"CHULMLEIGH, a small ancient market town, which has recently been much improved, is pleasantly seated on an acclivity on the north side of the Litle Dart, about a mile from its confluence with the river Taw, eight miles S. of South Molton, 17 miles S.S.E. of Barnstaple, and 23 miles N.W. of Exeter. Its parish contains 1647 inhabitants, and 8815A. 1R. 4P. of land, generally fertile, and rising in bold undulations from the valleys of the Taw and Little Dart, and including the hamlet of Elston, and many scattered farm houses. Chulmleigh is described as a borough in ancient records, but it does not appear to have ever sent burgesses to Parliament. In 1803, the town suffered severely from an accidental fire, which destoyed 95 houses. It formerly had a share of the wool-combing trade, but it is now solely dependent for its prosperity on its markets and fairs, and the gentry and agriculturalists of the neighbourhood. . . . The Church (St Mary Magdalen) is a large ancient fabric, with a tower and six bells, and a handsome carved screen. It was repaired a few years ago, when four new windows were inserted on the south side. It was formerly a collegiate church, five prebendaries having been established in it at an unknown date . . . The prebends have been long consolidated with the rectory, and are called Brookland, Pendalls, Lower Hayne, Higher Hayne, and Deans. " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

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



MIs for this parish are included in the Incledon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

Congregational / Independent
East Street, Chulmleigh, Congregational


Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]


Church History

Prebends of Chulmleigh, from The British Magazine and Monthly Register of Religious and Ecclesiastic Information (1840).

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

Chamberlain, Rev. Elsie. A short history of Chumleigh Congregational Church, Devon 1633-1983. [Chumleigh]: Rev. Chamberlain [1983] 16p: ill. [Barnstaple Library - 726.5/CHU 3/CHA]

Pearson, J.B. The church of Chulmleigh. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 39, (1907) pp.208-215. [Index]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1653 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1651, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1610, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

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.

Bideford Methodist Circuit baptisms (1819 -1870) transcribed by David Carter. (Contains entries from the following parishes: Abbotsham, Allington, Alverdiscott, Alwington, Appledore, Arlington, Barnstaple, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Bucks Mills, Burrington, Chulmleigh, Clovelly, Fremington, Frithelstock, Great Torrington, Hatherleigh, Huntshaw, Ilfracombe, Instow, Landcross, Little Torrington, Littleham, Loxhore, Marystowe, Monkleigh, Newton Tracey, Northam, Parkham, South Molton, St Giles in the Wood, Wear Giffard, Westleigh, Woolfardisworthy.)

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1806-1837 - see Barnstaple Circuit, Bideford, Cullompton (PRO RG 4/954, 955, 958)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1610, 1621, 1635-1726 and Marriages 1610-1635 (incomplete), (entries based in part on Bishops' Transcripts); 1653-1726. East Street Independent Chapel Christenings 1812-1837

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

Chulmleigh's community web-site - general information.

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

You can see pictures of Chulmleigh 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 1725 -1848; Banns 1773-1823; Marriages 1725-1837; Burials 1725-1837.)

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.

Bass, R.C.M. The Edworthy scandals: the will and the brawl: how the Church courts dealt with the delinquents and ... spent the Poor Rates. [s.l.]: R.C.M Bass (1990) 29 pages. [Westcountry Studies Library - p262.983/CHU/BAS]

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]

Grant, Jenny. John & Martha Street, Devon Family Historian, vol. 139, (2011) pp.9-10.

Knapman, David. Multiple cousinshps, Devon Family Historian, vol. 142, (2012) pp.9-10. [The Webber and Greenslade families, in the Chulmleigh and South Molton area.]

Mooney, Olive. Tracing the Webbers. Typescript (1995) 12 pages. [Barnstaple Library - 929.2/WEB]



Articles on John Cruwys and the Stolen Cow of 1848, and on Sanitary Conditions in Chulmleigh of 1856, transcribed by Debbie Kennett.

Bass, R.C.M. Chulmleigh before the Black Death. Chulmleigh: R.C.M.Bass (1987) 24 pages: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/CHU 3/1086/BAS]

Bass, R.C.M. Chulmleigh. Short History and Walkround Guide. Chulmleigh: R.C.M.Bass. (1999) [DFHS Library p9942.35/CHU]

Bass, R.C.M. The Domesday Survey and the Country round Chulmleigh. Chulmleigh: R.C.M.Bass.

Bass, R.C.M. Armada Beacons. Chulmleigh: R.C.M.Bass.

Bromley, Rosemary D.F. Nineteenth Century Economic and Population Change at Chulmleigh. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 102 (1970) pp.121-140.

Cording, J.G. A Short History of the Congregational Church, Chulmleigh, Devon. (1933) [Exeter University Library, Plymouth Central Library]

Gentry, F.D. Take Care of your Fire and Candle [11 fires in Devon towns]. Devon Books (1985) 138p. [ISBN 0861147596] [Devon FHS Library 929.35]

Bass, R.C.M. The Chulmleigh book. Chulmleigh: Barrow, Bartlett (1997) 200p.


Land & Property

Westcott, Margaret. Surveying the Estates of Henry Courtenay, Earl of Devon, Marquis of Exeter and Traitor, 1543-4. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.199-203. [Okehampton, Chulmleigh, Tiverton, Broadclyst, Colyton, Exminster]

Ebdon, Martin. The landscape around Chulmleigh in 1711: a reconstructed map. Trans. Devon Assoc. 140 (2008) pp.45-89.



Particular of the extensive manor and borough, or lordship of Chulmleigh, in the county of Devon [1780?] 2 pages. [Westcountry Studies Library - LE 1780]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS686141 (Lat/Lon: 50.911367, -3.870431), Chulmleigh which are provided by:


Military History

Details from the War Memorial, provided by Emily Hollins.


Names, Personal

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

Names from an 1822-23 edition of Pigot's Directory.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Bass, R.C.M. Poor Relief in Chulmleigh in the Early Eighteenth Century. Trans. Devon Assoc. 118 (1986) pp.43-61. [Raymond: Extracts from an account book of 1719-1735, including lists of the poor in 1720, etc.]

Bass, R.C.M. Administering the Poor Law in Chulmleigh, c. 1800. Trans. Devon Assoc. 127 (1995) pp. 145-161.


Probate Records

Will of Richard Sampson (1815), transcribed by Fay Sampson.



Bass, R.C.M. Chulmleigh Girls' School, later the Primary School. (History of the education of girls and infants in Chulmleigh from 1856 to 1937) [Chulmleigh] [198-?]. [Raymond: Many names, including the schedule of children entered for the school's inspection, 1874.]