"WOODBURY, a large village, pleasantly situated on an acclivity, 3 miles S.E. of Topsham, and 7 miles S.E. of Exeter, has in its extensive parish 7304A. 2R. 26P. of land, extending eastward from the estuary of the Exe to the lofty hills which overlook the Otter valley. The parish had 1933 inhabitants in 1841, and comprises the chapelry of Salterton; and the smaller hamlets of Ebford, Exton, Nutwell, Gulliford, Grindle, Woolmanton, and Higher Hamlet, extending more that a mile on all sides of the parish, and including many good houses and much picturesque scenery. Many women and children are employed here making Honiton point lace. . . . NUTWELL COURT, on the east bank of the broad estuary of the Exe, opposite Powderham castle, is the seat of Sir T.T.F.E. Drake, who was created a baronet in 1821, and is lord of the manor of Nutwell, . . . The Church, (St. Swithen,) is a large ancient structure, with a tower and six bells. . . . The Custos and College of Vicars Choral, in Exeter Cathedral, are owners of the manor of Halstow, appropriators of the tithes, and patrons of the perpetual curacy, valued in 1831 at £150, and now enjoyed by the Rev. J.L. Fulford, M.A., for whom a new Parsonage House was built in 1849. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in East Budleigh Hundred, under the Peculiar jurisdiction of the Vicars Choral of Exeter. The modern parish of Woodbury Salterton (1845) was formed partly from Colaton Raleigh and partly from Woodbury.



Doe, George M. Samuel Stoddon. Trans. Devon Assoc.  Vol. XXVII. (1895), portraits, pp. 222-226. [Transcript]

Fulford, R Medley. Memoir of Rev. J.L. Fulford. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 3 ser, v. 1, (1899) pp.149-156.

Harding, Sheila. John Butter's Diary - Episode 1, Devon Family Historian, vol. 91 (Aug 1999) pp.6-10, vol. 92, (Oct 1999) pp.28-30, vol. 93, (Feb 2000) pp.15-17, vol. 96, (Nov 2000) pp.37-38. [Diary of a doctor and apothecary, b. 1791 in Woodbury - edited extracts]

Havill, John. Nicholas Stone: statuary, mason and architect. [1586-1647] Typescript [1984] 68 leaves: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx920/STO]

Nourse, Stanhope M. Reminiscences of Rev R. Medley Fulford. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 3 ser, v. 3, [19--?] pp.118-119.

Skinner, A.J.P. Devon organ makers, Richard Chapendon. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 10:3, (1918) pp.82-83. [1538-1561] [Refers to vol.9, p.241, par.198. See also 10, 109-110.] [1538-1561]



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

Coles, A. Gulliford Chapel Burial Ground, (1998). [MIs 1743-1888]


Church History

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

Fulford, J. Loveband. Notes on the church of St. Swithun, Woodbury. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 3 ser, v. 1, (1899) pp.63-72.

Iliffe, C.E. A history of the parish church of Woodbury Salterton and its parsons & parishioners. [Woodbury Salterton]: [The Church] [1987] 24p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/WOO/ILI]

Keep, David J. Nonconformity in Woodbury and Lympstone. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 109, (1977) pp.51-57.

Shaw, Giles Grenville. The Oxford Movement and ritualist reform in the Devon parish of Woodbury. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 118, (1986) pp.141-153: ill. [1846-1872]

The Parish Church of St Swithun, Woodbury. [n.d] [SoG Library - DE tracts box]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1557 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1557 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon & Cornwall Record Society's Collection (archived copy).

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.

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

  • Presbyterian/Unitarian Chapel, Gulliford then Lympstone: Registers for 1773-1837 (ZC) 1786-1835 (B) in PRO RG 4/1226; 1852-84 (and see Gulliford entries in Topsham registers) at DRO

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1557-1837, and Marriages 1557-1837.

Record of Changing and Turbulent Times - lengthy interesting extracts, taken from Woodbury Church Book (the "Malt Book"), and from Thomas Westcote's A View of Devonshire (MSS, 1630), as printed in the Nelson Evenig Mail, New Zealand (13 Sep 1909). (Contains has some early names of residents 1537-1690 with a brief entry for 1762 plus some historical facts including the payments made 1558-59.)

