The Meaning and History of Indio

The Devon Historian, vol. 85, 2016
The Meaning and History of Indio in Bovey Tracey, and the Legend of its Nunnery
Introduction Indio is a Grade II listed, Tudor-style, Victorian house built on a woodland site in the parish of Bovey Tracey, South Devon, just over a mile from the centre of the ancient borough (Figure 1). Local guide books state that there was probably a medieval nunnery situated here, although a detailed examination of sources relating to the history of Indio tells us something different as this article will show.1 From 1216 there was an outlying grange farm on the site, owned by St John’s Hospital, Bridgwater. Connection with the distant religious house in Somerset ended at the dissolution of the monasteries, and in 1536 Indio was granted to John Southcott and John Tregonwell. John Southcott built his family seat there and became Lord of the Manor of Bovey Tracey. A pottery business was developed on the site between 1750 and 1836. In the twentieth century some of the land was developed for housing and holiday lodges.
The meaning of ‘Indio’ The name Indio, which is sometimes written as Indeo or In Deo, is intriguing. The assertion by local historians since the late nineteenth century that Indio derives from Latin, and meant ‘House of God’ has persisted, although this