"HARTLAND, a small decayed market town . . . near a rivulet about the middle of that north-west corner of Devon which juts out into the Bristol Channel, at Bideford Bay, opposite Lundy Island. It is 13 miles W. by S. of Bideford, and two miles from the sea, but its large parish extends to the point, and to both coasts of the promontory, and comprises 2223 souls, and about 16,700 acres of land including many scattered farm-houses, &c., the hamlets of Millford, Meddon, Cheristow, Elmscott, and Pilham, and the village of STOKE, from 1 to 2 miles W. of the town, where there is a quay. . . . This high and bleak parish is bounded on the south by some boggy heights, where the rivers Torridge and Tamar have their sources; and on the west by Hartland Point, called by Ptolemy, the Promontory of Hercules. . . . L. W. Buck, Esq., of Moreton, is lord of the manor. . . . Hartland Abbey, the seat of George Stuckley Buck, Esq., stands near Stoke village and the church, in the narrow vale, whose sloping sides are richly mantled with hanging woods, and form a spacious deer park, through which a rivulet winds westward to the sea, about a mile below. . . . The Church (St. Nectan,) stands more than a mile west of the town, on a lofty eminence near the sea, Stoke village, and the Abbey. It is a large and handsome building, consisting of a tower, a nave, two aisles, and a chancel. . . . The Chapel of Ease, in Hartland town, is a small structure, formerly the market house, but converted to its present use in 1839, at the cost of about £400, raised by subscription. Here is a small Independent Chapel, built in 1818, and a Wesleyan Chapel, erected in 1829. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]


Archives & Libraries

Hartland Quay - history and museum.

Unfortunately the very extensive Hartland Forum site, and hence the Hartland Archives Project, has had to close. However here is very partial archive of the web-site.



Biographical sketches of Cory Burrow, and Richard Pearse Chope, transcribed from The Hartland Chronicle Almanac by Alan Rowland.

Bond, Nigel. Charlotte Bond and William Braginton: A Hartland Affair, Devon Family Historian, vol. 132, (2009) pp.15-17. [On Charlotte Bond (1821-1895) and William Braginton (b. 1827?)]

Chope, R P. Last of the Dynhams. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 50 (1918). [Brief account of the family and of Sir John Dynham, d. 1501]

Guthrie, Sylvia C. What Can You Find in 18th and 19th Century Newspapers?, vol. 112, (2004) pp.26-28. [Items related to Joseph Ford of Exeter, Ann Hilling of Clayhidon, Wiliam Lewis of Hartland, and John Bicknell of Plymouth]

Johnson, Joy. Finding Margaret Harris, Devon Family Historian, vol. 140, (2011) pp.9-12. [Born Hartland, emigrated to Australia in 1855]

Pennington, Fred. From ploughboy to priest. Bideford: Charles Herridge (1984) 156p: ill [ISBN 0283991801]

Spear, Brian. Richard Pearse Chope 1863-1938, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) pp.10-12.

Webber, Richard. Rev. Peter Vine, of Hartland. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 14:8, (1927) pp.368. [Refers to vol.14, p.328. Rev. Peter Vine executed for rape and murder, 1743.]


Business & Commerce Records

Listings of Licensed Victuallers for this parish are to be found here.



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



Transcriptions by Kathy Miller of the 1841 census (Enumeration District 3 & 4, Enumeration District 5 & 6, Enumeration District 7 & 8, and Enumeration District 9 & 10) and the 1871 census (Enumeration District 1, Enumeration District 2, Enumeration District 3, and Enumeration District 4) for Hartland.

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

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

Extensively annotated listing of the Parishioners seated in St Nectan's Church, 1613 - provided by Stephen Hobbs. (Note: This is a rather wide table.)

Women in the Church Accounts, extracted by Gail Thomas, from Hartland Church Accounts, 1597-1706 (Gregory, I.L. (ed.)., Frome and London: Butler & Tanner Ltd, 1950.

Chanter, Rev. J F. Sixth Report of the Committee on Church Plate - Deaneries of Chulmleigh and Hartland. Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts. Vol. 47, 3rd Series, Plymouth: W Brendan & Son (1915). Paper read at Barnstaple July 21st, illus. pp. 134-159. [Deaneries of Chulmleigh and Hartland] [Index]

Chope, R. Sittings in Hartland Church, 1613. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 1 (1920) pp.26-29. [Index]

Chope, R. Hartland Abbey. Trans. Devon Assoc. 58 (1926) pp.49-115. [Raymond: Includes will of John Prust, the last abbot of Hartland.]

Slader, J.M. Hartland church. Devon Life vol. 1 no. 5, (1965) pp.34-35; ill.

