Bishops Tawton, Devon Family History Guide

Bishop's Tawton is an Ancient Parish in the county of Devon.

Other places in the parish include: Herner.

Alternative names: Tawton Episcopi, Bishop's Tawton with Herner, Bishop's Tawton

Parish church: St. John the Baptist

Parish registers begin: 1558

Nonconformists include: Baptist and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Bishops Tawton

  • Newport
  • Tawstock
  • Swimbridge
  • Atherington
  • Landkey
  • Chittlehampton

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BISHOPS-TAWTON, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict, in the district of Barnstaple, Devon. The village stands on the river Taw, near the North Devon railway, 2 miles S by E of Barnstaple; and has a post office under Barnstaple. It was the seat of the see of Devonshire, from the division of the see of Sherborne in 905 till the removal of the bishops to Crediton; and it possesses some remains of the episcopal palace. The parish includes Newport, the suburb of Barnstaple. Acres, 4,263. Real property, £9,742. Pop., 1,857. Houses, 380. The property is divided among a few. The manor belonged to the Bishops of Devonshire; but was conveyed, in 1550, to the Russell family; and belongs now to the Duke of Bedford. The waving is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £440. Patron, the Dean of Exeter. The church is an ancient edifice of nave, aisle, and chancel, with low square tower; was partially restored in 1849; and contains monuments of the Bouchiers, Earls of Bath. The p. curacy of Newport is a separate benefice. The subdistrict contains eight parishes. Acres, 26,709. Pop., 6,307. Houses, 1,305.

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

Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England 1845

Tawton, Bishop's (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Barnstaple, hundred of South Molton, Braunton and N. divisions of Devon, 2 miles (S. by E.) from Barnstaple; containing 1827 inhabitants. On the division of the West Saxon see of Sherborne, this was made the seat of the Devonshire diocese by Werstan, its first bishop, soon after his consecration in 905. He was succeeded by Putta, and afterwards by Eadulphus, who was installed at Crediton, to which place he removed the see, and who died in 931. Some remains of the episcopal palace are still discernible, and in the churchyard are the ruins of the deanery. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £21; net income, £440; patron and appropriator, the Dean of Exeter. The church is a neat ancient structure, with a handsome stone spire, and contains some monuments to the Chichester family.—See Newport.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.

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: Barnstaple
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiars of the Bishop of Exeter (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Exeter
  • Rural Deanery: Barnstaple
  • Poor Law Union: Barnstaple
  • Hundred: South Molton
  • Province: Canterbury