"CHAGFORD is a small ancient town, on the eastern side of Dartmoor Forest, in the picturesque valley of the river Teign, 3½ miles W.N.W. of Moreton Hampstead, and 15 miles W.S.W. of Exeter. Its parish comprises 7492 acres, of which 5732 acres are old enclosures and well cultivated; 1271 acres are in pasturage and tillage in Dartmoor; 359 acres are waste, and 129 acres in roads, &c. The gross estimated rental is £7654, and the rateable annual value £5656. The parish has many scattered farm houses, &c., and four corn mills on the Teign, and had 1836 inhabitants in 1841, but they have since decreased to about 1740, owing chiefly to the Woollen Factory here being closed in 1848. Chagford town has only about 1050 inhabitants. It was made one of the Stannary towns in 1328, and had a stannary court, for regulating the tin mining operations of Dartmoor, till about 60 years ago, when it was removed to Tavistock. ... The manor of Chagford belonged to Sir Hugh Chagford in the reign of Henry III. It was successively held by the Wilbery and Whyddon families, for many generations, and the latter were long seated at Whyddon Park, now the seat of E.S. Bayley, Esq., and consisting of an ancient mansion, and a woody park of 300 acres. John Coniam, Esq., who has a pleasant seat called Way Barton, is now lord of two-thirds of the manors of Chagford and Cotterew; and Nicholas Clampitt, of Holy Street, is lord of the other third. There are several other manors in the parish, viz., Prince's Manor, belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall; Shapleigh, belonging to Mr. Maunder, of Exeter; and Rushford, belonging to the Hon. Newton Fellowes. The Earl of Devon, R.L. Berry, Esq., and many smaller owners have estates in the parish. Rushford was an ancient seat of the Hoares; Holly Street formerly belonged to the Rowes and the Southmeads; and Way Barton was long the residence of the ancient family of Prous, or Prouz. The CHURCH (St. Michael,) is a large antique fabric, with an embattled tower and six bells." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

Chagford parish is in Wonford Hundred, and the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the Dartmoor area.



Binding, Hilary. Louis Baycock: a man of the people. Dartmoor Country Mag. no. 7, (1999) pp.4: ill. [Clergy]

Harpley, W. Robert Standerwick. [Obituary] Trans. Devon Assoc., 1890, Vol XXII, p. 42. [Transcript]



Brown, Mike. Chagford (Mini Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 22. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.

Brown, Mike. Guide Notes to Monuments in Devon Churches & Graveyards: Chagford. 22pp. [Whiddon, Northmore, Prouz, Hayter-Hames]

Stone, M., Rhodes, J. and Halliwell, P. Memorials: St Michael's Church, Chagford, old churchyard, (1999). [DFHS 929.5/CHA]


Church History

Ormerod, G. Wareing. Notices of Certain Ecclesiastical Matters at Chagford in the Olden Time. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 18 (1886), pp. 370-375. [Index]

Thorne, Roger F.S. 'Holy Enterprises': Victorian Folk Religion at Chagford. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.183-190. 


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1598 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1598 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):

  • Zion Bible Christian Chapel: Registers for 1822-37 (ZC) in PRO RG 4/340; see also Okehampton (PRO RG 4/1089)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1612-1843, and Marriages 1598-1850, and Bible Christian Chapel Christenings 1822-1837.

Transcription of Chagford Bible Christian Baptisms 1821-1837 by Elizabeth Howard.

The Deanery of Dunsford: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Ashton, Bridford, Chagford, Cheriton Bishop, Christow, Doddiscombsleigh, Drewsteignton, Dunsford, Gidleigh, Hittisleigh, Holcombe Burnell, South Tawton, Spreyton, Tedburn St. Mary, Throwleigh and Whitestone. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2009). [Ashton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1740-1837; Bridford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Chagford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Cheriton Bishop Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1841, Bur: 1813-1837; Christow Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1757-1844, Bur: 1813-1837; Doddiscombsleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1780-1837; Drewsteignton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Dunsford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Gidleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1748-1812 (BT's), Mar: 1814-1837, Bur: 1813-1884; Hittisleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Holcombe Burnell Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1753-1837; South Tawton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Spreyton Bapt: 1803-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Tedburn St. Mary Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Throwleigh Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Whitestone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]

Chanter, J.F. Chagford choir in 1726. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 12:5, (1923) pp.226-227. - Includes names and occupations of Chagford choir 1726.

Osborne, Winifred. The Churchwarden's accounts of St. Michael's Church, Chagford, 1480-1600: an index of surnames. Chagford: The Compiler (1980) 26p.


Description & Travel

General Chagford web-site, with maps and photographs.

Conservation Area Appraisal for Chagford - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps.

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

Barber, Chips. The Great Little Chagford Book. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. (1194) 32p. [ISBN 1899073078] [Index].