Hobbs, Stephen. St Nectan's: A question of a Seat. Hartland Digital Archive, Hartland (2006).


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1559 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Genogold search service for Hartland PRs is currently unavailable (August 2017).

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1558-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

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

  • Independent/Congregational Chapel: Registers for 1821-37 (C) in PRO RG 4/529

The baptisms and marriages (1558-1837) from the parish registers have been entered into the IGI, as have the baptisms from the Hartland Independent Chapel (1821-1837).

Elizabeth Howard offers look-ups of Devon strays among the Bible Christians' Kilkhampton (Cornwall) Circuit.

Chope, R. Pearse. Saller money or sallery. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 12:2, (1922) pp.53-54. - [Excerpts from Hartland church accounts relating to rate/tax.]

Dredge, J.I. and R.P. Chope, The Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials of the Parish of Hartland, 1558-1837, Devon and Cornwall Record Society Publications. Old Series; 16, Exeter, Devon and Cornwall Record Society (1930-34) 586 p. (Full transcription, with detailed index.)

Gregory, I.L. (ed.). Hartland Church Accounts, 1597-1706. Frome: Butler and Tanner (1950) 372 pp.

Riley, Henry Thomas. The Parish Documents of Hartland, N. Devon. Historical Manuscripts Commission 4th Report (1872) pp.429-429, 5th Report (1876) pp.571-575.

Thornley, Isobel D. Hartland Parish Documents. Bulletin Inst. for Historical Research 5 (1927-28) pp.70-73.

Thornley, Isobel D. Hartland parish records. Trans. Dev. Assoc.; 62 (1930) pp357- 372

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Abbotsham, Alverdiscott, Alwington, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Bulkworthy, Clovelly, East Putford, Frithelstock, Hartland, Landcross, Littleham, Monkleigh, Northam, Parkham, Wear Gifford, Welcombe and West Woolfardisworthy. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850 and Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England 1844, CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2009). [Abbotsham Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Alverdiscott Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1775-1837; Alwington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bideford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Buckland Brewer Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bulkworthy Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1814-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Clovelly Bapt: 1813-1838, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Putford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1797-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Frithelstock Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Hartland Bapt: 1838-1839, Mar: 1558-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Landcross Bapt: 1814-1839, Mar: 1761-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Littleham Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Monkleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Northam Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Parkham Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1537-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Wear Gifford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Welcombe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1757-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; West Woolfardisworthy Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]


Court Records

Inquests Taken into Suspicious or Unexplained Deaths,  for 1899-1912 from the Hartland and West Country Chronicle.

Register of Freeholders - Hartland & Hayridge c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D129). [Foreword]


Description & Travel

Devon Library's Local Studies Service.

Unfortunately the very extensive Hartland Forum site has had to close. However here is very partial archive of the web-site.

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

Hartland Abbey and Gardens - website.

Extract from Murray's "Handbook for Travellers in Devonshire" (1879).

Cottle, George. Hartland Parish Guide. [DFHS LOC 341]

James, G. Home, Sweet Hartland, (1979) [Devon FHS Library p929.35/HAR]

Jones, Rev. A.T.H. Hartland: Coast to quay, The Author (1964). [Devon FHS Library p942.35/HAR]

Lauder, Rosemary Anne. Westward Ho! to Welcombe, Bideford, North Devon, North Devon Books (1994) 70 pp.

Lockyear, Harold. This part of Devon: a description of Hartland and Welcombe for visitors. Bideford: Polypress [1968?] 57p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/HAR 7/1968/LOC]

Lockyear, Harold. Home in Hartland. Bideford: Polypress (1974) 54p: ill. [Barnstaple Library - BT:HAR 7/1974/LOC]

Manley, Tony. Hartland review: a souvenir book of the parish of Hartland. Hartland: Silver Jubilee C'tee (1977) 60p: ill. [Barnstaple Library - 394.4/HAR 7/MAN]

Windridge, I. Hartland, a point to remember. Devon Life vol. 5 no. 35, (1969) pp.29-31; ill.

Hartland Abbey and Gardens, Temprint Limited, TR26 3HT (1969) 16pp.

You can see pictures of Hartland which are provided by:



Transcript of the Hartland and Clovelly entry in the Universal British Directory (1793-98).

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

Transcript of an extract from an 1857 Directory with a description of the parish and nearby hamlets, and a list of clergy, gentry, professions, trades, etc.

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 Hartland Brittons Family website.

Bond, Nigel. The Degory Bragintons of Hartland and Morwenstow, Devon Family Historian, vol. 131, (August 2009) pp.29-32.

Bond, Nigel. Charlotte Bond & William Bragington - Revisted bt DNA, Devon Family Historian, vol. 172, (2019) pp.41-44.

