"ASHBURY parish, 5 miles S.W. of Hatherleigh, has only 65 souls, and 1560 acres of land, nearly all the property and manor of John Morth Woollcombe, Esq., of Ashbury House, a fine old mansion, with tasteful grounds, where his family has been seated since 1685. The Church (St. Mary) is a small structure, which has lately been repewed, at the expense of Mr Woolcombe. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £5. 13s. 4d., and in 1831 at £109, is in the patronage of the Crown, and incumbency of the Rev. H. Woolcombe, who is also rector of High Hampton and Pillaton. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Black Torrington Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter.


Church History

Williams, H. Fulford. The Rectors of Ashbury, Devon. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 28 (1959-60) pp.55-58, 187-188.


Church Records

The early Parish Registers were destroyed by fire, but Bishop's Transcripts going back to 1610 are held in the Devon Record Office.

The Society of Genealogists holds copies of the parish registers covering the years 1596-1644.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1812 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Nothing entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993).

The Deanery of Okehampton: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Ashbury, Beaworthy, Belstone, Bratton Clovelly, Broadwoodkelly, Exbourne, Germansweek, Hatherleigh, Highampton, Honeychurch, Inwardleigh, Jacobstowe,Monkokehampton, Northlew, Okehampton and Sampford Courtenay. Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2011). [Ashbury Mar: 1755-1810; Beaworthy Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1758-1837, Bur: 1760-1837; Belstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1837; Bratton Clovelly Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Broadwoodkelly Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1839, Bur: 1813-1838; Exbourne Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Germansweek Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1813-1840; Hatherleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Highampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1747-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Honeychurch Bapt: 1813-1842, Mar: 1757-1837, Bur: 1813-1842; Inwardleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1790-1837; Jacobstowe Bapt: 1813-1852, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Monkokehampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1838, Bur: 1813-1837; Northlew Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Okehampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Okehampton Independent Chapel Bur: 1829-1837; Sampford Courtenay Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Ashbury, 1610-1635. Abstracts of the Existing Transcripts of the Lost Parish-Registers of Devon, 1596-1644, and short notes on the extant pre-reformation registers of all the parishes in the county, from particulars furnished by the several incumbents thereof. Vol. 1 A-Bra. Exeter: W. Pollard (1908). [Full text]

Baptisms from Bishops Transcripts: Ashbury 1838-1844. [Devon]: Devon Family History Society (2013).

Burials from Bishops Transcripts: Ashbury 1842. [Devon]: Devon Family History Society (2013).


Description & Travel

Section on Ashbury  from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

You can see pictures of Ashbury which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



The Ashbury Tragedy - transcription by Rosemary Williams of a broadsheet poem about the murder in 1827 of Sarah and Edward Glass by Thomas Friend.

Hervey, W.R. "The Place where the Devil died of Cold": the histories of the united parishes of Northlew and Ashbury. "United by Order in Council". 24 March 1876 (typescript) (1876). [Exeter Cathedral Library]

Northlew History Group. The Book of Northlew with Ashbury : People of the Land, Tiverton, Halsgrove Press (2002) 160 pp. [ISBN: 1841141976] [Index]

Williams, W.M. A West Country village: Ashworthy: family, kinship and land. London: Routledge Kegan Paul (1963) xxii, 229p: maps. [Ashworthy = Northlew and Ashbury]


Land & Property

Cann, David. Pinnacle - a cottage, farm and home, Ashbury, Devon, Devon Family Historian, vol. 181, (2022) pp.29-33. [Maps, census records, newspaper cuttings]



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX507980 (Lat/Lon: 50.762332, -4.118306), Ashbury which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Ashbury contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.


Probate Records

Transcript of the will of Richard Page Breyley (1909), provided by Roy Drew.