Dean Prior


"DEAN-PRIOR parish, from 3 to 5 miles S.S.W. of Ashburton, has 552 souls, and about 4000 acres of land, including nearly 1400 acres of open common, on the eastern side of Dartmoor Forest. Its villages are Dean Town and Dean Church Town, on the Exeter and Plymouth road, where there are several woolcombers, and where the gentlemen and hounds of the celebrated Dean Hunt usually assemble. The manor of Dean Prior was held by the Prior of Plympton, and now belongs, with that of Skerraton, to Sir J.B.Y. Buller, but Sir W.R. Carew, and a few smaller owners, have estates here. Dean Court, a large Tudor mansion, formerly a seat of the Giles and Yarde families, is occupied by a farmer. The Church (St. George,) has lately been rebuilt, except the tower, at the cost of about £1500, by Sir J.B.Y. Buller, who is impropriator of the rectory, and patron of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £21, and in 1831 at £309. The Rev. R.C. Kitson, who is the incumbent, has a good residence, and 23A. 1R. 17P. of glebe. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

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



Chute, Marchette. Two gentle men: the lives of George Herbert and Robert Herrick. London: Secker and Warburg (1960) 319p.

Colson, P.H. Herrick in Devonshire. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 24, (1892) pp.70-75. [Poet] [Index]

Easton, Emily. Youth Immortal: A Life of Robert Herrick, with Illustrations Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company (1934) 219pp. [Index]

Hunter, A. How dull was his Devonshire?. Devon Life vol. 8 no. 66 (1971) pp.36-38. [Robert Herrick, writer]

Hazlitt, W. Carew (Ed.). Hesperides: The poems and other remains of Robert Herrick now first collected., Vol.1, London, John Russell Smith (1869). illus. xxxiv, 261 pp. [Surname Index to Preface]

King, Richard John. Robert Herrick and his Vicarage. Sketches and Studies, Chap. 8 London: John Murray (1874) illus. pp. 363-377. [Index]

Moorman, F W. Robert Herrick: A Biographical and Critical Study, Part I, The Life (pp. 1-116). London: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd. (1910), 251 pp. [Index]



Brown, Mike. Dean Prior (Full Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 15. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.

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



Census for 1821, transcribed by Daniel Morgan.

Index to Census (1841), from the Parishes of the South Hams website.


Church History

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

Dean Prior Parish Church web-site - provides information about the history of the church and about the poet Robert Herrick, Dean Prior Vicar from 1629 to 1674.


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1557 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1557 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 1790-1812 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1557-1837, Marriages 1561-1837.

Among the records for this parish provided by Devon Heritage are transcripts of Burials for 1837-1901.

Dean Prior christenings 1701-1812 - SoG Data Online DE/REG (SoG Members only).

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)]

Sellman, R.R. Dean Prior, Devon: edited transcript of parish registers to 1837, with family reconstitutions & other evidence. Typescript (1992) 145p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.3/DEA/1557]

Brown, Mike. Dean Prior Pre-1754 Marriage Index. Dartmoor Press, P.O. Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL (1999?)


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Dean Prior which are provided by:



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

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.

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.

Carpenter, H.J. Furse of Moreshead: A Family Record of the Sixteenth Century. Trans. Devon Assoc., vol. XXVI, (1894), pp. 168- 184, pedigree. [Index]



Colson, F.H. "Herrick and Dean Prior", in Memorials of old Devonshire (ed. Snell, Frederick John), London: Bemrose and sons, limited, (1904) xi, 305 pp.

Keene, C.J.P. Herrick's Parish, Dean Prior. Plymouth: William Brendon (1926) 87p, plate: ill.

Your Devon? Dean Prior, Devon Family Historian, No. 82, May 1997, pp. 28-29.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Dean Prior. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 3". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX730635 (Lat/Lon: 50.457545, -3.790478), Dean Prior which are provided by: