North Lew


"NORTH LEW, 4 miles S.S.W. of Hatherleigh, is a large and pleasant village, on a lofty eminence, commanding delightful views, and having two ancient crosses, one in the centre, the other at the cross roads. Its parish contains 1051 inhabitants, and 5306 acres of land, including 2000 acres of common, 200 acres of wood, and the hamlet of Whitston. Mr. Vowler is lord of the manor of North Lew, but that of Harper's Mill belongs to Mr. W. Honeychurch; and a great part of the parish belongs to J.M. Woollcombe, Esq., Mrs. Morris, and many smaller owners. Redcliffe belongs to Mr. Woollcombe, and has a fine freestone quarry and the remains of an ancient chapel. The Church (St. Thomas a Becket,) is a small antique fabric, with a tower and five bells, and is in a delapidated state, but it is hoped that funds will shortly be raised for its reparation. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £27. 8s. 9d., and in 1831 at £342, is in the patronage of the Crown, and incumbency of the Rev. Thos. England, M.A., who has 39A. of glebe, and a neat residence, built in 1849. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Black Torrington Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and Diocese of Exeter.



Freeman, Ann Mason. A Memoir of the Life and Ministry of Ann Freeman, written by herself and an account of her death by her husband Henry Freeman. Exeter, New Hampshire: N. Towle, (1831), pp. xii, 14-216. [Index]


Church History

Parsons, R. Keith. Souls for Your Hire: A History of the Northlew Circuit of the Methodist Church From 1811 to 1932, Thesis. [Devon R.O. 24/PAR] [DFHS CD 084, 2015]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1690 are held in the Devon Record Office.

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 c1815-37 - see Okehampton (PRO RG 4/1089)
  • Wesleyan Chapel, Crowden: Registers for c1815-37 - see Okehampton (PRO RG 4/1089)

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

The Deanery of Okehampton: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Ashbury, Beaworthy, Belstone, Bratton Clovelly, Broadwoodkelly, Exbourne, Germansweek, Hatherleigh, Highampton, Honeychurch, Inwardleigh, Jacobstowe,Monkokehampton, Northlew, Okehampton and Sampford Courtenay. Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2011). [Ashbury Mar: 1755-1810; Beaworthy Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1758-1837, Bur: 1760-1837; Belstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1837; Bratton Clovelly Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Broadwoodkelly Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1839, Bur: 1813-1838; Exbourne Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Germansweek Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1813-1840; Hatherleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Highampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1747-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Honeychurch Bapt: 1813-1842, Mar: 1757-1837, Bur: 1813-1842; Inwardleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1790-1837; Jacobstowe Bapt: 1813-1852, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Monkokehampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1838, Bur: 1813-1837; Northlew Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Okehampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Okehampton Independent Chapel Bur: 1829-1837; Sampford Courtenay Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]


Description & Travel

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

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



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



The Online Parish Clerk for this parish is Thomas Peeke, who invites queries and lookup requests.



Hervey, W.R. "The Place where the Devil died of Cold": the histories of the united parishes of Northlew and Ashbury. "United by Order in Council". Typescript (1876) 169p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/NOR 6/0001/PLA]

Northlew History Group. The Book of Northlew with Ashbury : People of the Land, Tiverton, Halsgrove Press (2002) 160 pp. [ISBN: 1841141976] [Index]

Williams, H.Fulford. Notes on the parish of North Lew, Devon. Typescript (1963) 8p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/NOR 6/0001/WIL]

Williams, W.M. A West Country village: Ashworthy: family, kinship and land. London: Routledge Kegan Paul (1963) xxii, 229p: maps. [Ashworthy = Northlew and Ashbury]



Reichel, Oswald J. Extract from court roll of North Lew and Halwill manor. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 8:4, (1914) pp.123-126. [1542-1543]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX505991 (Lat/Lon: 50.772165, -4.121587), North Lew which are provided by:


Probate Records

Transcript of the will of James Brayley (1845), provided by Roy Drew.