"CHULMLEIGH, a small ancient market town, which has recently been much improved, is pleasantly seated on an acclivity on the north side of the Litle Dart, about a mile from its confluence with the river Taw, eight miles S. of South Molton, 17 miles S.S.E. of Barnstaple, and 23 miles N.W. of Exeter. Its parish contains 1647 inhabitants, and 8815A. 1R. 4P. of land, generally fertile, and rising in bold undulations from the valleys of the Taw and Little Dart, and including the hamlet of Elston, and many scattered farm houses. Chulmleigh is described as a borough in ancient records, but it does not appear to have ever sent burgesses to Parliament. In 1803, the town suffered severely from an accidental fire, which destoyed 95 houses. It formerly had a share of the wool-combing trade, but it is now solely dependent for its prosperity on its markets and fairs, and the gentry and agriculturalists of the neighbourhood. . . . The Church (St Mary Magdalen) is a large ancient fabric, with a tower and six bells, and a handsome carved screen. It was repaired a few years ago, when four new windows were inserted on the south side. It was formerly a collegiate church, five prebendaries having been established in it at an unknown date . . . The prebends have been long consolidated with the rectory, and are called Brookland, Pendalls, Lower Hayne, Higher Hayne, and Deans. " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Witheridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and Diocese of Exeter.