Plympton St Mary


"PLYMPTON ST MARY adjoins Plympton-Earl, and is an extensive parish, on the east side of the vale of the river Plym, from 3 to 5 miles N.E. of Plymouth. It contains 9984A. of land, and 2757 inhabitants. It has no village of its own name, but includes those of RIDGWAY, UNDERWOOD, and COLEBROOK, and the hamlets of Hemerdon, Sparkwell, Venton, and part of Lee Mill Bridge. . . The Earl of Morley is lord of the manor and barony of Plympton, and resides at SALTRAM, a stately mansion, in an extensive and finely wooded park, on the east side of the river Plym, about 2 miles E.N.E. of Plymouth. . . A great part of the parish of Plympton St. Mary belongs to Geo. Strode, R.Z. Mudge, E. Tolcher, H.H. Treby, Geo. Woollcombe, G.W. Saltau, and Wm. Bratton, Esqrs., Mrs. Symons, and several smaller freeholders, most of whom have pleasant seats here. The Earl of Morley owns Colebrook, which came to his family with the heiress of the Mayhews. Hemerdon House is the seat of Geo. Woollcombe, Esq. Newnham, the ancient seat of the Newnhams and Strodes, is now a farmhouse; but the mansion in Newnham Park, built about the beginning of last century, is the handsome residence of Geo. Strode, Esq., . . The Church of Plympton St. Mary was anciently the conventual church of the Priory. It is a spacious and handsome structure, built at the period when a mixture of the decorated and perpendicular styles prevailed . . . in the incumbency of the Rev. W.J. Coppard, M.A. There are small Wesleyan Chapels at Ridgway and Lee Mill Bridge. There are large NATIONAL SCHOOLS at Ridgway and Sparkwell. . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Plympton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes, and Diocese of Exeter. Includes Sparkwell (chapel with registers from 1872, modern parish 1884), Colebrooke, Ridgeway, and extra-parochial Chelsea Meadow.



Batchelor, Bob. Petty Officer Jack Moss, 1868-1928, Devon Family Historian, vol. 182, (2022) pp.13-17.

Brooking-Rowe (ed.), J. Charles Belfield Woollcombe. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. XXXIII, (1901), p. 38. [Transcript]

Brooking-Rowe (ed.), Rev. George Ley Woollcombe. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc.  XXXIV, (1902), p. 39. [Transcript]

Brooking-Rowe (ed.), The Earl of Morley. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc.  XXXVII, (1905), p. 35. [Transcript]

Cotton, William. Sir Joshua Reynolds and his Works: Gleanings from his diary, unpublished manuscripts, and from other sources. London: Longman, Brown & Co. (1856) pp. xviii, 276, plates: ill. [Index]

[Editor]. Ian McBride Guthrig: 5 December 1928 - 26 December 2017, Devon Family Historian, vol. 165, (2018) p.25.

Eds. Sir Joshua Reynolds' MS. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), p. 214. [Transcript]

Fletcher, Ronald. The Parkers at Saltram 1769-89: everyday life in an eighteenth-century house. London: BBC (1970) 216p, plates: ill. [ISBN 0563102071]

Guthrig, Sylvia. Retired Editor Post Meridian, Devon Family Historian, vol. 169, (2019) pp.12-13.

Hoffsten, Ernest Godfrey. The floating island, by William Strode, together with an account of the life of the author, and a review of the university drama in England, chiefly after the year 1600. St Louis: Gottschalk Print Co. (1908), 31 pp. [Index]

Payne, Daren. Edward Gullett and Cann Quarry, Devon Family Historian, vol. 115, (2005) pp.30-32.

Phillips, Claude. Sir Joshua Reynolds, London, Seeley and Co. (1894) ix + 415 pp. [Born in Plympton, in 1723]

Pulling, Frederick Sanders. Sir Joshua Reynolds. New York: Scribner and Welford. (1880) 116pp. [Index]

Rose-Troup, Mrs. The Lady of the Isle. Isabella De Fortibus, Countess of Albemarle and Devon. Trans. Devon. Assoc. Vol. XXXVII, (1905), pp. 206-245. [Index]

Rowe, John Brooking. Robert of Plympton. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 5:1, (1908) pp.19-23. [From Prince's Worthies of Devon, vol.2. (fl. temp. Edward II).]

