"SOWTON, a small village and parish in the picturesque valley of the Clist rivulet, 3½ mi1es E. of Exeter, contains about 1360A. and 382 inhabitants, of whom 215 are in the village and tithing of CLIST SACKVILLE, which has also 71 inhabitants in Farringdon parish on the opposite of the valley in East Budleigh Hundred, and is sometimes called Bishop's Clist, from its having been for some time the property and one of the seats of the Bishops of Exeter. John Garratt, Esq., owns most of the parish, and is lord of the manor of Clist Sackville, or Bishop's Clist. and Sowton, alias Clist Fomeson. The former was held by the Sackville family till the reign of Edw. I., when it was mortgaged to Bishop Bronscombe, who built a mansion here, and afterwards annexed the manor to the See of Exeter; but in the reign of Edward VI., it was given to the Earl of Bedford, from whom the mansion was called Bedford House, till the civil wars of the 17th century, when it was garrisoned and fortified by Sir Thos. Fairfax, during the blockade of Exeter. . . . The Church (St. Michael,) is a handsome structure of perpendicular architecture, with a tower and eight bells." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
Also known as Clyst Fomison and Clyst St Michael. A parish in Wonford Hundred, the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Exeter.
MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.
Transcript of an incomplete census of 1696 by Diana Ingram.
A, M. Devon Church Plate. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. IX, (January 1916 to January 1917), pp. 91-92. [Transcript]
Parish Registers going back to 1560 are held in the Devon Record Office.
Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1560 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 1800-1837 - for details see their book list.
Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1560-1837, and Marriages 1561-1836.
The Deanery of Aylesbeare: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Aylesbeare, Bicton, Branscombe, Broadclyst, Clyst Honiton, Clyst St.George, Clyst St.Mary, Colaton Raleigh, East Budleigh, Farringdon, Harpford, Huxham, Littleham, Lympstone, Otterton, Ottery St. Mary, Pinhoe, Poltimore, Rockbeare, Salcombe Regis, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Sowton, Stoke Canon, Topsham, Venn Ottery, Whimple, Withycombe Raleigh and Woodbury. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850 and Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England 1844, CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2012). [Aylesbeare Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bicton Bapt: 1813-1843, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1852, Bur: 1725-1845 (BTs); Branscombe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1545-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Broadclyst Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst Honiton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst St. George Bapt: 1813-1837, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Clyst St. Mary Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1840, Bur: 1813-1837; Colaton Raleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Budleigh Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Budleigh Salem Chapel, Bur: 1832-1837; Farringdon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1852; Glenorchy Independent Exmouth, Bur: 1784-1818; Harpford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1809-1837; Huxham Bapt: 1813-1852, Mar: 1758-1836, Bur: 1813-1864; Littleham (near Exmouth) Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Lympstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Otterton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Ottery St. Mary Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Pinhoe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1844, Bur: 1813-1838; Poltimore Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Rockbeare Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Salcombe Regis Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Sidbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1830, Bur: 1813-1837; Sidmouth Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Sowton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Stoke Canon Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Topsham Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Venn Ottery Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Whimple Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Withycombe Raleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Woodbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]
Section on Sowton from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.
Transcript of entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
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You can see the administrative areas in which Sowton has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
Orme, Nicholas. A medieval almshouse for the clergy: Clyst Gabriel Hospital near Exeter. J. Eccles. Hist., vol. 39, no. 1 (1988).
Laithwaite, Michael. Middle Moor, Sowton: A re-assessment, Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 103, (1971) pp.77-83.
View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX975925 (Lat/Lon: 50.723053, -3.453472), Sowton which are provided by:
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- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
Cain, Peter et al. Not Forgotten: A story of the men of Clyst St Mary & Sowton who gave their lives in the Great War. [SoG Library DE/L 186]
Sowton contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.