|Hawkchurch now no longer a parish in
Dorset it was in the Archdeaconry of Dorset and Diocese of Bristol and
was 3¼ miles north east of Axminster and had 886 inhabitants in the 1831
census. It was transferred to the county of Devon in 1896.
The Old Inn is situated here four miles from the historic fishing town of Lyme Regis which lies on the world famous Cobb harbour, there are lovely clean coastlines and fresh countryside all around and the area is famed for its geology and fossils and has been awarded World Heritage Site Status. Originally built as the Church House, it provided for festivities, and the brewing and dispensing of ale and accommodation for the tenants of the rector's manor. It is said that it was mainly built to accommodate masons when work was being done to the church in the 1540s, and this could be true as most parishes had a Church House and many of the Church Houses were built at the time the old Norman Churches were being restored. As was the case in many old Dorset and Devon's inns and the innkeepers doubled up with another trade usually. The Old Inn had a traditional link with shoemakers, Henry Masters was a cordwainer during the early 1700s and in the 19th century two more innkeepers were shoemakers. Other occupations were Nathaniel Woodman being a butcher and Blacksmith James Maish. And one innkeeper called James Moley live till he was 103
The Hawchurch History Society was formed in 1997 to encourage and promote a greater interest in and understanding of the local environment and its history. Visitors who wish research family tree's or other information relating to Hawkchurch can contact Julie Searle on 01297 678622 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org