"ROSE-ASH, formerly called Ralph Esse, is a pleasant village, on an eminence, 6 miles S.E. by E. of South Molton, and has in its parish 541 souls, and 4987A. 3R. 27P. of land, rising in bold hills on the east and north, and comprising the hamlet of Yard, and many scattered houses, bearing different names. The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to Ralph de Esse. . . . J.T. Davy, Esq., and the Rev. E. Southcombe and his family own a portion of the manor, . . . The Rev. W.H. Karslake, W.T. Southcombe, T. Loveband, J.A. Thomas, the Rev. W.P. Thomas, and several smaller owners have estates in the parish. The ancient lords of the manor had the power of inflicting capital punishment. The Church (St. Peter,) is an ancient structure, with a tower and five bells, and the rectory, valued in K.B. at £18. 19s. 7d., and in 1831 at £469, is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. E. Southcombe, M.A., who has lately rebuilt the Rectory House, and has 165A. 3R. 9P. of glebe. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Witheridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.