"ILSINGTON, a small village, on an eminence on the eastern side of Dartmoor, nearly 6 miles N.N.E. of Ashburton, has in its hilly parish 1093 inhabitants, and 7563 acres of land, including the scattered hamlets of Haytor-Vale, Higher Brimley, Sigford, Leveton, Harford, Cold-East, and Knighton-Beaumont; about 600 acres of modern plantations: and 1080 acres of open common, among the rugged hills of Dartmoor, where the Haytor Granite Rocks rear their lofty heads, and command from their summits the most diversified and splendid views in the county. . . . The Duke of Somerset owns a great part of the parish, and is lord of the manor of Haytor. C.H. Monro, Esq., is lord of the manor of Akesdon, now called Ingsdon, where he has a handsome seat. Lord Cranstoun, of Scotland, owns Bagtor, where he occasionally resides in the ancient manor house, formerly the seat of the Beares and Fords. . . . The Church (St. Michael,) is a plain ancient structure, with a tower and five bells. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £17. 9s. 7d., and in 1831 at £365, is in the incumbency of the Rev. Charles Masham, M.A., of Caversfield, Bucks. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Teignbridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the Dartmoor area.



Rands, Susan. Thomas Henry Lyon, architect of Middlecott, Ilsington (1869-1953). Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 37:07, (1995) pp.220-8, 37:08, (1995) pp.252-6.

Dymond, Robert & Hawker, Rev Treasurer. John Ford, Dramatist. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 8 (1876) pp. 420-426. [Index]

Taylor, Keith. Devon Customs, Devon Family Historian, vol. 146, (2013) pp.33-34. [William Bickford Taylor, Excise Officer]



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

A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Methodist Church is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 5 of Devon Memorial inscriptions (DE/M18), and for the Church of St Michael in Vol. 9.

Brown, Mike. Ilsington Chapel (Full Survey), Ilsington (Full Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vols. 20, 21.. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.

Ransom, P.J & W.H. Methodist church, Ilsington, Devon: monumental inscriptions and memorials. Ilsington: P.J.Ransom (1986) 8p.. [Westcountry Studies Library - px929.5/ILS/RAN]

Ransom, P.J & W.H. St. Michael's church, Ilsington, Devon: monumental inscriptions and memorials. Ilsington: P.J.Ransom (1984) 1 vol. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.5/ILS/RAN]


Church History

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

Harding, W. On the Churches of Lustleigh and Ilsington. (1854) 18p, plates: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx726.5/DEV/HAR] [Raymond: Includes list of rectors, and of schoolboys in 1639.]

Harding, William. The churches of Lustleigh and Ilsington. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 1 ser, v. 5, (1856) pp.77-94. [Index]

Jones, Winslow. Account of the rectory and vicarage of Ilsington and list of early rectors. Notes & Gleanings, vol 3, (1890) p85.

St Michael's Church, Ilsington. [SoG Library Devon Tracts Box]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Indexed ranscripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1558 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 1813-1838 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

The members' area of the Devon FHS website makes available online images, not at present (Jan 2016) available elsewhere, of the Parish Registers covering Ilsington Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1558-1634, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1628-1688, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1687-1778, Baptisms and Burials: 1779-1812, Baptisms: 1813-1845, Baptisms: 1845-1914, Marriages and Banns:1754-1777, Marriages and Banns:1777-1812, Marriages:1813-1837, Marriages:1837-1915, Banns:1823-1899, Burials: 1813-1868, Burials: 1869-1915.

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1801-36 - see Ashburton Circuit, Okehampton (PRO RG 4/1763, 840)
  • Wesleyan Chapel, Knighton: Registers for c1815-37 - see Ashburton Circuit, Okehampton (PRO RG 4/840, 1089)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1558-1837, and Marriages 1558-1837.

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

An index of baptisms (1813-1839), marriages (1754-1837) and burials (1813-1837) in the parishes of Ashburton, Bickington, Bovey Tracey, Buckland in the Moor, Hennock, Highweek, Ideford, Ilsington, Kingsteignton, Lustleigh, Manaton, Moretonhampstead, North Bovey, Teigngrace and Widecombe in the Moor. Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850., CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2011). [Ashburton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Ashburton Independent Chapel Bapt: 1817-1839; Bickington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1771-1837; Bovey Tracey Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bovey Tracey Baptist Chapel, Bur: 1784-1837; Buckland in the Moor Bapt: 1813-1851, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1737-1840; Hennock Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Highweek Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1813-1837; Ideford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; llsington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Kingsteignton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Lustleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1785-1837; Manaton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1843; Moretonhampstead Bapt: 1813 1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; North Bovey Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Teigngrace Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Widecombe in the Moor Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837]


Description & Travel

Ilsington parish council - community website.

