A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
TAWTON (BISHOP'S), a parish in the hundred of SOUTH MOLTON, county of DEVON, 2 miles (S. by E,) from Barnstaple, containing 1200 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Bishop of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £21, and in the patronage of the Dean of Exeter. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a neat ancient structure, with a handsome stone spire. On the division of the see of Sherborne, about 905, Tawton was made the seat of the Devonshire diocese, by Eadulphus, or Werstan, its first bishop; but under the second (Putta) it was translated to Crediton, and, in 1550, Bishop Vesey conveyed the manor to the Russell family. Some remains of the episcopal palace are still discernible, and in the churchyard are the ruins of the deanery. This parish contains the populous village of Newport, ...