Russell, Ann. One of Devon's illustrious sons - Sir Joshua Reynolds. Devon Life vol. 2 no. 23, (1966) pp.20-21; ill. [1723]

Stephens, W.B. Theresa Parker of Saltram, 1745-75. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.172-175.

Strode, William. The poetical works of William Strode (1600-1645), now first collected from manuscript and printed sources, to which is added The Floating Island, a tragi-comedy, now first reprinted from the original ed. of 1655, ed. by Bertram Dobell, with a memoir of the author. London: The Editor, (1907),lvi, 270 pp. [Index]

Stroude, George S.S. William Strode of Newnham. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:3, (1912) pp.106. [See query vol.7, p.64. Erratum: 7, p.141.] [Puritan, 1504-1579]

Sweetser, M. F. Sir Joshua Reynolds. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company (1878). 176pp. [Index]



Brown, Mike. Guide Notes to Monuments in Devon Churches & Graveyards: Plympton St Mary, Plympton St Maurice. The Dartmoor Press. 16pp. [Strode, Trelawny]

Maddock, Tom. A Little Mystery - Headstones at Plympton St Mary Churcyard, Devon Family Historian, vol. 181, (2022) pp.16-17. [Maddock]

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

[Monumental Inscriptions (church)], Gent. Mag., vol. I, (1829) pp.512-4.



Transcription of the 1841 census, by Wayne Shepheard & Alick Lavers.

Transcriptions provided by Wayne Shepheard of the Plympton St Mary area census for

1861: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5 and Book 6

1871: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5 and Book 6.

Transcriptions by Rick Parsons of the Plympton St Mary area census for

1891: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5 and Book 6.

Index to 1901 census, by Lesley Donald.

Transcriptions provided by Wayne Shepheard of the Plympton St Mary area census for

1911: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, and Workhouse.


Church History

Plympton St Mary - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

History of Ridgeway Methodist Church, Plympton (archived copy) from their web site.

St Mary's Church, Plympton, by Graham Naylor.

Coppard, W.J. The church of St. Mary, Plympton. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 1 ser, v. 5, (1856) pp.22-39. [Index]

Cox, Joseph Mercer. Plympton St. Mary: the priory, the church and the parish. Plympton: W.O. Roughton (1920) 54p, plates: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/PLY 3/0001/COX]

Hailstone, Edward. Original Documents. Archaeological Journal 5 (1848) pp.57-42. [Raymond: Medieval deeds of Plympton Priory and Buckland Abbey.] [Index]

Thompson, C.H. (ed.) Plympton Priory Charters. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 19, 1 (1936) pp.41-47.

Windeatt, Edward. Early Nonconformity in Plympton. Trans. Devon Assoc., vol. XIX, (1887), pp. 386-388. [Transcript]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1603 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):

  • Congregational Chapel, Lee Mill Bridge: Registers for 1836-37 (ZC) in PRO RG 4/2538
  • Wesleyan Chapel, Underwood: Registers for c1820-36 - see Ashburton Circuit (PRO RG 4/840)
  • Wesleyan Chapel, Plympton St Mary: Registers for c1801-37 - see Ashburton Circuit, Plymouth Ebenezer (PRO RG 4/1763, 840, 1325)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1603-1728 and Marriages 1603-1684, Lee Millbridge Independent Chapel Christenings 1836-1837.

Extracts from the rental book of Plympton Priory, 1481. Manuscript [1880?] 87p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s333.5/PLY/PLY]

Notes relating to the parish of Plympton St. Mary. Manuscript [1890?] 1 vol. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/PLY 3/0001/ROW]

Extracts relating to Plympton Priory. Manuscript [1900?] [Westcountry Studies Library - msx271/PLY/PLY]

St. Mary Plympton parish register, baptisms 1603-1728, marriages 1603-1684, burials 1603-83 and 1888-1906]. (1890) 200p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.3/PLY/1603]

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the Deanery of Plympton. with photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850 and The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868), CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2007). [Brixton: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Cornwood: Bapt (1813-1840), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1838), Ermington: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1838), Bur (1813-1837 ), Harford: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1755-1837), Bur (1813-1838), Holbeton: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Ivybridge: Bapt (1835-1840), Mar (1835-1840), Bur (1836-1840), Kingston: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1836), Bur (1813-1837), Modbury: Bapt (1813-1840), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Newton Ferrers: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1836), Bur (1813-1837)), North Huish: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Plympton St. Mary: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Plympton St. Maurice: Bapt (1813-1840), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Plymstock: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Revelstoke: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1837), Shaugh Prior: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1754-1837), Bur (1813-1835), Ugborough: Bapt (1813-1840), Mar (1754-1841), Bur (1813-1837), Wembury: Bapt (1813-1839), Mar (1612-1837), Bur (1813-1840), Yealmpton: 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 Plympton St Mary  from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