Selley, Maureen. Was Digorius Prust of Hartland, Devon, a Mayflower Passenger? The answer? Perhaps . . . Devon Family Historian, vol. 174, (2020) pp.35-36.

Smith, Patricia. Thomas Cooke, Devon Family Historian, vol. 136, (Nov 2010) pp.37-38. [Thomas Cooke (1749-1827) of Hartland, bur. Mawgan, Cornwall]

Taylor, Ryan. The Jenkin family of Hartland, Devon, 1558-1700, Fort Wayne, Ind.: Taylor (1997) 20 pp. [DFHS Library]

Anon. The Hartland Britton website, Devon Family Historian, vol. 186, (2023) p.31.



Thanks to the late Richard Chope, the history of Hartland has been very fully and competently researched. Amongst his many publications on the subject the main one is:

Chope, R.P. The Book of Hartland, Torquay, Devonshire Press, 1940, 264 pp. (A very detailed account, based on primary sources (which are extensively quoted), of the history of Hartland. The chapter titles are: Farthest from the Railways; Hercules Promontory; Saint Nectar; The Domesday Manors; The Dynham Family; The Descent of the Manor; The Origin of the Abbey; The Abbey Buildings before and after the Dissolution; The Abbot and the Convent; Annals of the Abbey; The Decline and Fall of the Abbey; The Borough of Harton; The Parish Church; Monuments and Epitaphs; Church Armour; Bells and Bell-Ringing; Church Books; The Destruction of Vermin; The Squirearchy; The Ministers of the Church. The appendices are: Free Tenants in 1301; Free Tenants in 1566; Customary Tenants in 1566; Demesne and Barton Tenants in 1566; The Taxation of Pope Nicholas IV, 1291; A Bill in Chancery by John, Abbot of Hartland, c. 1486; Valor Ecclesiasticus, 1535; The Mass of St Nectar; The Life of St Nectar; Glossary. There is a Bibliography of the Author's Writings, and a very detailed Index.) [Reprinted 2006 by The Friends of St Nectan's, Stoke] [Index]

Other historical accounts:

Bouquet, M. Family, servants and visitors: the farm household in nineteenth and twentieth century Devon, Norwich, Geo Book, 1985, 167 pp. [ISBN 0 86094 185 X Hbk and 0 86094 186 Pbk]
A study of village life in Hartland, based on a Cambridge doctoral thesis in social anthropology.

Chope, T.H. The Old Historical Documents of Hartland, to which is appended a list of parchial charities, and divine services. Barnstaple: Herald Steam (1876) 22p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s352/HAR/CHO]

Chope, T.H. A Short History of Hartland Parish. Exeter: William Dolland (1896) 40p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s270/HAR 7/CHO]

Chope, T.H. Notes of the Past No. 5: Hartland Tradesmen's Tokens. Hartland Chronicle (June 1989).

Chope, R.P. The Story of Hartland. (2nd. ed.) Hartland: Thos. Cory Burrow (1908) 59p,plates: ill,map. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/HAR 7/0001/CHO]

Chope, R.P. Farthest from Railways: An unknown Corner of Devon. (7th ed.) Hartland Parish Council (1941), 24 p. [Westcountry Studies Library]

Gregory, Ivon L. Hartland: coast and quay (Rev. ed.) Hartland: Parochial Church Council (1964) 16p, plates: ill. [Barnstaple Library - BT:HAR 7/0001/GRE]

Heard, Dennis L. Hartland: a village in time: a photographic biography portrayed by the early camera. Hartland: Dennis L. Heard,1991, viii, 203 pp. ill., facsims., ports. ISBN: 0951875809. [Index]

Pugh, N.S. and I.D. A Millenium for a Mill: historic Docton Mill and garden, Hartland, Devon. Printeres: KMA, 7 Gregory Terrace, Hartland, Bideford EX39 6AA (1998)72pp. [ISBN 0 9532902 0 4]

Riley, H.T.. "The manuscripts of the parish of Hartland, North Devon", in Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, London, Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, 1874-76.

Strong, H.W. Leather Money from Hartland. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 1891, Vol XXIII, pp. 408-409. [Transcription]

Stucley, Hugh. Sir. Hartland Abbey and its owners since the Dissolution (Presidential address). Trans. Devon. Assoc. 129, (1997) pp.1-11.

Voce, Eileen. Hartland, Sweet Hartland. (1994) [DFHS LOC 157]

Wickes, Michael J.L. The social structure of the parish of Hartland (North Devon) 1558-1620. Typescript (1980) [Westcountry Studies Library - xB/HAR 7/1558/WIL] [Transcription]

Execution of the Rev. Peter Vine. Edinburgh: Pr. by R.Menzies [1800?] 8p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p364.66/HAR/EXE] [Vine was executed at Heavitree in 1743.]

