From label: Gateposts. Wonson, Throwleigh, 4 1/4 miles S.E.S. of Belstone. A Manor House of the Knapman family, settled here for five generations in 1620 (Lysons). [O.S. 77 S.E.]. Enlarged from negative by T. A. Falcon, May, 1903.
This is the entrance to Wonson Manor, near Throwleigh. The present house was built in the seventeenth century, on or close to the site of an earlier house, a few fragments of which probably still remain. Wonson belonged anciently to the Knapman family, from whom it passed by marriage in 1685 to the Northmore's. In the early eighteenth century William Northmore, M.P. for Okehampton and a notorious gambler, staked a then enormous sum on an ace of diamonds- and lost. He had a large image of this card painted on the panelling of his bedroom, and is said to have cursed it every night instead of saying his prayers. The story is described by Baring-Gould and others, and in detail recently (2000)-including the probable winners of the bet- in 'Gidleigh' by Grumley-Grennan and Hardy. The Ace was still extant, a piquant survival, until at least the early 1970's.
Updated on May 17, 2018