A Brief History of Combe Estate and the Markers
Combe Estate was gifted to Odo (Bishop of Bayeaux) by his half-brother, William of Normandy (William the Conqueror) at the time of the Norman Conquest. Bishop Odo was thought to be responsible for the creation of the Bayeux Tapestry. Combe Estate features in the Doomsday Book where it is spelled ‘Cwm’ in the Welsh way. A Combe is defined as a wooded valley and the estate certainly lives up to its name.
The stewardship of the estate passed through several family ownerships through inheritance, marriage and sale through the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries.
In 1615 Nicholas Putt purchased Combe Estate. He was a very wealthy man and prominent in society. A staunch royalist he was arrested by Cromwell’s men in 1644. The Putts owned the Estate for 232 years and it was during this time that Beech Walk was planted as well as many of the other wooded areas on the Estate. ‘Black’ Tom Putt was a famous horticulturalist and many believe it was he who gave his name to the ‘Tom Putt’ apple tree.
The Markers married into the Putt family in the 19th century and have continued as custodians of the estate until today. Richard Marker inherited Combe Estate at the age of eight and the estate was held in trust for him until he reached the age of 21. Richard moved from his childhood home on the west coast of Canada in 1982 with his wife Petronela and eldest daughter Karissa. Richard remains custodian of the Estate and has set about expanding and enhancing the assets of the estate over the past thirty or so years.
Combe House was occupied as the family home until the late 1960s. Since then it has been let as a very successful country house hotel with an enviable international reputation. The Pig at Combe