"ASHWATER, a parish in the hundred of BLACK-TORRINGTON, county of DEVON, 6 miles (S.E. by S.) from Holsworthy, containing 774 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £26. 6. 8. The Rev. T. Melhuish was patron in 1823. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, contains some interesting monuments. Fairs for cattle are held here on the first Tuesday in May, and the first Monday after the lst of August. Freestone of excellent quality is obtained in the vicinity." [From: A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, 1831]



Greer, Margaret. Jane Guscott's Quetta Diary, Devon Family Historian, vol. 101, (2002) pp.10-15. [Jane Guscott was born in Ashwater in 1833, the diary was written in 1885 on board the Quetta bound for Brisbane.]



Residents at Hampden House Academy, Ashwater Village - 1871 census listing, transcribed by Betsy Rubel.

Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]


Church History

Ashwater - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Melhuish, George Douglas. Ashwater church and parish: some historical notes, by the late Prebendary G.D. Melhuish, [Ashwater], [The Church] (1991) 66p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library: p726.5/ASH/MEL]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Baptist Chapel, Muckworthy: Registers for 1828-37 (Z) in PRO RG 8/5; for c1817-37 see Holsworthy (PRO RG 4/1210)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1558-1837 Marriages 1559-1579, 1591-1837.

Kirst Gray offers look-ups of the PRs for the years 1838-1930.


Description & Travel

Ashwater parish website.

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

You can see pictures of Ashwater which are provided by:



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



The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Angela Wood, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs on fiche.)

This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Allwood-Coppin, Lesley and Mike. Following the Dennis Trail, Devon Family Historian, vol. 158, (2016) p.21.

Buckingham, Richard. A History of the Buckingham Family [of Ashwater, Devon and NW Cornwall from the 16th century. (1994) [Devon FHS Library 929.2/BUC]

Buckingham, Richard. Migratory Movement Associated With The Wool Trade, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) p.23.



Notes from Parish Records on Oath-takers from Ashwater, Broadwoodwidger, Hollacombe, Holsworthy and St Giles in the Heath by Pat Williams, provided by the Friends of Devon Archives.

Melhuish, G.D. Notes on the Parish of Ashwater (From Holsworthy Ruridecanal Magazine, 1920-29). (1920-29). [Exeter Cathedral Library]

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Ashwater, Devon. Typescript (1965) 9 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX386952 (Lat/Lon: 50.733931, -4.288504), Ashwater which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Woodhouse, H.B.S. The "Ashwater" of William of Worcester. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 20 (1888), pp. 306-311. [Index]


Names, Personal

Ashwater Apprentices Register - 1803-1831, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF A015). [Foreword]



Lyne, Peter. Hampden House Academy, Devon Family Historian, vol. 118, (2006) pp.4-8.