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The Oxenham Arms Hotel & Restaurant

History and people of The Oxenham Arms Hotel

1710 Zeal Mill Oxenham Arms
1710 Zeal Mill Oxenham Arms

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1909 The Ox Kitchen
1909 The Ox Kitchen

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1951 Oxenham Arms Bar
1951 Oxenham Arms Bar

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1710 Zeal Mill Oxenham Arms
1710 Zeal Mill Oxenham Arms

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Period 1 Pre-History Neolithic 

The South Zeal Menhir Standing Stone at The Oxenham Arms Hotel is a Neolithic Standing Stone (Menhir). The stone is made from granite and would have been cut by hand before the invention of metal tools around 4,500 years ago.

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The granite stone would have been cut by hand by many people over many many years, on the high moor before metal tools were invented, Then rolled on trees down into what we now call South Zeal. The stone would have been tipped into a hole to make it stand vertically. This 5000-year-old stone cut by humans has stood in this position ever since.

Roman South Zeal

 Tauestone/Taueton end South Zeal were located on the main Roman Road west of Exeter.

Period 2 The 12th Century 

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The Devonshire Association Celtic and Roman Road west of Exeter. 1918

The granite stone would have been cut by hand by many people over many many years, on the high moor before metal tools were invented, Then rolled on trees down into what we now call South Zeal. The stone would have been tipped into a hole to make it stand vertically. This 5000-year-old stone cut by humans has stood in this position ever since.

After the Norman invasion in the year 1066, the Benedictine and Cistercian faiths established themselves in Devon contructing Abbeys, Monasteries and lay houses. In South Zeal (then called Sele). Sele was in the area called Tauetonia

located in the middle of Devon which made it a thoroughfare for walkers and people on horseback travelling from North to South Devon and vice-versa.

 

The settlement had ample grain from many farms in the area, but also wool from the many sheep farms. For hundreds of years copper had been extracted from the hills within the village. "Location, location, location " had made Sele a very wealthy place to live. In the late 1100's a group of Benedictine lay monks contructed the building in the centre of the village that we now know as The Oxenham Arms. For more than 200 years it remained a Monastery.

The Normans local administrative divisions were called the hundreds. The hundred was of Saxon origin and was an area of approximately 100 households. As its head was an Elderman who was held responsible for supplying fully equipped men for the King in times of war and for the administration of justice.

 

A hundred courts were where justice was administered and by the 13th century they were held 12 times a year in a meeting place in the principal town. Local issues were also discussed here and decisions made, the town usually giving its name to the hundred.