"SHEEPWASH, or Shipwash, formerly a market town, is a long village in the Torridge valley, 5 miles W.N.W. of Hatherleigh. Its parish contains 497 souls, and 1771 acres of land, including 182A. of woodland and 391A. of common. A market was held here every Monday, till the latter end of last century; and here are still two annual fairs, on the second Thursday in March, and the first Thursday in October. The two market houses, after being long neglected and dilapidated, were converted into dwellings some years ago. Several houses in the town were destroyed by fire in 1743. Lord Clinton is lord of the manor, formerly held by the Avenel, Metstead, Holland, and other families. Upcot Avenel is the pleasant seat of G.L. Coham, Esq., and was formerly the property of the Hortons and Thornes. The Church (St. Lawrence,) is a small antique structure, with a low tower and one bell; and the benefice is a curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Shebbear. ... The Baptists and Bible Christians have chapels here." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Shebbear Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.