dole table



Amongst the gravestones there is an ancient dole table constructed of red sand stone and is either 16th or 17th century. The Parish Charities were given out from this stone table to recipients. These dole tables are very rare in churchyards.

It would appear that the church at Nynehead was on a route used by people in order to cross the country on foot, similar to a Monks Way. After having received the charities from the church the travellers then went on to the next place where charities were disbursed. It is most probable that the charities were used to buy food and drink, the latter doubtless far exceeding the former.

In the Church Wardens accounts from 1668 to 1685 there were many references to charitable giving. Poor travellers were relieved, having passes or certificates, "undone by fire" or "ruinated" and seamen "castaway" or "maimed" obtained relief. e.g. in 1673 the accounts state:

  Pd to poore travellers viz a man, his wife and family who had sustaynd great losses att sea by certificate appeareth   2s 10d
  Pd a poore crippled traviler y had a passé   1s 0d
  Pd 3 men and their families that lost their ship and goods att sea   1s 6d
  Pd poore travailers that had a pass   0s 6d
  It given to seven seamen being travellers with a lawful pass from Orford in Suffolk to Plymouth   1s 6d
  It given a seaman travelling from Yarmouth   0s 4d
. It given a solger with a lawful pass from Mons in Flanders to Cornwall   0s 4d
  It given a woman that had a lawful pass for her child from Wales to Totnes   0s 6d