Saltram, Plympton: A Guide (3rd. ed.) (1969). [Devon FHS Library p942.5/SAL]

You can see pictures of Plympton St Mary which are provided by:



Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) for "Plympton-Earl, Plympton St. Mary, and Neighbourhoods"in Pigot and Co's Directory of Devonshire 1830-31.

Transcription of entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.

Transcription by Mike Brown of description given in Kelly's Devon Directory of 1873.

A directory of the parish of Plympton St Mary. Plymouth: W.Birmingham (1875) 36p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s380.1025/PLY/1875]


Emigration & Immigration

Davey, F.A., Watts, S.G. Westward Look: Devon Pioneers and Pilgrims in the New World. Town & Country Press Ltd., 42 Rectory Lane, Bracknell, Berks. (1970) 56p. ["William Snelling of Plympton" - pp.17-18]



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 Wayne Shepheard, who invites queries and lookup requests.

Bond, Sue. More Brickwalls, Devon Family Historian, vol. 181, (2022) pp.18-19. [Robert Pope, bap. Plympton St Mary 1798]

Hugh, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Lavers, Devon Family Historian, vol. 154, (2015) pp.15-16. [b.1842]

Hugh, Elizabeth. Found - A Lost Family Member, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) pp.19-20. [Jenny Pope, bap. 1754]

Iles, Gillian Vavasour. David and Gillian Iles and our Ancestors. [DFHS Library 929.2/ILE] [Includes descents of the Huxham family (Plympton St Mary) and the Vavasour family (Totnes)]

Roper, Derek. Police Business: Detective Sergeant Roper, Devon Family Historian, vol. 154, (2015) p.15.

Shepheard, Wayne. Experiences of an Online Parish Clerk, Devon Family Historian, vol. 146, (2013) pp.24-28. [Includes adetailed case history - concerning the family of Samuel and Catherine Wiliams/Lewis]

Shepheard, Wayne. Experiences of an Online Parish Clerk: Frederick Webber Case Study, Devon Family Historian, vol. 166, (2018) pp.25-29.

Shepheard, Wayne. Frederick Webber Case Study - Correction, Devon Family Historian, vol. 168, (2018) p.11.

Strode, G.S.S. Selman of Nywenham. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), pp.7-8. [Transcript]

Strode, G.S.S. William Strode, of Newnham. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VII, (1912-1913), Exeter: James G. Commin. 1913, p.106. [Transcript]



Plymouth Data (archived copy) - An encyclopaedia of historical information about the "Three Towns" of Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse, and also also the ancient parishes of St Budeaux, Eggbuckland, Tamerton Foliot, Plympton St Maurice, Plympton St Mary and Plymstock, which make up the modern City of Plymouth, compiled by Brian Moseley - highly recommended.

Armson, Phil. Plympton to 1900. S.l.: The Author (1992) 30p: ill, maps [Plymouth Library - P.7PLY]

Barlow, F. A Few Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Plympton Pieces. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.2-6.

Boulden, John. Plympton's Past in Pictures, The Author, Plympton (2007) 52 pp. [ISBN 1 871330 24 6]

Clamp, Arthur L. Plympton during the Second World War 1939-1945. Plymouth: The Author [1995] 40p: ill, ports. [Westcountry Studies Library - pxB/PLY 3/1939/CLA]

Coppard, William Isaac. Cottage scenes during the cholera: being extracts from a diary written in July and August, 1832 by the Rev.W.I.Coppard. London: Rivington (1848) 127p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s614.514/PLY/COP] [Index]

Goodridge, Judith. The ancient trackway from Plympton to Sampford Spiney. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 85 (1973) pp.36-37; ill.

Guthrig, Sylvia C. Tales of Old Plympton, The Author: 43 Shute Park Road, Plymstock, Plymouth PL9 8RB (until 10 Jan 2005); 11 Trelawmey Road, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon PL7 4LH (2004) 200 pp.

