Various Wills Family Memorials in Devon

Headstone Walking through the cemeteries of the old churches of Devon you will notice that many of the Wills family headstones are very hard to read.

A visitor who visited Lustleigh, Ilsington and Bickington churches in 1991 and returned again in 2000 remarked how the inscriptions seem to have deteriorated in the intervening nine years.

Church Interiors

The interior of the churches contain many Wills memorial plaques and even beautiful stained glass windows. The two photos below were taken in the Lustleigh church. Because these memorials are indoor they are well preserved. Many churches are often locked as there have been several robberies and the insurance people are getting particular, but keys are available upon enquiry.

The inscription across the bottom of the three windows reads: -
"In memory of Thomas Wills of Eastwrey who departed this life A.D. 1850
and of Elizabeth his wife who departed this life A.D. 1864."

Wall               Stained Glass Window
Stained Glass Window The Bickington Wills Window
The Church at Bickington dates from 1420, a feature is the fifteenth century lych gate. The stained glass widow depicted to the right, is in the south wall to the right of the doorway, in the Church. The inscription on the brass tablet under the window is shown on the far right.
The gift of Charles and John Wills to the Glory of God and in memory of the following members of their family.
John Wills of Herebere, their uncle, died November 8th. 1863, aged 59.
Susan Wills, their sister, aged 10.
Charles Wills, their father, died November 18th. 1870, aged 65.
Susan Wills, their mother, died April 25th. 1888, aged 77.
Joanna Wills, wife of John Wills, died at Berry, January 22nd. 1891, aged 60.
Also John Wills (the first named) born at Burn, died at North Tawton, March 3rd. 1897, aged 61.

Erected February 1896.

Notes on the above tablet by Dick Wills, Narracombe, Ilsington, Devon, August 2002.
Herebere Farm (Herebeare) is in Bickington parish. Susan Wills died March 4th. 1850, aged 10. Susan Wills, their mother. was Susan Nosworthy Rowell, married at Ideford January 29th. 1835. Joanna Wills (Rowell) and John Wills were married at Teigngrace in 1861.She died at Berry Pomeroy. Burn Farm is in Bickington parish. John Wills was farming at The Barton, North Tawton, Devon, at his death.

Descendants of Thomas Wills, of Eastwrey, are the only people able to hold burials in Lustleigh churchyard which is now closed, as it is full. In 1882 he donated land for an extension and a private corner is reserved for his heirs.

In the main street of Totnes, Devon stands a monument to William John Wills inscribed.
Burke & Wills In honour of
William John Wills.
native of Totnes
the first with Burke to cross the
Australian continent
he perished in returning 28th June
Erected by public subscription
August 1866
Burke & Wills
This Web Site was designed by Tom Wills