"BURLESCOMBE, a pleasant village, near the Bristol and Exeter Railway, 8½ miles E.N.E. of Tiverton, and 5 miles S.W. of Wellington, has in its parish 958 souls, and 3767 acres of land, divided into the Town tithing, and Appledore, Westleigh, and Ayshford tithings and hamlets. The three latter comprise 2600 acres and are in Halberton Hundred. The parish is hilly, and abounds in limestone. It extends to the borders of Somerset, and is crossed by the Grand Western Canal. In 1841, Appledore had 195, and Westleigh 323 inhabitants. . . . The manors of Burlescombe, Ayshford, and Westleigh, formerly belonged to the Claville and Ayshford families, and are now held by Edward Ayshford Sanford, Esq.; but a great part of the parish belongs to the heirs of the late Sir Wm. Follett, R.H. Clarke, Esq., Henry Dunsford, Esq., and other freeholders. The Church (St Mary,) is a fine antique structure, with a tower and five bells. . . . There is a small ancient chapel of ease at Ayshford, and a Wesleyan chapel at Westleigh. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

Part in Bampton Hundred, part in Halberton Hundred, in the Archdeaconry of Exeter. Peskett: Westleigh and Appledore in this parish need to be distinguished from similarly-named places in North Devon.



Bond, Sue. Tree House: Thinking outide the box, Devon Family Historian, vol. 184, (2022) pp.20-21. [George Francis Pinson (b.1874)]



Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]


Church History

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

Elworthy, F.T. Canonsleigh. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 24 (1892) illus., pp. 359-376. [Index]

James, Jeanne. Ayshford Chapel, Burlescombe - part I. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 39,5 (2004) pp. 129-134, pl, refs. [Outline of the history of Ayshford Chapel in Burlescombe from the first documentary references to it in the late-thirteenth century to its decline in use during the early-nineteenth century.]

James, Jeanne. Ayshford Chapel, Burlescombe - part II. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 39,6 (2004) pp. 161-166, figs, pl, refs. [Continuing the history of Ayshford Chapel in Burlescombe, focusing on the nineteenth century and its restoration, and its decay during the twentieth century prior to further restoration work by the Friends of Friendless Churches.]

Rose-Troup, Frances. Canonsleigh priory. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 8:4, (1914) pp.104-105. [Transfer from canons to canonesses, 1284.]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1579 are held in the Devon Record Office.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1838, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel, Westleigh: Registers for c1812-37 - see Tiverton (PRO RG 4/342)
  • Society of Friends: Registers for 1676-1804 (Births), 1676-1790 (Marriages), 1676-1827 (Burials), including Spiceland, in PRO RG 6/1545

Nothing entered into the IGI as of Jan 1993.

Parish Church Marriages for 1580-1736, and Baptisms for 1579-1689, 1667-1687, 1689-1736 are in the 5-CDROM LDS British Vital Records Index (1538-1888), (Item #50028).

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bampton, Bickleigh, Burlescombe, Calverleigh, Clayhanger, Culmstock, Halberton, Hockworthy, Holcombe Rogus, Huntsham, Loxbeare, Morebath, Petton Chapelry, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton St. Peter, Tiverton Cove, Uffculme, Uplowman, Washfield and Willand. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White’s Directory (1850) and Kelly’s Directory of Devonshire (1902), CD-ROM 064, Exeter, Devon FHS (2016). [Bampton Bapt: 1813-1838 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1814-1838; Bickleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1836 Bur: 1800-1837; Burlescombe Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1838 Bur: 1813-1837; Calverleigh Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1757-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Clayhanger Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1833 Bur: 1750-1852; Culmstock Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Halberton Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Hockworthy Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1759-1837 Bur: 1813-1838; Holcombe Rogus Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1844 Bur: 1813-1837; Huntsham Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1755-1836 Bur: 1750-1838; Loxbeare Bapt: 1813-1841 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1983; Morebath Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Petton Chapelry Bampton Parish Bapt: 1813-1839 Bur: 1813-1861; Sampford Peverell Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Tiverton St Peter Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Tiverton Cove Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1682-1837 Bur: 1815-1837; Uffculme Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1783-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Uplowman Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Washfield Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Willand Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837.]


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Burlescombe 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 John Hurford, who invites queries and lookup requests.

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.

Dave Rothery's website: Ayshfords of Ayshford.



Perceval, Charles Spencer. Notes on early charters and documents relating to the priory and abbey of Canonsleigh ... of Devon. London: J.B.Nichols & Sons (1869) 34p: ill.

Tanner, Thomas. The history ... of Burlescombe in the county of Devon. Typescript (1912?) 56p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/BUR 3/0001/TAN]

Worth, R.N. A History of Devonshire, With Sketches of Leading Worthies, London, Elliot Stock (1886) p.109. [Burlescombe extract]


Land & Property

Finberg, H.P.R. Ayshford and Boehill. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 103, (1971) pp.19-24: map.

London, Vera C.M. (comp.) Cartulary of Canonsleigh Abbey, Devon and Cornwall Record Society (1965).

Radford, C A R. Ayshford Court, Burlescombe. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 27,8 (1957) pp. 196-8.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ST075166 (Lat/Lon: 50.941395, -3.317934), Burlescombe which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Burlescombe Apprentices Register - 1803-1835, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF A079). [Foreword]


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Cullompton Register of Bastardy Applications 1850-1859, Exeter, Devon FHS (2004). [Includes parishes of Burlescombe, Churchstanton, Cullompton, Halberton, Kentisbeare, Silverton, Thorverton and Uffculme.] [Foreword] [Names included in the overall index published as "Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief" (CD 023).


Probate Records

Transcripts of the wills of William Coram (1761), Stephen Hewett (1819), and John Hewett (1851) by Diane Harris.

Transcript of the will of William Deere (1670), provided by Wendy Lawday.