Bowen, David. Chagford and Mortenhampstead. Devon Life vol. 6 no. 45 (1970) pp.32-35; ill.

Crosse, Mary. Portrait of a village. Devon Life vol. 8 no. 63 (1971) pp.34-35; ill.

Welcome to Chagford, (n.d.). [SoG Library DE tracts box]

You can see pictures of Chagford which are provided by:



Transcript of entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

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

Brown, Mike. Trade Directory for Chagford & Moretonhampstead 1850, 1870, 1878, Dartmoor Press (2001).


Emigration & Immigration

Davey, F.A., Watts, S.G. Westward Look: Devon Pioneers and Pilgrims in the New World. Town & Country Press Ltd., 42 Rectory Lane, Bracknell, Berks. (1970) 56p. ["John Endecott - The Puritan Governer" [of Chagford] - pp.43-46]



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 Fiona Brooker, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: Bapt. 1843->, Awaiting burials & Banns.)

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.

Dartmoor Press Online Magazine's page for this parish (archived copy), with articles, transcriptions, publication details, etc. - highly recommended.

The Founding of the Hoare Family of Rushford, by L.J. and J.J. Hoard.

Benson, J. The ancestors of Prouz of Chagford, Trans. Devon. Assoc. 72, 1940, pp. 179-84.

Lega-Weekes, C. Prowse memorials in Chagford church. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9:3, (1916) pp.81-89, plates: ill. [Variations of Prowse listed; derivation discussed.] [Index]

Lega-Weekes, C. Prouse memorials in Chagford church. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9:5, (1917) pp.150-151. [Refers to vol.9, pp.81, 121.] [Transcript]

Hoare, Richard Colt, Sir. Pedigrees and memorials of the families of Hore of Rishford, Com. Devon; Hoare of Walton, Com. Bucks; Hoare of London, Com. Middlesex; Hoare of Stourton, Com. Wilts; Hoare of Barn-Elms, Com. Surrey, Hoare of Boreham, Com. Essex. Bath: Richard Crutwell, 1819. [Raymond: Includes pedigrees, medieval-19th c.]

Northcott, M.W.D. Endacott Family, Devon Family Historian, vol. 144, (2012) pp.26-28. [Mainly concerning John Endecott, who emigrated to New England1n 1628, and his descendants]

Sanford, Teddy H. The living and the dead in Chagford, 1480-1600. Family Search International, Elizabethtown, Kentucky (2015) 106pp. [Names from the Churchwardens’ Accounts, showing ancestry of John Endecott, First Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, 1629] [Full text]

Were, F. Prouse memorials in Chagford church. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9:4, (1916) pp.121-123. [Supplementary to vol.9, p.81, par.77.] [Index]



Brown, Mike. Guide to the Heraldry in St Michaels Church, Chagford, Chagford, St Michaels Church (2000).



Sue Davey's Chagford pages provide an illustrated historical account of Chagford, parish register extracts, etc.

Hayter-Hames, Jane. A History of Chagford. Chichester: Phillimore (1981) xvi, 143p: ill.

Ormerod, G. Wareing. On the Traces of Tin Streaming in the Vicinity of Chagford. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 1 (1866), pp. 110-115. [Summary] [Index]

Ormerod, G. Wareing. Historical Sketch of the Parish of Chagford. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 8 (1876), pp. 62-81. [Index]

Ormerod, G. Wareing. On the substitution of firearms for the longbow and contributions to the national armament at Chagford, in the County of Devon during the sixteenth century. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 17 (1885), illus. pp. 337-344. [Index]

Pengelly, W. Recent Discoveries in the Parishes of Chagford and Manaton, Devonshire. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. XII, (1880), tables, pp. 365-379. [Index]

Rice, Iain. The Book of Chagford: : A Town Apart, Tiverton, Halsgrove Press (2002) 160 pp. [ISBN: 1841141933] [Index]

Worth, R. Hansford. A blowing house in the parish of Chagford. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 59, (1927) pp.343-345.

Your Devon: Chagford, Devon Family Historian, No. 73, Feb. 1995, pp. 20-23.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Chagford. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 6". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.

Whale, T W. Some remarks on the bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor, with special reference to the parishes of Throwleigh, Chagford and Gidleigh. Vol 25, Trans. Devon. Assoc. (1893), pp. 510-534. [Index]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX701875 (Lat/Lon: 50.672629, -3.839694), Chagford which are provided by:


Names, Personal

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


Probate Records

Wills of William Homfry (1757), Sarah Whiddon (1777), and Benjamin Southmead (1814) transcribed by Ros Dunning.

Bolton, Margaret. Two Wills and a Dispute, Devon Family Historian, no. 101, (Feb 2002) pp.29-32. [Concerning John Leach (1705-1791) and his second wife Ann (?1719-1791) of Chagford. Includes two descendants charts.]