14th century

The names Staunton and Mandeville appear between 1338 and 1362 thanks to marriage to the Giffard daughters, but by 1370 marriage and purchase brought the ownership of Clovelly to Sir William Cary.

The Carys were one of the great Devon families, cousins of the Grenvilles. Sir William is perhaps best remembered as, reputedly, the builder of the original pier or breakwater – its foundations still rest on massive boulders slotted together rather than being mortared or cemented.

Sir William’s elder brother, Sir John, was a judge and Baron of the Exchequer in 1370, but owing to dynastic intrigues he was banished to Ireland and his lands confiscated.

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