North Tawton


"NORTH TAWTON, a small ancient town, pleasantly situated on the east side of the Taw valley, 6½ miles N.E. of Okehampton, and 10 miles W. of Crediton, has in its parish 1728 inhabitants, and about 5350 acres of land, exclusive of Ilton Moor and Stone Moor, now being enclosed and cultivated. . . . In the town is a large tan yard and a woollen factory, the latter of which has been employed in the manufacture of serges, &c., from a very early period. Most of the modern brick and slated houses occupy the sites of old cob, buildings, which were burnt down in the last 30 years. . . . The Hon. Newton Fellowes is now lord of the manor and owner of a great part of the parish, and the rest belongs to the Trustees of the late Lord Rolle, and several smaller owners. Ashridge House is the seat of Wm. Orchard, Esq.; Crook Burnell, alias Stone, belongs to the Stuart family; and Nicholls Nymet belongs to John Wreford, Esq. . . . The Church (St. Peter,) is an ancient structure, with a tower containing six bells, and crowned by a wooden spire. . . in the incumbency of the Rev. G. Hole, B.C.L., of Chulmleigh. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in North Tawton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter. The registers include entries for Broad Nymet.



Sir Henry Bath, Knight, from Worthies of Devon.

Williams, H.F. Fulford. Memories of a Devon childhood. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 92, (1960) pp.302-310.



Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]



The Devon Record Offices have, under Parish Records ref: 2914 A/PM 89 etc., a list of inhabitants compiled 1802/3 which includes ages and occupations. These original papers are in a very fragile condition, but constitute a valuable census, a transcription of which has been provided by John Pearce.


Church History

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

Williams, H. Fulford. Rectors of North Tawton. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 26 (1954-55) pp.20-24.

Wright, G.Russell. North Tawton Gospel Hall: the story of a Devon chapel. Bow: The Author (1992) 8p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p289.9/NOR/WRI]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1538 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.

North Tawton Bishop's Transcripts (1607-1835) are viewable online in FamilySearch (log in required.)

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

  • Independent/Congregational Chapel (later United Reform Church), Fore Street: Registers for 1812-36 (ZC) in PRO RG 4/452

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Independent Chapel Christenings 1812-1836.

The North Tawton Parish Registers are available on microfiche from Harry Galloway Publishers and Booksellers, The Cottage, Manor Terrace, Paignton, Devon TQ3 3RQ.

Hingeston-Randolph, F.C. The Rectors of High Bickington in the Deanery of Torrington. (1892) [Westcountry Studies Library, Devon & Exeter Inst.]

Williams, H. Fulford. North Tawton parish briefs 1666-1685...accounts 1653- 1659...and accounts 1676-1685. Typescript (1953) 26p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx361.73/NOR/WIL]

Williams, H. Fulford. North Tawton parish, Devon: churchwarden's accounts 1630-1655; parish accounts 1675-1686. Typescript (1953) 22p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s352.17/NOR/WIL]

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bondleigh, Bow, Brushford, Burrington, Chawleigh, Chulmleigh, Clannaborough, Coleridge, Eggesford, Lapford, North Tawton, Nymet Rowland, Wembworthy and Zeal Monachorum. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850). CD-ROM 063, Exeter, Devon FHS (2014). [Bondleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Bow Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Brushford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Burrington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Chawleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Chulmleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clannaborough Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1759-1834, Bur: 1697-1836; Coleridge Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Eggesford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1750-1838; Lapford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1567-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; North Tawton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Nymet Rowland Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1734-1879; Wembworthy Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1733-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Zeal Monachorum Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837]


Court Records

Register of Freeholders - Lifton, Northtawton & Plympton c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D131). [Foreword]


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of North Tawton 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 scheme's representative for this parish is Denise Hunt, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: Register transcription.)

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.

Caroline Tilbury's North Tawton pages contain extensive information from directories, and on settlement and apprentices, wills, etc., including on John W Salter (artist), and on the Reynell and the Taylor Families.

