North Bovey


"BOVEY (NORTH) is a pleasant village, with a well wooded green, in the picturesque valley of the West Teign, 1½ mile S. of Moreton Hampstead. Its parish contains 660 souls and 5654 acres of land, including the hamlets of Wormhill and Lettaford, and about 1000 acres of common, on the eastern hills of Dartmoor Forest, where there are two tin mines, called Birch Tor and East Birch Tor. There is a cattle fair in the village on the Monday after Midsummer-day. The Earl of Devon is lord of the manor, but part of the parish belongs to a number of small freeholders, and a portion of it is in the manor of West Teign, which belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. The Church (St. John,) is a large antique fabric, in the perpendicular style, with a tower and six bells. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £22. 10s. 5d., and in 1831 at £303, is in the patronage of the Earl of Devon, and incumbency of the Rev. Fras. J. Courtenay, who has a good residence and 25A. 2R. 26P. of glebe. . . . " [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.



A., M. The Rev. William Henry Thornton [Obituary]. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9:3, (1916) pp.65-68, plates: port. [First vicar of Simonsbath. Scholar. Dartmoor specialist. 1830-1916] [Transcript]

Adams, Maxwell. The Rev. William Henry Thornton. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  48, (1916), pp. 49-52. [Transcript]

Durham, W.E. In memoriam W.H. Thornton, North Bovey Church, April 9th, 1916. [s.l.]: [s.n.] [1916] 5p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s920/THO]

Thornton, W.H. Reminiscences and reflections of an old West Country clergyman. Typescript [1917?] 3 vols. [Westcountry Studies Library - s920/THO]



Brown, Mike. North Bovey (Pre-1900 Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 20. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.


Church History

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

Durham, W.E. List of rectors of North Bovey, Devon from 1279. Exeter: James Townsend (1905) 27p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s283.0922/NOR/THO]

Thornton, W.H. The Bells of North Bovey Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913. pp. 118-120. [Transcript]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1572 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1572 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1754-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1572-1791, and Marriages 1572-1775.

Moretonhampstead History Society provides a searchable database covering Moretonhampstead baptisms, marriages and burials (for 1603-1920), and for North Bovey baptisms, marriages and burials (for 1710-1920).

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) North Bovey, 1612-1630. Abstracts of the Existing Transcripts of the Lost Parish-Registers of Devon, 1596-1644, and short notes on the extant pre-reformation registers of all the parishes in the county, from particulars furnished by the several incumbents thereof. Vol. 1 A-Bra. Exeter: W. Pollard (1908). [Full text]

Brown, Mike. Pre-1754 Marriage Index for North Bovey and Manaton. The Dartmoor Press (1999).

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

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

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

You can see pictures of North Bovey which are provided by:



Copy 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).

Wheeler, Edith. The perfect village. Devon Life vol. 8 no. 61 (1971) pp.18-19; ill.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



Dartmoor Press Online Magazine's page for this parish (archived copy), with articles, transcriptions, publication details, etc. - highly recommended.

Worthy, C. Devonshire Parishes: or the antiquities, heraldry and family history of twenty-eight parishes in the archdeaconry of Totnes (2 vols), Exeter, W. Pollard (1887). [Chap. XIX: North Bovey - William PIPARD; the Lords L'ISLE; Earl of Shrewsbury; BASSETT; Sir Arthur PLANTAGENET; Sir George SMITH of Maydesworthy; George MONK, Duke of Albemarle; BEAUCHAMP of Elmley; Catherine PARR and Lord LATIMER; Edward COURTENAY, Earl of Devon] [Index]



Brown, Mike. Guide to the Heraldry in the Church of St John the Baptist, North Bovey, North Bovey, Church of St John the Baptist (2000).



Sherley-Price, Leo. North Bovey: A short history and guide, (nd). [SoG Library DE tracts box]

Thornton, W.H. The Plague at North Bovey. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), pp.197-200. [Transcript]

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of North Bovey, Devon. Typescript (1962) 9 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]

Worthy, Charles. Devonshire Parishes. Exeter: William Pollard (1887) - Vol. 2, pp. 162- 182.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. North Bovey. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 6". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX739838 (Lat/Lon: 50.640208, -3.784684), North Bovey which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Torr, 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.


Probate Records

Transcription of the will of John Windeat (1824) by Pam Jackson, provided by Sandra Windeatt.