Violet Fulford Williams in her autobiography Under My Patchwork Quilt, (privately published Cir. 1968) writes about her childhood in the late 1800’s at Passaford House, the home of her grandparents Henry and Ellen Veale. The chapters relating to Hatherleigh can be found on our website and among many interesting local details she mentions the ford on the River Lew from which the house takes its name having been used in Roman times, as it lay on the Roman road from Cornwall, and that Roman coins had been found in the ford.
While the crossing being on an actual Roman road may not be accurate, this route across the river has clearly been used for many centuries and as evidence of a Roman tile kiln has been found on Hatherleigh Moor it is not so hard to imagine an unfortunate traveller of the time loosing his or her footing, and coins, while fording the river.
It is interesting to wonder whose feet have trodden Hatherleigh’s paths before us!