Avery, Graham. The Avery Family - A Journey in Time; Chapter 1 - Devon Bound (1851), Devon Family Historian, vol. 182, (2022) pp.27-28.

Avery, Graham. Devon Bound - An Ancestral Journey in Time', Devon Family Historian, no. 188, (2023) p.35. [Describes the contents of this 220-page book (available as a PDF from averyg[at]gmail[dot]com)]


Beckwith, Ian. The Stanbury Family of North Tawton, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) p.22.

Benson, J. The Valletorts of North Tawton, Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries, vol. XX, no. 7, (1939) pp.247-254.

Dymonde, R. Gifford or Giffard of Yeo, Devon, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica (New Series), 2, 1877, pp. 312-3. [Raymond: Pedigree, 14-17th c.]

Oswald, Neville C. Budds of North Tawton: a medical family of the 19th century. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 117 (1985) pp. 139-150.

Taylor, M. Jane. What Was Happening Here?, Devon Family Historian, no. 153, (2015) p.27. [Trigg & Arscott families]

Webber, Greg. The Webbers of Bow and North Tawton c1810, Devon Family Historian, vol.178, (2021) pp.32-33.

Some notes on Devonshire families allied to Harington of Worden in Shebbear, viz Yeo of Heanton and Shebbear, Gay (probably the poets kindred), Somers of North Tawton, Brent of Newton St. Petrock and Shebbear, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica N. S., 3, (1880) pp. 364-8. [Raymond: Includes 17-19th c. PR extracts.]



Sue Davey's North Tawton pages provide historical information, and parish register extracts.

Analysis of North Tawton Oath-Takers, 1723 by Jean Shields, provided by the Friends of Devon Archives.

William Budd and the 1839 North Tawton Typhoid Outbreak, by Caroline Tilbury.

Dr William Budd and The Typhoid Outbreak in mid-Devon 1839-40 (archived copy) - by Peter Selley.

Baker, Alison, Hoare, David and Shields, Jean. The Book of North Tawton: Celebrating An Ancient Market Town, Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6SS, UK, Halsgrove Publishing (2002) 160 pp. [Index]

Gentry, F.D. Take Care of your Fire and Candle [11 fires in Devon towns]. Devon Books (1985) 138p. [ISBN 0861147596] [Devon FHS Library 929.35]

Mortimer, W. The History of North Tawton. (Rev. Ed.) North Tawton: The Author (1978) [2], 25p [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/NOR 9/0001/MOR]

Reichel, Oswald J. The "Domesday" hundreds of Devon: III. The Hundred of North Tawton. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 29, (1897) pp.245-274. [Index]

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the parish of North Tawton, Devon. Typescript (1950) 37p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/NOR 9/0001/WIL]

Williams, H. Fulford. North Tawton: a Devon market town. Trans. Devon Assoc. 86 (1954) pp. 115- 136.

Williams, H. Fulford. Norh Tawton Celebrations for the Peace of Amiens, 1802. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 28 (1959-61) pp.281-285. [Raymond: Gives the names of many 'officials' assisting in the conduct of the celebrations.]


Land & Property

Laycock, C.H. Some Devonshire Field-Names, with suggestions as to their signification, by Edward Stanbury, of North Wyke near North Tawton. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 45, (1913), pp.479-488. [Index]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS664017 (Lat/Lon: 50.799416, -3.897177), North Tawton which are provided by:


Names, Personal

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

North Tawton List of Inhabitants - c1800, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D032). [Foreword]


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Removal Orders, Settlement Examinations, etc., from Caroline Tilbury's North Tawton pages.



Lega-Weekes, E. Neighbours of North Wyke, Pt IV. North and South Tawton in the Pipe Rolls. Trans Devon Assoc. Vol. XXXVI, (1904), pp. 415-444. [Index]