"STOKENHAM, or Stockingham, a small pleasant village, 5½ miles E. by S. of Kingsbridge, has in its parish 1619 inhabitants, and 5920 acres of land, including six villages, extending 4 miles along the picturesque shore of Start Bay, of which the following are the names and population :- Chillington, 325; Beeson, 106; Beesands, 104; Halsands, 128; Kellaton, or Kellington, 105; and Torcross, 192. several of them are fishing villages, noted for fine crabs, which are in high repute in London. The parish extends southward to Start Point, where there is a lighthouse. It includes also the hamlets of Bickerton, Dunstone, Cornborough, and many scattered houses. TORCROSS, near Ley lake and Slapton Sands Hotel (see Slapton), is a pretty little bathing place, with several lodging-houses for visitors. . . . Sir R.L. Newman, Bart., of Mamhead, is lord of the manor of Stokenham, and has a neat marine residence, called Stokely House, built about 35 years ago. The manor has been held by the Fitzjohns, Fitzherbert, Courtenays, Hastings, and Carys, and was sold by the latter to the Newmans. Miss Burnell is lady of the manor of Kellaton, and A.B.E. Holdsworth, Esq., owns Stokenham Priory estate. . . . Coleridge, a handsome new mansion, in the Elizabethan style, is the seat of John Allen, Esq. . . . The Nicholls, Edmunds, Pitts, Randall, Cole, and other families have estates in the parish, mostly freehold. The Church (St. Barnabas,) is a large antique structure, with a low tower and six bells. . . . The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £48. 7s. 8½d., and in 1831 at £625, with the curacies of Chivelstone and Sherford annexed to it, is in the patronage of the Crown, and the incumbency of the Rev. Hy. Taylor, M.A., of South Pool Rectory. The Parsonage is small, but neat, and the glebe is only 2A. 21P." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

In Coleridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter. [Note: The parish church is now dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. Previously it was dedicated to St Barnabas, and before this it was dedicated to St Humbert the Confessor.] Regarded as part of the South Hams area.



Adams, Maxwell. Rt. Rev. Charles William Stubbs. Obituary. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 44, (1912). pp. 42-43. [Transcript]

Clarke, M. Mary Ann Widger - a Family Mystery, Devon Family Historian, vol. 164, (2017) pp.42-44. [Took her own life, 1890(?).]

Steer, Freda (ed.). A fisherman's life: told in the words of Frederick Stone Steer, born at Beesands June 8th 1898. [Beesands]: [F.Steer?] [1984?] [Westcountry Studies Library - px639.22/STO/STE] [Transcript]



MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Parish Church and Churchyard, Ford Congregational Chapel, Chillington Methodist Chapel, Collington Burial Ground, and Bessands Church is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 9 of Devon Memorial Inscriptions.

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham in South Devon: Records of family names. Stokenham: W.A. Roberts (1980) 106p. [Westcountry Studies Library - x929.5/STO/ROB]

Roberts, W.A. Records of Family Names in Stokenham: Indexed Monumental Inscriptions from all Burial Grounds in the Parish (1981). [Devon FHS Library p942.35/STO]

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham in South Devon: Records of family names: first supplement. Stokenham: W.A. Roberts (1993) 25p. [Westcountry Studies Library - px929.5/STO/ROB]



Transcription of the 1841 census, from the Parishes of the South Hams website.


Church History

Stokenham - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Pearse Chope, R. Church Bands. Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. IX, (January 1916 to January 1917), p. 200. [Transcript]

Wilkins, J.G. Stokenham Parish Church. Tozers of Dartmouth (printers) (Aug 1986) 8p.

Williams, H. Fulford. The Rectory of Stokenham. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 24 (1950-51) pp.175-177.

Williams, H. Fulford. The Rectory and Vicarage of Stokenham. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 25 (1952-53) pp.153-160. [Raymond: Lists rectors 1310-1497, and vicars 1319-1920.]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1570 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1570 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, together with Stokenham Independent Chapel Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Stokenham Presbyterian/Independent/Congregational Chapel and Ford Chapel: Registers for 1772-1837 (ZCB) in PRO RG 4/834

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1578-1591 Marriages 1574-1582, Ford Independent Chapel Christenings 1772-1837.

Indexes to baptisms (1725-1812), banns (1838-1873) and banns (1888-1889), from the Parishes of the South Hams website.

Stokenham parish register - SoG Data Online DE/REG (SoG Members only).

Deanery of Woodleigh Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837 and Burials 1813-1988 - CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2006). [Index of Aveton Gifford: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Bigbury: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837), Buckland-Tout-Saints: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1818-1822), Burials (1813-1988), Charleton: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1780-1812), Chivelstone: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837), Churchstow: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1848), Dodbrooke: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), East Allington: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), East Portlemouth: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Kingsbridge: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Kingsbridge Ind.: Burials (1793-1897), Loddiswell: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Malborough: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Moreleigh: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Ringmore: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1764-1814), Salcombe: Baptisms (1813-1839), Sherford: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837), Slapton: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), South Huish: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1856), South Milton: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1838), South Pool: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1838), Stokenham: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Stokenham Ind.: Burials (1795-1836), Thurlstone: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1838), West Alvington: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837), Woodleigh: Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837)]


Description & Travel

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

Stokenham parish website.