A. Coles. Gulliford Chapel Burial Ground (1998). [Burial records 1852-84]

Skinner, A.J.P. (transcr.) Extracts from Woodbury and Clyst St. George registers 1657-1764. Manuscript (1915) [Westcountry Studies Library - ms929.3/WOO/1557]

Parish registers of Woodbury, Devon,1821-1838, 1 v. Ms.

Extracts from non-parochial registers Exeter, Topsham & Woodbury, Manuscript (1890?). [Westcountry Studies Library: ms929.3/DEV/JON]

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.]


Description & Travel

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

Woodbury Village Design Statement, from East Devon District Council.

Jim Batten's Woodbury Common general web site.

Roger Stokes' Woodbury Village website provides current and old photographs of the vilage.

You can see pictures of Woodbury which are provided by:



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 Keith Searle, who invites queries and lookup requests.

Allanach, David. Strange Doings Down Under Leave Unanswered Questions, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) pp.35-38. [Sarah Daymond (bap. Woodbury 1854), and the Allanach family]

Duncan, Paul L. In service: the story of the Duncan family of Woodbury in Devon with some distaff-sides and Australian off-shoots. Wilson, W.Aust: The Author (1995) 39p: ill, ports, gen tab. [ISBN 0646268317]

Geare, Ralph Holwell. Holwells of Woodbury. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 26, 1954-55, pp. 72-75. [18th c.]

Rogers, W.H.H. Haydon, of Woodbury and Ottery St Mary, etc., Devon. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 1:8, (1900) pp.225-240, plates: ill (2). [Index]

Rogers, William Henry Hamilton. Haydon of Woodbury and Ottery St. Mary. Exeter: James G. Commin (1901) 16p, plates: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - px929.2/HAY]

Street, John C. An Ellis family of Devon and Newfoundland. Cross Plains, Wisconsin: the author, 1994. [Raymond: Of Woodbury - includes pedigrees, 18-20th c., including those of Tapscott, Ashford, Pinkham and Austin.]



Brighouse, Ursula W. Woodbury: a view from the Beacon. [Woodbury] [c/o Woodbury Primary School, Woodbury, Devon]: [U.W. Brighouse] (1981) 272 pp. ill., coats of arms, 2 facsims., 2 geneal. tables, maps, 2 plans, ports. ; 21 cm. [ISBN: 0950774502] (pbk) [Name Index]

Elliott, Sally and Ramsey. Woodbury parish 1894-1994: living a century of change. Woodbury Parish Map and Book Committee (1994) viii, 130p: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/WOO 1/1894/WOO]

Leyland, A.W. The story of Woodbury: the common, the church, the parish. Exeter: Southwoods (Isca) (1947) 56p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/WOO 1/0001/LEY]

Stokes, Roger. The Book of Woodbury: The Twentieth Century Revisited. Halsgrove Press, Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6SS (1999) 160p. [ISBN 1841140457] [Index]

110 years ago. When the Devil came to Devon. Devon Life vol. 1 no. 1, (1965) p.7. [Devil's Footprints, 1855]

Woodbury parish, 1894-1994: living a century of change. [Great Britain]: [s.n.] (1994) viii, 130 pp. ill., facsims., maps.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SY009871 (Lat/Lon: 50.675098, -3.40387), Woodbury which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Brighouse, Ursula. The place-names of Woodbury. Woodbury: Woodbury News (1985) [16]p [Westcountry Studies Library - p910.3/WOO/PLA]


Names, Personal

Woodbury Vaccination Register - 1905, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D040). [Foreword]

Woodbury Vaccination Register - 1906, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D115). [Foreword]



Commemorative booklet to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Woodbury and District Young Farmers' Club. [Woodbury]: The Club (1987) 48p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p630.62/WOO/WOO]


Probate Records

Will of Hannah Bradbeer (1850), transcribed by Ros Dunning.

Morris, G.T. Windyear. Will of George Venn, 1729. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 18 (1934-35) pp.315-316. [Of Woodbury.]

Alcock, N.W. Surviving Devon Wills and Inventories, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 31, (1968-70) pp.182.

Moger, O.M. Some Notes on the Whereabouts of Devon Wills, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 25, (1952-53) pp.9-10.



Details of Woodbury Local History Society. (The contact is Professor Nick Burgess, who invites contact from anyone anywhere who has early connections with Woodbury.)



Malt rate levied in the parish of Woodbury, co. Devon from a ms. in the possession of the late General Lee of Ebford Barton [1536-1631]. Archaeological Journal (1888) pp.225-233. [Transcript]