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history: places & geography

Chideock, West Dorset. England

The connection:
As we continue to research the Chittick name and the genealogical mysteries behind it all, we keep coming to one recurrent fact. The line of Chittick's that most of us originated from came from England with the name Chideock. That is not to say that another line that we have not found yet, could validate another story.

Chideock, England
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The farthest back we can trace our lineage is back to the 1600's, when a Henry Chideock (descendant from Henry VII) moved from Chideock, England, to Fermanagh County, Ireland.

It has been documented that Henry Chideock started spelling his name Chittick, because that is way the locals pronounced the name in Fermanagh.

His father was John Chideock, who marriend Elizabeth Robertson, and his father was Thomas Chideock, who married Elizabeth Stanley (whose mother, was Lady Margaret Clifford, great-grand daughter of Henry VII).

We (part of the america side) descend directly from Fermanagh County, Ireland in the mid-1800's, and chitticks live there today.

View the descendancy chart from Henry VII to Fermanagh Chideocks, and eventually Chitticks:
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Read the Chideock/Chittick History:
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Another view of Chideock
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Tell me about it:
Founded in 1086, most of the cottages in Chideock are on the main road, but there are some tucked back along the lane to Seatown. The turning to Seatown is on the left if you are travelling west, just as the road starts to climb uphill, exactly opposite the parish church of St Giles. This is the only turning to Seatown, so if you miss it you will have to turn around. North Chideock is a string of plesant cottages and bungalows along the lane next to the Church. North Chideock enjoys the peace and quiet of being set back from the main road. North Chideock makes an ideal base for one of many walks that can be had from here. There are an enormous amount of footpaths in the parish.

Chideock Castle Remains
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To the east end of the village on the North side of the main road is Ruins Lane, a short track which leads you up to ruins field, where you will see the site of Chideock castle. All that remains now is the moat and a large cross, erected in memory of the Chideock Martyrs. The castle was built in 1380 by John de Chideocke. The castle was supplied with running water from a spring in Quarry Hill, via lead piping. This helped the castle to withstand seige. During the English Civil War, the castle stood as a royalist stronghold, and was attacked several times by the parliamentaries, who finally succeeded in 1645 and captured it. In the last battle a cannon was positioned it is said, either on top of the church tower, or in the church yard and that the church was damaged by return fire. The castle was destroyed and the villagers used much of the stone to build their cottages.

During the 1500s and 1600s the lords of the manor were a Catholic family who held mass within the castles, along with many villagers, who were also catholic. This was risky, because the law at the time forbade Catholics to worship. During this period 7 or 8 men from the village were caught participating in these services and were killed in awful torturous deaths. I do not know why it is that there are only officially five Chideock Martyrs, because there were certainly more than five. The martyrs were tried in Chideock House, which is now the Chideock House Hotel in the main street. The cross in ruins field is a memorial to these men.

Read about the Chideock Martyrs, and their tragic story:
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Read about the history of Chideock, for over 900 years:
CIDIHOC, as it was called in the Domesday Book for 1086 is, 900 years later today’s Dorset Village of Chideock, though the name has enjoyed many spellings over the past centuries as well as in early Saxon Times.

Prior to the Norman Conquest, it had belonged to King Alfred but was seized by William the Conqueror within two years of the Conquest. The Manor was subsequently granted to Norman Barons, but in 1312 Edward II transferred the lands of CHIDIOCK to the first John De Chidiock whose family came from Bridport.

In 1449 they passed through marriage, to the Arundell family who held them until purchased in 1802 by Thomas Weld, whose grandson subsequently married a descendant of the last Sir John De Chidiock. The Welds lived in the present Manor House until recently, so only three families have held the tenure of the Manor of Chideock for over 650 years.
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Chideock, West Dorset Official Web site:
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Chideock, Photo Gallery:
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