North Molton


"NORTH MOLTON is a large village on the bold western acclivity of the river Mole, 3½ miles N. by E. of South Moulton. It consists chiefly of irregularly built thatched houses, and its extensive being enclosed. This large parish extends about 5 miles N. and N.E. of the village, to the sources of the Mole and Duns Brook, among the lofty hills on the borders of Somersetshire and Exmoor Forest. It includes the hamlets, &c., of Heasley, Ben-Twitchen, Hunston, Walscott, Upcott, Flitton, and many scattered farmhouses. About ten years ago, a very rich copper mine was discovered in the northern part of the parish, called "Prince Albert's Mine," and containing a mixture of gold. . . . There is a woollen mill at Heasley, and the village has two cattle fairs, on the Wednesday after May 12th, and the last Wednesday in October. It had formerly a weekly market and a fair on All Saints' day, granted in 1270 to Roger le Zouch, whose family obtained the manor from King John, . . . Lord Poltimore owns most of the parish; and Court Hall, being in the neighbourhood of Exmoor Forest, was long occupied by his family as a hunting seat; and the few wild red deer which still linger in that mountainous region, render it a desirable abode for the lovers of the chase. . . . The Church (All Saints,) is a fine antique structure, with a tower containing six bells, and rising to the height of 100 feet." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in South Molton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.



Annett, Norman. The notebook of John Thorne (1761-1828). Photocopy (1961) 18p. [Westcountry Studies Library - xB/NOR 7/0001/ANN]

Bowler, W.H. The strawbwerry roan of Exmoor. Devon Life vol. 5 no. 37, (1969) pp.39. [Tom Faggus, Highwayman]

Browning, Lynne. Legend of Faggus, and his Strawberry Horse, Devon Family Historian, vol. 132, (2009) pp.14-15.



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

Memorial Inscription to Margaret Pasmore and family, provided by Desmond Painter.



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 Records

Parish Registers going back to 1539 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1539 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 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1539-1850 and Marriages 1539-1571, 1606-1850.

The Deanery of South Molton: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bishop's Nympton, Cheldon, Creacombe, Cruwys Morchard, East Anstey, East Woolfardisworthy, East Worlington, George Nympton, King's Nympton, Knowstone, Mariansleigh, Meshaw, Molland, North Molton, Oakford, Puddington, Rackenford, Romansleigh, Rose Ash, Satterleigh, South Molton, Stoodleigh, Templeton, Thelbridge, Twitchen, Warkleigh, Washford Pyne, West Anstey, West Worlington and Witheridge. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850) and Kelly's Directory of Devonshire (1902). CD-ROM 062, Exeter, Devon FHS (2015). [Bishop's Nympton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Cheldon Bapt: 1813-1843, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1841; Creacombe Bapt: 1814-1902, Mar: 1759-1835, Bur: 1813-1850; Cruwys Morchard Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Anstey Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1688-1839; East Woolfardisworthy Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1840, Bur: 1813-1837; East Worlington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; George Nympton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1790-1837; King's Nympton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Knowstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1740-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Mariansleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1757-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Meshaw Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1813-1838; Molland Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; North Molton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Oakford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1840; Puddington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1759-1836, Bur: 1740-1837; Rackenford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Romansleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1730-1837; Rose Ash Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1850; Satterleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; South Molton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Stoodleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Templeton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Thelbridge Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1853; Twitchen Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Warkleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Washford Pyne Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1813-1840; West Anstey Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1745-1838; West Worlington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1846, Bur: 1813-1851; Witheridge Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1835]


Court Records

Transcription, by Angela Bavidge, of the Report in the North Devon Journal Herald (of 3 Sep 1829) of the trial of Abraham Reed, including testimony by several North Molton witnesses.


Description & Travel

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

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



Transcript of the entry for South and North Molton in Pigot's Devonshire Directory of 1844.

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.



The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Lyn Chapple, who invites queries and lookup requests.

The North Molton and South Molton Shattickes - Shattocke Family History (archived version), by Philip  Shattock, describes how the family entered Devon from Somerset late in the 15th century, first settling in North Molton and spreading out from there.

Cole, C.H.B. Descendants of John Cole of North Molton, Devonshire. 2nd ed. Sandford St. Martin: C. H. B. Cole, 1987. [17, 20th c.]

Evans, Winnifred. Bowden/Bawden - Webber, Devon Family Historian, vol. 121, (2007) pp.25. [Unidentified photographs, believed to be of descendants of Henry B(o)awden and Elizabeth Webber (m. 1847, North Molton)]

R., J.H. Pedigrees of St Maure and Zouche. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 4:7, (1907) pp.247. - Pedigrees not set out, but sources detailed.

Shapland, J.D. Shapland and Dee: 2 former North Molton Families (2 parts), (1999) [DFHS 929.2/SHA]



Gold at North Molton - from the Mining History Information Pages (archived copy).

Annett, Norman. North Molton: pre-census population. [s.l.]: The Author (1970) 60p. [Westcountry Studies Library - 301.32/NOR/ANN]

Annett, Norman. North Molton: a North Devon parish. Typescript [1995?] 206 leaves: ill,maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - sxB/NOR 7/0001/AN]

Annett, Norman. North Molton and its people. Typescript thesis (1981) 2 vols. [Westcountry Studies Library - xB/NOR 7/0001/ANN]

Annett, Norman. A Breach of Promise, c.1579. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.1-2. [Re: Emma Kerbye, North Molton]

Judy McCarthy, Judy; Stone, Adrian and Edmunds, Jonathan (eds.). A Celebration of the people and history of North Molton. North Molton History Society (2011) 189pp.

Bate, Margaret (comp.) Within living memory: or North Molton tales. North Molton: Margaret Bate (1992) 40p. ill. [ISBN 0951946307]

Reichel, O.J. The One-Time Hundreds of North Molton and Molland in Early Times, Trans. Devonshire Association, vol. Extra volume, (1936) 11pp.

Samuel, J.A. Heasley Mill and its Methodist Church 1867-1992. [North Molton]: J.A. Samuel (1992) 16p. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/NOR 7/0001/SAM]

Sauerzapf, Ruth. The long street: an account of North Molton, Devon in the past and not-so- distant past. [North Molton]: R Sauerzapf [1976] 16p. [Barnstaple Library - BN:NOR 7/0001/SAU]

Sauerzapf, Ruth. Paper mate: a true story of a newsvendor in a North Devon village. [North Molton]: R Sauerzapf [1978] 22p. [Barnstaple Library - BN:NOR 7/0001/SA]


Land & Property

Indenture between John Ridd of Bratton Fleming and Richard Radley of North Molton (1757), transcribed by Rachel Barnard.

A note on some Passmore Farms in North Molton, Bishop's Nympton and Twitchen, by Desmond Painter.

Indenture beteen Sir Richard Bampfylde Bt. and William Passmore (1773), transcribed by Desmond Painter.

Indenture beteen Edmund Passmore, Ann Passmore and others (1838), transcribed by Desmond Painter.

The copyhold tenancy of John and Michael Passmore in North Heasley, North Molton (1569), transcribed by Desmond Painter.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS736299 (Lat/Lon: 51.054492, -3.804849), North Molton which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Ryall, David. Lest We Forget, War memorials around South Molton. South Molton Archive, 68pp. [ISBN 0 951236 1 4] [Provides an indexed list of names]



Extracts from 18th and 19th Century newspapers relating to North Molton, provided by Lindsey Withers.



South Molton and District Archive Local History Society web-site (archived copy) - provides details of archive holdings for the twenty-eight parishes in what used to be the South Molton Rural District, lists of publications, etc.

North Molton History Society.