Churchill family, which was headed by the Earl of Portsmouth, built Barton House in the 1830s. The family also lived at Eggesford House and at Hartsbourn in Hampshire. The family owned a great deal of land locally, most of which was auctioned off in 1939. The Army commandeered the house for the duration of WWII and after this it housed several homeless families. The house was subsequently unoccupied before it was acquired and restored by Mr and Mrs Yendell (Snr).
The Earl of Portsmouth unveiled the War Memorial on 11 July 1920 to commemorate the 24 local men who did not return from ‘The Great War’. The memorial later incorporated an inscription in memory of the local
servicemen who died on active service in WWII. Nearby can be found the recent memorial to the 13 men who died when their two Halifax bombers collided and crashed in the Morchard area in 1944.
Beech Hill House
Beech Hill House was originally built in 1707, before being restored in 1810, and then extensively remodelled in 1896. Rev. Charles Comyns Tucker previously owned the property; he was Lord of the Manor and Rector of Washford Pyne with the hamlets of Higher and Lower Black Dog. Since 1983 Beech Hill has been the home of a community of people who se objectives are environmental/ecological who are well integrated into many activities in the village.
The Methodist Chapel
The Emanuel Chapel was built in 1846 however ‘non-conformity’ has been recorded in Morchard as early as 1811 when Agnes Greenslade’s house was licensed as meeting place for Wesleyans. In the late 1920s the caretaker’s cottage adjacent to the chapel was demolished to allow the Sunday School Room to be built.