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

Conservation Area Appraisal for Ilsington - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps

You can see pictures of Ilsington which are provided by:



Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.

Brown, Mike. Trade Directory for Buckland in the Moor, Ilsington, Lustleigh, Manaton, North Bovey, Widecombe 1850, 1870, 1878, Dartmoor Press (2001).



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 Audrey Fawn, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: BMB transcripts 1500s-1800s.)

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.

Avery, Graham. Lost and Found - after a hundred years: A "Tommy" in the family - Thomas Avery (1899-1917), Devon Family Historian, vol. 166, (2018) pp.18-19.

Barnes, John Denley. The Denley Family of Devon, Devon Family Historian, vol. 123, (2007) pp.37-38.

Cox, Catherine. Haytor Vale 1891, Devon Family Historian, vol. 133, (2010) p.13. [Transcript of letter by Helena Myra Cox, and family photograph.]

Cox, Catherine. Haytor Vale 1891, Devon Family Historian, vol. 134, (2010) p.3.



Donne, Roger. A Note from the Ilsington Parish Registers, Devon Family Historian, vol.  no. 178, (2021) pp.19-21. [Account of a 1639 school building collapse, naming the pupils - who all survived unharmed.]

Patch, J.D.H. A History and Description of the Parish of Ilsington containing much of interest to visitors to Hay Tor Vale and its Rock. Newton Abbot: Mid Devon Times (1925) 23p,9p plates: ill,map. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/ILS/1925/PAT]

Ransom, Bill. A History of Ilsington, Chichester, Phillimore (2005) 112 pp. [ ISBN : 1 86077 351 6]

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Ilsington, Devon. Typescript (1962) 10 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]

Wills, Dick. The Book of Ilsington - A Photographic History of the Parish, Tiverton, Halsgrove Community History Series (2000) 160 pp., over 300 photographs. [ISBN: 1-84114-060-0] [Index]


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Ilsington. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 5". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.

Elliot, John. Homes and gardens - bagtor, Ilsington. Devon Life vol. 9 no. 77 (1972) pp.20-22; ill.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX785761 (Lat/Lon: 50.571972, -3.71714), Ilsington which are provided by:


Military History

War Memorials at Ilsington Methodist Chapel, transcribed by John Williams.

Avery, Graham. Thomas Avery (1889-1917): Great War soldier's grave visited, Devon Family Historian, vol. 167, (2018) pp.36.

Amery, Peter Fabyan Spark. The Haytor Volunteers: their history and development. Totnes Times & Western Guardian (1888) 26p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p355.37/DEV/AME


Names, Personal

Toor, Cecil. Index to the Names of the Male Inhabitants over 18 Years of Age in the Parishes of Moretonhampstead, Hennock, Lustleigh, South Bovey otherwise Bovey Tracey, North Bovey, Manaton, Ilsington, and Widecombe in the Moor, in the years 1641, 1642. Cambridge University Press, [1913]. pp. 11. 22 cm.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Ellis, D.M. Ilsington Charities. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 31 (1968-70 pp.184-185.

Ransom, Bill. Ilsington charities - part 1: parish lands. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 39,1 (2002) pp. 26-30. [Discussion of the history charitable bequests and donations made in the form of land or buildings in the parish of Ilsington, Devon.]


Probate Records

Will of John Northcott of Ilsington (1856) provided by Joe Northcote.


Public Records

Starkey, F.H. and Meredrew, M.H. The Highways of Ilsington. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 34, 5 (1980) pp.203-208 and 34, 6 (1980) pp.240-244. [Raymond: Some accounts, including names.]



Henwood, J. Ilsington Parish Register, Devon Family Historian 74 (May 1995) pp. 30-31.

M., R.B. Ilsington: Accident in 1639. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 11 (1920-21) pp.275-277. [Raymond: List of schoolboys present when the Ilsington school house collapsed.] [Index]