You can see pictures of Stokenham which are provided by:



Transcription of the entry in White's Devonshire Directory (1850) by Terry Partridge.

Copy 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.



Cowell, Peter. Prettejohn, Stokenham occasional papers 3, 1981, pp. 60-64. [Includes pedigrees, 17-20th c.]

Cowell, Peter. Who wrote the Surname That Way?, Devon Family Historian, no. 187, (2023) pp.35-37. [Jellard/Gillard]

Tolchard, Brian. The Tolchard Story: Court Manor Rolls of Stokenham, Devon Family Historian, vol. 126, (2008) p.14.



Old Hallsands (archived copy) - an excellent website on the history of a village that collapsed into the sea in 1917.

Oath-takers and Tax-payers in Georgian Stokenham by Paul Luscombe, provided by the Friends of Devon Archives.

Bradbeer, Grace. The Land That Changed Its Face: The Evacuation of Devon's South Hams 1943-1944. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, Devon (1973). [ISBN 0-7153-5781-6]

Courtney, Cyril. Beesands & Hallsands of Yesteryear. Obelisk Publications (2000) 32 p. [ISBN-13:978-1899073900]

Courtney, Cyril. Beesands & Torcross of Yesteryear. Obelisk Publications (2001) 32 p. [ISBN-13:978-1903585108]

Harvey, John L. The tragedy of Hallsands village. [1980?] 16p. ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/HAL 3/1897/HAR]

Melia, Steve. Hallsands: A Village Betrayed, Forest Publishing (2002). [ISBN 0 9536852 4 1]

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham occasional papers, Book 1: Queen Katherine's Rental 1547, Wreck of Sea 1588, The Church of Hardenstocke 1198. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (1980) 23 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/STO 7/0001/STO] [PDF]

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham occasional papers:, Book 2: Sir Francis Drake and Stokenham Church, Chillington Grist Mill, Uproar in Court 1556. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (1981) 24-47 leaves: maps, plans. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/STO 7/0001/STO] [PDF]

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham occasional papers, Book 3: Settlement in Stokenham, Prettejohn by Peter Cowell, Stokenham Corn Mill. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (1981) 50-71 leaves: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/STO 7/0001/STO] [PDF]

Roberts, W.A. Manorial Stokenham in the 14th Century. Stokenham occasional papers, Book 4: Manorial Stokenham in the 14th Century. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (1981) 75-97 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/STO 7/0001/STO]

Roberts, W. A. Stokenham people and property in 1842. Kingsbridge: The Author (1982) [61]leaves: maps, facs. [Westcountry Studies Library - x912.133622/STO/STO]

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham occasional papers: Book 5. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (1982) 101- 122 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/STO 7/0001/STO]

Roberts, W.A. Stokenham 800 - Some Historical Notes. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (1986) 10 pp. [PDF]

Roberts, W.A. Fragments of Local History. Kingsbridge: W.A.Roberts (nd) 12 pp. [PDF]

Tanner, K. and Walsh, P. Hallsands: a pictorial history, (1984) [ISBN 0950995901] [Devon FHS Library p929.35/HAL]

Worth, R H. Hallsands and Start Bay. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 36 (1904). [Index]

The sacrifice of the South Hams, 1943-1944, [Slapton], [Commem. Cttee.] [1984] 7 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library pB/SOU 2/1943/SAC]



Roberts, W. A. The lords of Stokenham: and their feudal manor in South Devon. [Stokenham]: [W.A. Roberts] (1979) 54 leaves: maps. ISBN: 094626600X (pbk). [Raymond: Traces descent of the manor.]

Roberts, W. A. Elizabethan court rolls of Stokenham Manor in South Devon, 1560-1602: indexed for persons, places and subjects: with supplementary documents. Kingsbridge: W.A. Roberts (1984) xxx, 358 columns: 1 facsim., 2 maps. ISBN: 0946266093 (pbk).



Roberts, W. A. Stokenham parish tithe map 1841: extracts and notes. [Stokenham] [W.A. Roberts] (1979) 65 leaves: maps. ISBN: 0946266018 (pbk).

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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX808428 (Lat/Lon: 50.273104, -3.674085), Stokenham which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Stokenham contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.

Roberts, W.A. Family names occurring in Stokenham, South Devon, between 1370 and 1850. Kingsbridge, Devon : W.A. Roberts, (1984) 2p. [LDS 942.35/S6 D4r]


Probate Records

Will of Roger Earle (1659), transribed by Bev Edmonds.

Cowell, Peter. What's in a name? - At any rate in Stokenham, Devon Family Historian, vol. 166, (2018) pp.35-36. [Name variants encountered while transcribing the PRs and BTs.]



Transcribed extracts (in PDF format) by Jane Hill from the logbook of Stokenham National School for 1862-1874 and 1875-1905, and of the Huckham School (1877-1917) provided by Clare Pawley.