"CHAWLEIGH, a parish and village on the south side of the Little Dart valley, 2 miles S.E. of Chulmleigh, contains 850 inhabitants, and 5478 acres of land; and has two cattle fairs, on May 6 and the Tuesday before the last Thursday in October. L.W. Buck, Hy. Reed, Cpr. Northcote, and the Rev. J. Russell have estates here, but about three-fourths of the parish belong to the Hon. Newton Fellowes, who is also lord of the manor, and patron of the rectory, valued in K.B. at £25. 14s. 2d., and in 1831 at £501, and now in the incumbency of the Rev. P.F. Clay, M.A., who has an ancient residence and 95 acres of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1849 for £470. 5s. 10d. per annum. The Church (St. James,) has an embattled tower, six bells and a handsomely carved screen. The parish has 24A. of land, ten houses, and several gardens let for about £90, which is mostly applied in the service of the church. The Free School and master's house are vested with the trustees of the parish lands; and here is another school supported by the rector. The poor parishioners have about £6 yearly from various bequests." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in North Tawton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.



Kenner, Henry. Memoir of Mrs Mary Ann Cole. The Bible Christian Magazine. Being a Continuation of the Arminian Magazine, Vol. 3 of the 4th Series. (Vol 46 from commencement). Plymouth, Devon: J. Thorne (1867) pp. 169-171. [Index]



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


Church History

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

Drawing, and 1842 account (archived copy), of the parish church, from the Devon CC web-site.


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1544 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.

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

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bondleigh, Bow, Brushford, Burrington, Chawleigh, Chulmleigh, Clannaborough, Coleridge, Eggesford, Lapford, North Tawton, Nymet Rowland, Wembworthy and Zeal Monachorum. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850). CD-ROM 063, Exeter, Devon FHS (2014). [Bondleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Bow Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Brushford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Burrington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Chawleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Chulmleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clannaborough Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1759-1834, Bur: 1697-1836; Coleridge Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Eggesford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1750-1838; Lapford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1567-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; North Tawton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Nymet Rowland Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1734-1879; Wembworthy Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1733-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Zeal Monachorum Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837]


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Chawleigh 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 Michael Mitchelmore, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: baptisms 1743-1849, banns 1754-1801, marriages 1743-1837 and burials 1743-1837.)

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.

Bowerman, Ann L. The Bater book and allied families: Shore, Ensley, Granger, Thomas, Baltimore, Gateway Press (1987) xxi, 613p: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library s929.2/BAT]

Kellaway, Warwick. Family Churches in History, Devon Family Historian, vol. 162, (2017) pp.23-24. [The Kellaway family (Durham, Chawleigh, also Cheldon and Chulmleigh)]



Destructive Fire at Chawleigh - from The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (27 Aug 1869)

The Destroyed Village of Chawleigh, from The Architect (1869).

Pepperell, Algernon & Hillman, F.M. Chawleigh notes...collected between 1958-74. Typescript (1974) 2 vols: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - fB/CHA 9/0001/CHA]


Language & Languages

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



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS711126 (Lat/Lon: 50.898449, -3.83436), Chawleigh which are provided by:


Military History

Transcription of the Chawleigh WW1 Parish Memorial, by Michael Mitchelmore


Names, Personal

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


Probate Records

Wills of Margaret Webber, Widow (1653), and Grace Webber, Widow (1655), provided by Elsie Person.

Wills of John Snell (1651) and William Shobbrook (1837), transcribed by Adrian Parry.

Wills of John Snell (1657), William Snell (1815), William Snell (1828) and Mary Snell (1850), transcribed by Joanne Dyer.

Will of Edward Snell (1799), transcribed by Joanne Dyer and Marlene Williamson.

Admon of Harriet Challice (1886) transcribed by Paul Challice.

Will of Anthony Snell (1618), transcribed by Fay Sampson.

Will of William Challice (1885), transcribed by Paul Challice.