"FILLEIGH, a small village, pleasantly situated 3½ miles W. of South Molton, and 8 miles E.S.E. of Barnstaple, has in its parish 395 souls, and 2200 acres of land, including about 826 acres in the large and finely wooded park of CASTLE HILL, the beautiful seat of Earl Fortescue, who has another seat at Ebrington Hall, Gloucestershire. The grounds, and the old mansion of Castle Hill, were much altered and improved about 1740, by Hugh Fortescue, Lord Clinton, who, in 1746, was created Earl Clinton and Baron Fortescue, and died without issue in 1751, when the earldom became extinct, but the Barony of Fortescue passed to his half-brother, Matthew Fortescue, who died in 1785, and was succeeded by his son, Hugh, who was created Earl Fortescue and Viscount Ebrington, in 1789. . . The large and handsome mansion of Castle Hill stands in the extensive park, on a well wooded eminence, whose summit is decorated with the artificial semblance of a ruined castle, and commands a prospect of very considerable extent. The grounds in front of the house are disposed into various pleasing slopes, which gradually descend from the terrace to a fine sheet of water, and are diversified by stately groves. Beyond the lake, the ground again rises, and the view is terminated by a handsome triumphal arch, on the top of the hill. Various other ornamental buildings are scattered through the park. In the shrubbery are some remarkably large Portugal laurels; and in the garden is a peach tree of uncommon dimensions." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

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



Brooking-Rowe, J. (Ed.). The Earl Fortescue. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  XXXVIII, (1906), p. 39. [Transcript]

Pugsley, Steven. A year in the life of a noble family and house hold: the Fortescues of Filleigh, Spring 1772 - Spring 1773. Devon Historian 37, (1988) pp.9-14.



MIs for this parish are included in the Incledon and NDA North Devon indexes - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page. A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Church of St Paul is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 8 of Devon Memorial inscriptions (DE/M23).

Ryall, David H. (ind.). Filleigh Churchyard - Gravestones.



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

Surname index to the 1841 Census, compiled by David Ryall.

Surname index to the 1871 Census, compiled by David Ryall.


Church History

Church website (archived copy).

Layley, Charles G. A history of the parish church of St. Paul, Filleigh. [Filleigh]: [The Author] (1979) 3p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/FIL/LAY]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1685 are held in the Devon Record Office.

It has been reported that FIlleigh PR records  for 1685 - 1731 on Find my Past have been mistakenly assigned to West Down. Ref: 3335A/PR/1/1.

Indexes to Filleigh Baptisms for 1813-37 and 1838-75, and to Filleigh Burials for 1813-37, and for 1838-99, compiled by David Ryall.

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.

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1807-37 - see Barnstaple Circuit (PRO RG 4/954)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1597-1601. (These entries are in part from Bishops' Transcripts.)

Deanery of Barnstaple - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837 and Burials 1813-1837 - CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2005). [Index of Atherington: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837), Barnstaple: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Bishops Tawton: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Chittlehampton: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Filleigh: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Fremington: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), High Bickington: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Horwood: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1654-1837), Burials (1675-1837), Huntshaw: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Instow: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Landkey: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Newton Tracey: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1570-1837), Burials (1725-1837), Pilton: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Swimbridge: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Tawstock: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Westleigh: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1838)


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Filleigh which are provided by:



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



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 Linda Anstey, 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.

The Fortescue Family - of Castle Hill.

Chope, R Pearse. (1910). The Family of Fortescue. The Devonian Year Book. London: The London Devonian Association, illus. pp. 36-38. [Index]

Fortescue, Earl. Some notes on the family of Fortescue. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 88, (1956) pp.1-20. [Presidential address.]

Fortescue, Hugh. A chronicle of Castle Hill 1454-1918. London: Privately printed (1929) 200p. [Fortescue Family]



Havinden, Michael. Improvements to the Park of Castle Hill, Filleigh, and the Conversion of an Old Lime Kiln into as Mock Fort, 1769-70. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.97-99.

Pidler, Pat and Pidler, Margaret. Filleigh Fete - Celebrating 150 years of Filleigh Fete History from 1856 - 2005, Filleigh Fete Committee (2005) 48 pp.

Members of Filleigh History Group. Secrets of Castle Hill Gardens, Filleigh History Group (2003) 32p. [Reproductions of 19c. drawings of the features and follies, with modern photographs for comparison]

Rowe, J. Brooking. Mineralogical: Wavellite. In Eighteenth Report of the Committee on Scientific Memoranda,Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1894, Vol. XXVI, pp. 69-70. [Transcript]


Land & Property

Filleigh Land Tax 1780, transcribed by David Ryall.

The Tracy Deed, a 12th century document in the collection of family papers held by the Cruwys family at Cruwys Morchard House, transcribed by Debbie Kennett.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS662280 (Lat/Lon: 51.035738, -3.909668), Filleigh which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Ryall, David. Lest We Forget, War memorials around South Molton. South Molton Archive, 68pp. [ISBN 0 951236 1 4] [Provides an indexed list of names]



South Molton and District Archive Local History Society web-site (archived copy) - provides details of archive holdings for the twenty-eight parishes in what used to be the South Molton Rural District, lists of publications, etc.