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Help and advice for Mortehoe

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"MORTHOE; is a scattered village, five miles W.S.W. of Ilfracombe, picturesquely seated on the sea coast, where that narrow rocky promontory, called Morte Point juts out more than a mile into the Bristol Channel, between Bockham and Morte Bays, where there is a dangerous reef of rocks, on which vessels have often been wrecked. The parish contains 372 souls, and about 2500 acres of land, rising boldly from the sea cliffs, and including the hamlets of Horsborough, Shesborough, and Estacott. Earl Fortescue is lord of the manor of Over Wallacombe, and Sir J.P.B. Chichester owns that of Wallacombe-Tracy. The latter was long the seat of the ancient family of Tracy; and Sir Wm. Tracy is said to have lived here secluded from the world after his participation in the murder of Thomas a Becket. The Church (St Mary,) is an ancient structure, with a short tower and three bells. It contains the richly ornamented tomb of Wm. de Tracy, a former rector, who founded a chantry in it in 1308." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Shebbear Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter. According to Peskett, Lee is a modern parish (1869) incorporating parts of this parish and Ilfracombe.


Archives and Libraries

Information about the Mortehoe Heritage Centre can be found at the Devon Museums web-site.



Trebble, Alice. A Woolacombe childhood (ed. Anne Crocker), Bath, Anne Crocker (1982) 56p: ill. [Personal reminiscences. 1910-1920] [Westcountry Studies Library p920/TRE]


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



An 1801 census enumeration for this parish is held by the North Devon Record Office (NDRO 3834A/PZ 1) - here is a transcription by John Pearce.

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]


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Mortehoe area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

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


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1727 are held in the Devon Record Office.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1750-1837 - for details see their book list.

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

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

Nothing transcribed into the IGI (as of Jan 1993).

Brock, Bob and Ann. From Cradle to Grave 1900-1919, 20 years of Birth, Marriage and Death Notices Taken from the 'North Devon Journal' for the parishes of Ashford, Bittadon, Heanton Punchardon, Georgeham, Marwood, Morthoe and West Down Braunton Museum, The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, N. Devon EX33 1AA (2002?) 60p.
An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Arlington, Ashford, Berrynarbor, Bittadon, Bratton Fleming, Braunton, Brendon, Challacombe, Charles, Combe Martin, Countisbury, East Buckland, East Down, Georgeham, Goodleigh, Heanton Punchardon, High Bray, Ilfracombe, Kentisbury, Loxhore, Lynton, Martinhoe, Marwood, Mortehoe, Parracombe, Shirwell, Stoke Rivers, Trentishoe, West Buckland and West Down. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850) and Kelly's Directory of Devonshire (1902), CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2015). [Arlington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1814-1837; Ashford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1747-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Berrynarbor Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bittadon Bapt: 1813-1843, Mar: 1754-1835, Bur: 1815-1843; Bratton Fleming Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Braunton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Brendon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Challacombe Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1822-1848; Charles Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Combe Martin Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Countisbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Buckland Bapt: 1813-1838, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1839; East Down Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1839, Bur: 1813-1852; Georgeham Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Goodleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Heanton Punchardon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; High Bray Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Ilfracombe Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Kentisbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1841, Bur: 1813-1837; Loxhore Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Lynton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Martinhoe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Marwood Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Mortehoe Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1750-1837; Parracombe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1598-1838, Bur: 1813-1838; Shirwell Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Stoke Rivers Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Trentishoe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; West Buckland Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; West Down Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1840.]

Description and Travel

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

Pictorial and descriptive guide to Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Bideford, Woolacombe, and North-West Devon (10th ed rev.), London, Ward, Lock & Co. Ltd. (1920), xxiii, 40, 24, 40 pp. [Index to Part 1: Pages iii to clxxxvi] [Index to Part 2: Pages 1 to 81]

You can see pictures of Mortehoe 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.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Mortehoe to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.



Drake, William Richard. Account of the family of Cutcliffe of Damage in Devonshire. London: Privately printed (1876) 41- 59,xii;tables. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.2/CUT]
Sheffield, Walter Lee. Descent of the manor of Woolacombe through Stowford to Brightley to Cobley to Gifford, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 32, 1971-73, pp. 148-52. See also pp. 179-82. [Medieval.]

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Mortehoe has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Bidgood, R.F. Two villages: the story of Mortehoe and Woolacombe. (4th ed.) Mortehoe: R.F. Bidgood (1984) 95p: ill,map. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/MOR 7/0001/BID]
King, Alice. The Strange Story of Lee, Ilfracombe, Twiss & Sons (1898) 224 pp.
Reed, Margaret. Mortehoe & Woolacombe on the record. Friends of Mortehoe Cart Linha (1997) viii, 196p: ill,map. [ISBN 0950602922]

Names, Personal

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



Mortehoe Apprentice Register 1804-1842. [Devon]: Devon Family History Society (2013). [Foreword]