Ashburton Devon Family History Guide

Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church: St. Andrew

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1603
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1608

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Particular Baptists, Independent/Congregational, Methodist, Presbyterian, Wesleyan Methodist

Adjacent Parishes

  • Torbryan
  • Buckland in the Moor
  • Bickington
  • Buckfastleigh
  • Holne
  • Staverton
  • Widecombe in the Moor
  • Ilsington
  • Woodland

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

ASHBURTON, a town, a parish, and a subdistrict in the district of Newton-Abbot, Devon. The town stands on the Yeo, about 1¼ mile from the Dart, near the grandest part of Dartmoor, 7 miles NNW of Totnes; and a railway to it, from the South Devon, was in advanced progress in 1869. It was anciently called Asperton and Aisbertone. It belonged to the Crown at Domesday; was given to the see of Exeter before 1310; became a stannary town in 1328, on account of tin and copper mines in its neighbourhood; belonged to the Crown again in the time of Charles I.; was taken by Fairfax in 1646; and went, after various changes, into the possession of Lord Clinton. It consists principally of two long streets; and has a neat appearance. The market house has a lofty basement for market purposes, and an upper story with public rooms; and is a fine edifice, in the Italian style, built in 1850, at a cost of upwards of £3,000. The parish church is a spacious cruciform structure, of perpendicular date, with modern alterations, surmounted by a central tower, 90 feet high, was formerly collegiate, and contains some fine monuments. There are four dissenting chapels, a grammar school, with £80 of endowed income, and two exhibitions and two scholarships at Exeter college, Oxford, other charities with £322, a post office under Newton-Abbot, and three chief inns. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and fairs on the first Thursday in March and June, 10 Aug., and 11 Nov. The manufacture of serge and blanketting is carried on. A great business formerly arose from the thoroughfare between London and Plymouth; but has died away since the opening of the South Devon railway. The town is a borough by prescription; sent two members to parliament in the times of Edward I. and Henry IV., and from 1640 till 1832; and was half disfranchised by the act of 1832, and entirely disfranchised in 1868. It is governed by a portreeve, a bailiff, and constables. Acres, 6,936. Real property, £13,670. Electors in 1868, 356. Pop., 3,062. Houses, 574. John Dunning, solicitor-general in 1767, Dr. Ireland, dean of Westminster, and William Gifford, the well-known editor of the Quarterly Review, born in 1756, were natives. A peerage, with the title of Baron Ashburton, was given to Dunning in 1782; and, becoming extinct in 1823, was revived in favour of Alexander Baring in 1835. The parish, as already noted, is co-extensive with the borough. The living is a vicarage, in annexation with the vicarage of Buckland-in-the-Moor, in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £639. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Exeter. The subdistrict includes six parishes and a chapelry. Acres, 31,599. Pop., 6,362. Houses, 1,245.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

FamilySearch - Birth Marriage & Death Census Migration & Naturalization Military Probate & Court

Historical Newspapers

Western Morning News

Western Times

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

North Devon Journal

Express and Echo 


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Devon
Civil Registration District: Newton Abbot
Probate Court: Court of the Peculiars of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter
Diocese: Exeter
Rural Deanery: Pre-1848 - None, Post-1847 - Moreton
Poor Law Union: Newton Abbot
Hundred: Teignbridge
Province: Canterbury