Docton Mill - photograph and brief history (archived copy).


Land & Property

Spreadsheet transcription and maps of the Tithe Apportionments.

Transcript of the Hartland Tithe Land Account (1841) (700k) by Stephen Hobbs.

Chope, R P. The Lord Dynham's lands. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 43 (1911). [A survey taken in 1566 for Henry Compton] [Index]

Chancery pleadings: c.1560 (Docton v. Toker) - transcribed by David Carter.

Examination of Thomas Docton (1575) - transcribed by David Carter.

Purchase of Property in Northam, Appledore and Irsha, 10th December 1612: Bargain and Sale by George Willett gentleman of Bideford, to Thomas Docton gentleman of Hartland - transcribed by David Carter.

Purchase of Property in Northam, 16th October 1617: Bargain and Sale by Thomas Vallett gentleman of Northam, to Thomas Docton of Docton in Hartland esq. - transcribed by David Carter.

Chancery pleadings: 1619 (Stapledon v. Docton) - transcribed by David Carter.

Star Chamber Court pleadings: 1622 (Docton v Docton) - transcribed by David Carter

Chancery Court case pleadings: Bishop v Docken (1622) - transcribed by David Carter.

Chancery pleadings: Corye v Docton (1622) - transcribed by David Carter.

Chancery pleadings: 1623 (Stapledon & Velly v. Atkins, Rowe, Docton, Cooke, Heard & Bagilhole) - transcribed by David Carter

The Earl of Bath v. Thomas Docton (1630/1) - transcribed by David Carter.

Transcript of a Lease of Juells Tenement (1740) by David Carter.



Photographs and description of Hartland Abbey (archived copy), by Nigel Batty-Smith.

Chope, R.P. The Early History of the Manor of Hartland. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 34 (1902), pp.418-454. [Index]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS260244 (Lat/Lon: 50.992626, -4.480775), Hartland which are provided by:


Merchant Marine

Nix, M. and Myers, M.R. Hartland Quay: The story of a vanished port, Hartland, Hartland Quay Museum (1982) 48 pp. (A detailed well-referenced history, well-illustrated with photographs and maps.) [Index]


Names, Geographical

Pearse Chope, R. Old Place Names. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), p.109. [Transcript]


Names, Personal

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

Hartland Residents and Taypayers Names, 1301-1581, compiled by Peter Burnard.

Price, R.W. Child-Naming Patterns in Three Villages, 1558-1740: Whickham, Durham; Bottesford, Leicester; and Hartland, Devon, MA Thesis, Dept. of History, Brigham Young Univ., 1987. (An analysis based on three parishes that have been "reconstituted" by the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. "Although regional tendencies are evident, the overall conclusion is definitive. First sons were named most frequently for the father's father, second sons for the father and less frequently for the mother's father. First daughters shared names most often with the father's mother. Older daughters were named for their mothers and less often for maternal grandmothers. Both sons and daughters were most frequently named for their father's family. England prior to 1750 showed stronger patriarchal leanings than any other English-speaking culture that has been studied.")



The Hartland Chronicle, by Alan Rowland.

The Hartland Times (partial archive) - "established in 1981, inspired and following in the footsteps of Thomas Cory Burrow's "Hartland & West Country Chronicle," which was published from 1896 to 1941."

Hartland and West County Chronicle (March 1899 to June 1922). [Westcountry Studies Library]

Vanstone, Alan R. Cory's Chronicle: the story of the world's strangest newspaper. A.R. Vanstone (1981) 56p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p070/HAR/VAN]



Hughes, Pat. Hartland: changes affecting occupations of a Devon village 1850 -1950. Barnstaple]: [N. Devon College] (1991) 26p: ill, map. [Barnstaple Library - 331.7/HAR 7/HUG]



Finch, Greg. The population of Hartland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Devon Historian 19, (1979) pp.12-22: tables.


Probate Records

Will of Degory Bragington (1713), transcribed by Nigel Bond.

Wills of Alice Docton (1619), Thomas Docton (1619) and John Docton (1653), transcribed by David Carter.

Will of Anthony Hamlyn, transcribed by Nancy Frey.



Window Tax records for 1816 are held by the North Devon Record Office.

Name index to the Hartland Parish section of the Devon Subsidy Roll (1524), by Rob Thompson.

Reichel, Oswald J. The Hundred of Hartland and the Geld Roll. Trans. Devon Assoc., vol. XXVI, (1894), pp. 416-418. [Index]