Woolfardisworthy (West)


"WOOLFARDISWORTHY, a parish, in the union of BIDEFORD, hundred of HARTLAND, Great Torrington and N. divisions of DEVON, 9½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Bideford; containing 988 inhabitants. This parish, which reaches to the sea-coast, comprises about 6000 acres: stone of good quality for building is extensively quarried, and shipped from Bideford to various places. The village, which extends into the adjoining parish, is chiefly inhabited by fishermen, who are also employed in carrying sand from the shore for the use of farmers in dressing the lands; there is also a fishing-hamlet in the parish, situated on the same bay as Clovelly and where a commodious quay might easily be formed. Two fairs for cattle are annually held. . . The church has an enriched Norman doorway and font, and contains a monument to the Cole family. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Wesleyans." [From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England (1844)]

A parish in the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.


Business & Commerce Records

Listings of Licensed Victuallers for this parish are to be found here.



MIs for the parish church (All Hallows) and for St Anne, Bucks Mills, are included in the NDA North Devon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.



Transcriptions by Kathy Miller of the 1841 census (Enumeration District 12 and Enumeration District 13) and the 1871 census (Enumeration District 5, and Enumeration District 6) for Woolfardisworthy.

Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]


Church History

Harding, T.J. Woolsery church. [Woolfardisworthy]: [Church?] (1978) 13p: ill, plan. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/WOO/HAR]

Harding, T.J. Woolsery Church: The Parish Church of All Hallows, Woolfardisworthy West. Hartland, Devon, Jamaica Press (printer) (1995) 12 pp.


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1723 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1723, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1608, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Woolfardisworthy West Bishops Transcripts - Baptisms 1607-1722Marriages 1607-1722 and Burials 1607-1722, transcribed by David Carter.

Bideford Methodist Circuit baptisms (1819 -1870) transcribed by David Carter. (Contains entries from the following parishes: Abbotsham, Allington, Alverdiscott, Alwington, Appledore, Arlington, Barnstaple, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Bucks Mills, Burrington, Chulmleigh, Clovelly, Fremington, Frithelstock, Great Torrington, Hatherleigh, Huntshaw, Ilfracombe, Instow, Landcross, Little Torrington, Littleham, Loxhore, Marystowe, Monkleigh, Newton Tracey, Northam, Parkham, South Molton, St Giles in the Wood, Wear Giffard, Westleigh, Woolfardisworthy.)

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel, Alwinstone Cross: Registers for c1817-37 - see Bideford, Holsworthy (PRO RG 4/955, 1210)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1607-1812, Marriages 1607-1632, 1670-1699 and 1710-1812. (These entries are in part from Bishops' Transcripts.)

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Abbotsham, Alverdiscott, Alwington, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Bulkworthy, Clovelly, East Putford, Frithelstock, Hartland, Landcross, Littleham, Monkleigh, Northam, Parkham, Wear Gifford, Welcombe and West Woolfardisworthy. 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 (2009). [Abbotsham Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Alverdiscott Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1775-1837; Alwington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bideford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Buckland Brewer Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bulkworthy Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1814-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Clovelly Bapt: 1813-1838, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Putford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1797-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Frithelstock Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Hartland Bapt: 1838-1839, Mar: 1558-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Landcross Bapt: 1814-1839, Mar: 1761-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Littleham Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Monkleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Northam Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Parkham Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1537-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Wear Gifford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Welcombe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1757-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; West Woolfardisworthy Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Woolfardisworthy (West) which are provided by:



Transcript of complete entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

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 Ida Birch, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs; Land Tax returns; School register, etc.)

Janet Few is conducting a One-Place Study of the village of Bucks Mill (which is partly also in the parish of Parkham), and invites anyone researching in this village to contact her.

Braund, Len W. A race apart: the Braunds of Bucks and elsewhere. [Bideford?]: L.W.Braund (1994) [2], 78p: ill, geneal tables. [Westcountry Studies Library - p929.2/BRA]

Ching, Dale. A history of Chings: descendents of William and Mary Ching of Woolfardisworthy, Devonshire. Canada: D.Ching & E.Jonescue (1993) vi, 431p: ill, maps. [ISBN 155056188x]

Devonia Cornwall. Yeo, of Woolfardisworthy. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 11:5, (1921) pp.145-146. [See also vol.11, pp.156-158, 208-209.]



Downes, John T. Woolfardisworthy and district and the Domesday Book. Bideford: Community College (1982) 17p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p333.322/WOO/DOW]

Few, Rebecca and Few, Janet. Who lived in Cottages like these - the inhabitants of Bucks Mills, Braund Society (2003) 83pp.

Vanstone, R.E. Bucks Mills, (198-) 8 pp. [Barnstaple Library BT: BUC 9/0001/VAN]

Hubbard-Fielder, Duncan. The story of Bucks Mills and Bucks Cross. Barnstaple: Aycliffe Press (1980) 28p: ill, map.


Land & Property

Spreadsheet transcriptions of the Tithe Apportionments - Part 1 and Part 2.

Chancery pleadings: 1619 (Stapledon v. Docton) - transcribed by David Carter.

Chancery pleadings: 1623 (Stapledon & Velly v. Atkins, Rowe, Docton, Cooke, Heard & Bagilhole) - transcribed by David Carter



Chope, R. Pearse. West Town, alias West Woolfardisworthy. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 6:3, 1910 pp.95. [Tenants, 1566-1779. See vol.6, p.51, par.39.] [Transcript]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS332211 (Lat/Lon: 50.96511, -4.376761), Woolfardisworthy (West) which are provided by:


Military History

Cann, Jane and Crossman, John. 1914-18: Woolsery and Bucks Remember. CFZ Communications (30 Oct. 2016) 184pp. [ISBN-13: 978-1909488472] [SoG Library: DE/L 188]


Names, Personal

Woolfardisworthy (West) contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.


Probate Records

Will of Thomas Yeo (1659), transcribed by Ros Dunning.

Devonia Cornwall. Yeo of Woolfardisworthy. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 11 (1920-21) pp.145-146. [Raymond: Notes from the will of Thomas Yeo.] [Index]



Griffiths, C.B. If these walls could only speak [the story of Woolfardisworthy School in North Devon]. Woolfardisworthy: The School? [1970] 54p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - 372/WOO/GRI] [Raymond: Includes list of inhabitants, 1850 and 1857; list of teachers and vicars, and list of evacuees, 1939-45.]