Peter Tavy


"TAVY ST. PETER, a scattered village in the Tavy valley, on the western borders of Dartmoor, 4 miles N.N.E. of Tavistock, has in its parish 587 souls, and about 6000 acres of land, of which 91 souls, and about 2450 acres, are in Willsworthy hamlet, a high moorland district in Lifton Hundred, 6 miles N.N.E. of Tavistock. The parish also includes Godsworthy, and many scattered farm houses. The Duke of Bedford is lord of the manors of Peter Tavy and Huntingdon; but Willsworthy belongs to the Buller family and the Rev. W. Radcliffe and several smaller owners have estates in the parish, mostly freehold. The Church (St. Peter,) has a tower and five bells; and the living is a rectory valued in K.B. at £17. 1s. 8d., and now in the patronage of the Bishop of Exeter, and the incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Macbean, M.A., does not reside here. An ancient chapel at Willsworthy has long been used as a cowhouse. " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Roborough Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the Dartmoor area.




Harpley, Rev. W. John Merrifield, Ph.D,. F.R.A.S. [Obituary] Trans. Devon Assoc., 1891, Vol XXIII, pp. 106-108. [Transcript]




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

Brown, Mike. Peter Tavy (Pre-1950 Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 10. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.



Barbara Schenck has built up a database of Peter Tavy families, from the 1841 and the 1851 Census, and invites queries.


Church History

History of Peter Tavy Church (archived copy), by Roger Meyrick.


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1674 are held in the Devon Record Office.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1790-1836 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

The members' area of the Devon FHS website makes available online images, not at present (Jan 2016) available elsewhere, of the Parish Registers covering Peter Tavy Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1679-1739, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1740-1812, Baptisms: 1813-1852, Baptisms: 1870-1914, Marriages: 1754-1812, Marriages: 1813-1837, Marriages: 1837-1915, Banns: 1852-1883, Burials: 1813-1868, Burials: 1869-1915.

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1808-37 - see Tavistock (PRO RG 4/341)

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

Brown, Mike. 1754-1812 Burial Indexes: Peter Tavy. RT32, Dartmoor Press (2000).

Glanville, J. Gleanings from Parish Registers. Devon Family Historian 45 (1988) pp.23-24.

The Deanery of Tamerton, CD, Devon Family History Society, Exeter (2003). [Contains indexes: Bere Ferrers - Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Bickleigh - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1811-1837; Buckland Monachorum - Baptisms, 1813-1839 Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Egg Buckland - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Mary Tavy - Baptisms 1813-1840 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Meavy - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1838; Peter Tavy - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1790-1837; Sampford Spiney - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1770-1837; Sheepstor - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1856; Tamerton Foliot - Baptisms 1813-1840 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Walkhampton - Baptisms 1813-1840 Marriages, 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Whitchurch - Baptisms 1813-1839 Marriages, 1754-1838, Burials 1813-1837]

Choosing a parish clerk 1812, Devon Family Historian, vol. 158, (2016) p.44. [Transcript of a note in the parish register by R.V. Willingford]


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Peter Tavy which are provided by:



Transcription 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 Brentor, Mary Tavy, Peter Tavy 1850, 1870, 1878, Dartmoor Press (2001).



Baring-Gould, S. Stephen’s Grave. In: Eighteenth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Folklore. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. XXXIII, (1901), pp. 123-126. [Transcript].



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 Yvonne Holliday, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs on Fiche.)

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.

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

Cottle, Leon. 1857 Honeymoon Cruise, Devon Family Historian, vol. 182, (2022) pp.33-34. [Cottle Family]

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. VI: S. Peter Tavy] [Index]



History of the Village of Peter Tavy (archived copy), by Roger Meyrick.

The Eighteenth Century in Peter Tavy, Devon by Roger Meyrick, provided by the Friends of Devon Archives.

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the parish of Peter Tavy, Devon. Typescript (1964) 6p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/PET 5/0001/WIL]

Meyrick, Roger. The Book of Peter Tavy with Cudlipptown. Tiverton: Halsgrove Press (2002) 160p. [ISBN: 1841141437] [Index]

Stanbrook, Elisabeth. Double Murder at Peter Tavy. Dartmoor Magazine no. 7, (1987) pp.17 - 18; ill. [Account of the killing of Emma Doidge & William Rowe (1892).]

Worthy, Charles. Devonshire Parishes. Exeter: William Pollard (1887) - Vol. 1, pp. 148- 158.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Peter Tavy. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 1". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX512778 (Lat/Lon: 50.58093, -4.10309), Peter Tavy which are provided by: