"BLACKAUTON, a straggling village of indifferently built houses, on high ground, 5 miles W. of Dartmouth, has in its parish 1449 souls, and 5589 acres of land, including many scattered houses, and the village and chapelry of STREET, on the coast of Start Bay, more than 4 miles S.S.E. of the church, and S.W. of Dartmouth. Here are also small hamlets or assemblages of houses, called Bow, Dryton, East Down, Borlestone, Millcombe, and Woodford. A large fishing village, called Undercliff, near Street, is said to have been destroyed by the encroachments of the sea, many years ago. H.L. Toll, Esq., is lord of the manor and owner of a great part of the parish, and the rest belongs to W. Dimes, Esq., J. Netherton, Esq., C.Barter, Esq., Mrs. Hayne, and many small freeholders. . . . The Parish Church (St. Michael,) is a large antique structure, with a tower and six bells. It is in the early perpendicular style, but most of the windows are modern insertions, and the chancel walls have recently been rebuilt. . . . The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £15. 8s. 9d., and in 1831 at £128, is in the patronage of Sir H.P. Seale, Bart., and incumbency of the Rev. E.T. Seale, who has a good residence and small glebe. The tithes, which formerly belonged to Tor Abbey, are now held by the trustees of the late Abraham Welland, Esq., and were commuted in 1841, for £739. 6s. 6d. per annum, subject to the vicar's stipend. Street Chapel of Ease, at the south end of the parish, was built about 14 years ago, by subscription, and a grant of £250. It is a neat structure, in the Gothic style, with an embattled tower. There are National Schools and small Weslyan Chapels at Blackauton and Street. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Coleridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the South Hams area.



Brooking-Rowe, J. (Ed.) Charles Seale-Hayne, M.P. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. XXXVI, (1904), pp. 37-38. [Transcript]

Obituary of John Pering [1726-1754], Manuscript (1754?) 4 pp. [Physician] [Westcountry Studies Library: LE 1754]



Square, J. Harris. Epitaphs from Churches, Churchyards and Burial Places in the Following Parishes: Kingsbridge, South Milton, East Allington, Dodbrooke, Malborough, Blackawton, West Alvington, Sherford, Charleton, Thurlestone, Churchstow, East Portlemouth. Devonshire Association Trans. 29, (1897) pp.182-215. [Index]



Transcription of the 1841 census, from the Parishes of the South Hams website.


Church History

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

A short guide to the church of St. Michael and All Angels, Blackawton. [Blackwaton?]: [The Church?] [1968?] 9p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/BLA/SHO]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1538 are held in the Devon Record Office.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Strete Chapel has registers from 1836, but became a separate parish in 1881.

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

  • St Michael, Strete (chapelry): Registers for 1836-1952 (C), 1871-1968 (M), 1838-1987 (B) at DRO
  • Ebenezer Wesleyan Chape, Blachawton and Strete: Registers for c1811-37 - see Brixham Circuit (PRO RG 4/842)

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

Indexes to Blackawton, St Michael Baptisms 1748-1842, Burials (1697-1747), Banns (1837-1889), Burials (1825-1891) and Marriages (1813-1837), from the Parishes of the South Hams website.

Index to Strete, St Michael & All Angels Baptisms (1836-1914), from the Parishes of the South Hams website.

The Deanery of Totnes: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials . . . with photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850, CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2009). [Ashprington: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Blackawton: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Buckfastleigh: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Cornworthy: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1840), Dartington: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Dartmouth St. Clement: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Dartmouth St. Petrox: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Dartmouth St. Saviour: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Dean Prior: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1755-1837), Bur (1790-1837), Diptford: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Dittisham: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Halwell: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1755-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Harberton: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Holne: Bapt (1813-1842), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Rattery: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1800-1837), South Brent: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Stoke Fleming: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Totnes: Bapt (1813-1842), Mar (1754-1837), Bur: (1813-1837)]

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Blackawton, 1609-1618. 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]

McNaught, M.J. Blackawton CMB(I) Strays 1538-1850, Typescript (2006). [SoG Library DE/R 91]

McNaught, M.J. (transcr.). Totnes Deanery Marriages, Vol. 1 - Ashprington: M 1597-1649, 1657-1850, strays index & banns only index, Blackawton: M 1538-1850, strays index & banns only index 1758-73, 1785, 1796, Buckfastleigh: M 1597-1641, 1650-57, 1668-1850, strays index, Cornworthy: M 1568-1642, 1653-1850, strays index, Dartington: M 1538-55, 1569-83, 1589-1635, 1653-1850, strays index, (2006). [SoG Library, DE/R 98]


Description & Travel

Strete Parish Council Official Website - general and historical information, links, etc.

