"SHEEPSTOR, or Shipstor, anciently written Schitestor, or Shittor, is a small village, in the picturesque valley of the little river Mew, or Meavy, on the western side of Dartmoor, near several rocky hills, and the Dartmoor Railway, 7 miles S.E. of Tavistock. Its parish has 127 souls, and 3469 acres of land, partly open moorland, on Ringmoor Down, &c., near the sources of the river Plym. John Bayly, Esq., is lord of the manor; but a great part of the soil belongs to Sir R. Lopes, the Northmore family, and several smaller owners. Longstone, the ancient seat of the Elford family, is now farm-house. The Church is a small antique fabric, with a tower and five bells; and the living is a curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Bickleigh. A house, left for repairing the church, is let for £4. The poor have two cottages, and also 5A. of land, let for £11. In the parish are two large rabbit warrens." [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.



Chard, Judy. The White Rajah of Dartmoor. Dartmoor Magazine no. 6, (1987) pp.7; ill. [Buried in Sheepstor Churchyard.] [Brooke family]

Lang, Mike. The Reverend H. Hugh Breton, M.A: a brief account of his lifes and works. Dartmoor Magazine no. 24, (1991) pp.4-5: ill, port. [1873-1936]

Miller, Amos C. The puritan minister John Syms. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 33:5, (1975) pp.147-153; 33:6, (1976) pp.217-222; 33:8, (1977) pp.287-290. [1600-1643]

Spargo, Nick. The White Rajah's last resting place. Country Magazine (1944) pp20-21; ill. [Brooke]

Tate, D. J. M. (comp.) Rajah Brooke's Borneo: the 19th century world of pirates & head-hunters. Hong Kong: John Nicholson Ltd (1989) 130p: ill. [ISBN 9245548904]

Thompson, C.H and Woollcombe, G.D. The Diary of the Rev. John Syms. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 19 (1936) pp.71-74, 179-180. [Raymond: Incumbent at Sheepstor, c. 1641/2.]

Sir James Brooke, KCB [Obituary]. Transactions of the Devonshire Association, Vol. 2, Pt II. (1867) pp. 308-311. [Transcript]



A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Churchyard, Sheepstor, is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 3 of Devon Memorial inscriptions, DE/M15.

Brown, Mike. Sheepstor (Full Survey). In Dartmoor Region Monumental Inscriptions Indexes, Vol. 7. Dartmoor Press, PO Box 132, Plymouth PL4 7YL.


Church History

Sheepstor Church - from the Legendary Dartmoor website.

Baring Gould, S. The Holy Well of St Leonard’s. Extracted from the Fifteenth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Folk-lore. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXX, (1898), p. 90. [Transcript]

Bayley, D. The Parish Church of St Leonard Sheepstor. (nd) [SoG Library, Devon Tracts Box]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1691 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1691, and of the Bishop's Transcripts going back to 1610, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

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.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1610-1837 Marriages 1610-1837.

Brown, M. (Ed.), Sheepstor Churchwardens Accounts 1760-1837. Dartmoor Press, 36p.

Brown, Mike. 1754-1812 Burial Indexes: Meavy, Sheepstor. RT67, Dartmoor Press (2000).

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]


Description & Travel

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

Parish Council Web-site for Burrator (Meavy, Sheepstor and Walkhampton).

Rendell, Paul. Exploring Around Burrator, a Dartmoor Reservoir. Dartmoor Company (2007) 64pp. [ISBN 0955515009]

You can see pictures of Sheepstor 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.



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 Deborah O'Brien, who invites queries and lookup requests.

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

Tonkin, Nanette. Searching for Mortimore Relatives, Devon Family Historian, vol. 167, (2018) pp.7.

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. II: Sheepstor] [Index]

Brief history of the Elford Family and Sheepstor. (n.d.).[Torquay Library] [Elford Family]



Baring-Gould, Sabine. Sheepstor. Plymouth: Hoyton & Cole (1912) 31p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/SHE 3/0001/BAR]

Brown, Mike. A Few Sheaves of Devon History [Transcripts]: Sheepstor, Dartmoor Press (2001).

Cook, R.M.L., Greeves, T. & Kilvington, C. Eylesbarrow, 1814-1852: a study of a Dartmoor tin mine. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 106, (1974) pp.161-214: map, plans, tables.

Elford, Laura. The Parish of Sheepstor. Devon Family Historian 25 (Jan 1983) pp. 6- 8.

Redgrave, Blaze. Sheepstor: an historic Dartmoor village. Dartmoor Magazine no. 16, (1989) pp.4-7; ill.

Rendell, Paul. Ye Fyshinge Feaste. Dartmoor Magazine no. 6, (1987) pp.8; ill. [Short history of 17th c traditional ceremony.]

Worthy, Charles. Devonshire Parishes. Exeter: William Pollard (1887) - Vol. 1, pp. 24- 54.

Your Devon - Sheepstor, Devon Family Historian, No. 77, (Feb. 1996) pp. 30-31.


Land & Property

Brown, Mike. Sheepstor. In "Dartmoor Tithe Apportionments, Vol. 2". The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 16p.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX559676 (Lat/Lon: 50.490439, -4.032804), Sheepstor which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Brown, Mike. Index to Sheepstor & Meavy Traders, from Directories of 1850, 1857, 1866, 1870, 1873, 1878, 1883, 1890, 1893. The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 11p.

Brown, Mike. Sheepstor Properties Owners & Occupiers c1718-c1914. The Dartmoor Press (c1997) 23p.



Rendell, Paul. Sheepstor: a study of population change in the 19th & 20th centuries. Plymouth: Old Dartmoor Co. (1990) [66]p, (var p): ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - px301.32/SHE/REN] [Raymond: Includes tithe apportionment, 1842.]


Probate Records

Transcripts of the wills of John Elford (1583) and Walter Ilford (1648), provided by Kathleen Noye.



Transcript of the 1674 Hearth Tax, provided by Deborah O'Brien.