Guthrig, Sylvia C. Dastardly Deeds in Plympton. The Author (2011) 39pp. [Devon FHS p942.35/PLY] [The stories date between 1801 and 1889. Names covered: Battershill, Cork, Cummings, Gaude (Goad), Honey, Hutchings, Jeffery, Mortimore and Watson

Guthrig, Slylvia. Plympton St Mary, Devon Family Historian, vol. 142, (2012) pp.26-28. [About the Cholera outbreak in 1832]

Guthrig, Sylvia. A Plympton Miscellany, The Author, 11, Trelawny Road, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon PL7 4LH (2014) 122 pp.

Guthrig, Sylvia. Plympton During World War II, Devon Family Historian, no. 152, (2014) pp.30-32.

Hine, James. Plympton in the olden time. Plymouth: Isiah W.N.Keys (1867) 26p, plates; ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/PLY 3/0001/HIN]

James, Pam. The Book of Sparkwell with Hemerdon and Lee Mill (Halsgrove Community History Series), Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6SS, UK, Halsgrove Publishing (2001) 160 pp. [ISBN 1841141127] [Index]

Johns, Owen. A Little Hospital in Wartime (Underwood House) (1944) [DFHS LOC 9]

Reichel, Oswald J. The hundreds of Plympton and Ermington in early times, Trans. Devonshire Association, (1933) pp.245-332. [Barnstaple Library 333.322/BX/REI]

Rowe, J. Brooking. Plympton: the borough and its charters. Exeter: Devonshire Assoc [1887] 122p. ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/PLY 3/0001/ROW] [Index]

Rowe, J. Brooking. Notes relating to the parish of Plympton St. Mary. Manuscript [1890?] 1 vol: plans. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/PLY 3/0001/ROW]

Rowe, J. Brooking. Transcripts by PRO searches of documents relating to Plympton. Manuscript (1900?) [Westcountry Studies Library - msxB/PLY 3/0001/PLY]

Rowe, J. Brooking. Transcripts of deeds relating to Plympton. Manuscript (1900?) [Westcountry Studies Library - Formerly Ms.21]

Rowe, Joshua Brooking. A history of the borough of Plympton Erle, the castle and manor of Plympton, and of the ecclesiastical parish of Plympton St. Thomas, in the county of Devon. Exeter, J.G. Commin (1906), vii, [4] 419 pp. front. illus. plates, facsims. (1 fold. in color).

Stevens, John. Plympton in the seventeenth century. Unpublished typescript [1873?] [Plymouth Library - P.7PLY]

Stevens, John. Plympton in the past. South Brent: The Author (n.d.) 1 vol. [Plymouth Library - P.7PLY]

Worth, R.N. Beginnings of Plympton History. Trans. Devon Assoc., vol. XIX, (1887), pp. 363-376. [Index]

Rioting in Plympton on Good Friday (Mercury 23rd April 1867), Devon Family Historian, No. 61, (Feb. 1992) pp. 2-4.


Land & Property

Anderton, Raymond. Saltram House. Devon Life vol. 5 no. 41, (1969) pp.37-39; vol. 5 no. 42, (1969) pp.18-20; ill. [1712-1969]

Saltram. London: National Trust (1996) 78, [2]p: ill, plans. [Plymouth Library - P728.8SAL]



Bracken, C.W. The manor of Plympton Grange: a court roll and a rental. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 70, (1938) pp.231-251.

Brough, Paul. A Seventeenth-Century Survey of Hardwick Farm. In Devon Documents (ed. T. Gray). Tiverton: Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, Special Issue (1996) [ISBN 0925836203] pp.26-27. [Plympton St Mary]

Guthrig, Silvia. The manors of Woodford and Boringon. S. Guthrig, 11 Trelawney Road, Plympton, Plymouth Devon PL7 4LH. [DFHS Library 942.35/PLY] [Listing of people and places mentioned]

Editors. Court rolls of the manor of Hemerdon, Plympton. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 3:4, (1904) pp.108-112. [Latin transcript with translation, 1597]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX537563 (Lat/Lon: 50.388337, -4.059384), Plympton St Mary which are provided by:


Probate Records

Transcript of the will of James Shepheard (1856), provided by Wayne Shepheard.

Transcript of the will of Charles Murray (1823), provided by Ros Dunning.

Rowe, J. Brooking. Will and inventory of John Sparke. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 3:7, (1905) pp.230-232. [1609]

Rowe, J. Brooking. Will of John Waddon of Plympton. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 4:3, (1906) pp.96. [1749]