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

Conservation Area Appraisal for Strete - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps [Downloadable PDF].

You can see pictures of Blackawton which are provided by:



Transcription of the entry in White's Devonshire Directory (1850) by Terry Partridge.

Scanned image of Kelly's Directory 1923, from the Parishes of the South Hams website.

Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.



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



The South Hams Genealogical Information Resource website offers lookups in their records concerning this parish.

Bridgman, Sandra. What Happened to Charlotte, Devon Family Historian, vol. 122, (2007) pp.35. [Charlotte Oldrey, b 1824]

Cowell, Peter. Oldreive Half Sister, Devon Family Historian, vol. 181, (2022) pp.9-10. [Mary Browne Oldreive, bap. 1778]

Dimes, Ursula. Oldstone: The Story of a Ruined Mansion. Dartmouth History research Group. Paper; 9 (1985) 50p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library: p728.83/DAR/DIM] [Raymond: Traces descent; includes pedigree of Dimes, 17th-20th c.]

Evans, Charles. Cholwich of Blackawton, Devon, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 28, 1959-61, pp. 85-8.

Lewis, Roger. Tozer in Devon, Devon Family Historian, vol. 146, (2013) pp.11-12.

Webster, Tony. Tozer, Devon Family Historian, vol. 141, (2012) pp.11-12. [On the Tozer family of Blackawton]



Bradbeer, Grace. The Land That Changed Its Face: The Evacuation of Devon's South Hams 1943-1944. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, Devon (1973). [ISBN 0-7153-5781-6] [Index]

Smithies, Marion F. Strete: past and present. Dartmouth: R. Cranford & Son [1933] 52p. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/STO 3/0001/SCO] [Index]

Rose-Price, Robin and Parnell, Jean. The Land We Left Behind, Orchard Publications (2004) 96 pp. [ISBN: 1898964610] ["In November 1943 the people of Strete, Blackawton, Chillington, East Allington, Frogmore, Sherford, Slapton, Stokenham and Torcross were told to leave their homes . . . What local people didn't realise at the time was that this wasn't simply for routine war training: it was the beginning of practice manoeuvres that would culminate in D Day on June 6th 1944."

Thompson, Carole. The Blackawton mystery: a Victorian melodrama, Totnes, Totnes Community Arc. (1986) [8], 60p: ill. [Murder trial: Laura Shortland] [Westcountry Studies Library: p345.02523/BLA/THO]

The sacrifice of the South Hams, 1943-1944, [Slapton], [Commem. Cttee.] [1984] 7 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library pB/SOU 2/1943/SAC]


Land & Property

Lower Cotterbury Farmhouse - a detailed report on this late 18th or early 19th century mansion by Stewart Brown, with a brief account of its various inhabitants over the years. (Prepared for South Hams District Council, prior to the site's redevelopment.)

O'Shea, Irene. Wadstray House: a history, Dartmouth History Research Group (1997) iv, 36p: ill, map, ports. [ISBN: 1899011110] [Westcountry Studies Library: p728.8/BLA/O'SH]

Pattison, Paul. Oldstone: a mansion and its gardens in South Devon: a survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Proc. Devon Archaeol. Soc., vol. 50, (1992) pp.125-136: ill, plates.


Language & Languages

The British Library's Survey of English Dialects - Blackawton, Devon.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX804509 (Lat/Lon: 50.345838, -3.682264), Blackawton which are provided by:


Probate Records

Transcript of the will of John Blake (1763) by Elizabeth Kipp.



Blackawton with Strete History Group - provides a photgraphic archive, and has published the book "The Land We Left Behind.