Bow, Devon Family History Guide

Bow is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Devon.

Alternative names: Nymet Tracey

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1604

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian Unitarian, and Society of Friends/Quaker.

Parishes adjacent to Bow

  • Clannaborough
  • Zeal Monachorum
  • North Tawton
  • Spreyton
  • Drewsteignton
  • Hittisleigh
  • Colebrooke

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BOW, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict in the district of Crediton, Devon. The village stands on the slope of a hill, near the Okehampton railway, 7½ miles W by N of Crediton; and has a post office† of Bow, North Devon, and a r. station. It was formerly a market-town; and it still has fairs on Holy Thursday and 22 Nov. The parish is called also Nymet-Tracey. Acres, 2,740. Real property, £3,466. Pop., 904. Houses, 205. The manor belonged anciently to the Traceys. Collaton House and Gratton House, now the seats of the Sanderses and the Wrefards, are fine modern mansions. The living is a rectory, united with the rectory of Broad-Nymet, in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £533. Patron, F. Vandermeulen, Esq. The church stands about a mile from the village, and has a low square tower. There are an Independent chapel and a free school. The subdistrict comprises eight parishes. Acres, 19,402. Pop., 3,516. Houses, 736.

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

Parish Records

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Bowe Devonshire Universal British Directory 1791

Bowe is 188 miles from London, and a little to the west of Credition; has a market on Thursday, and a fair in Whitsun week, and another Nov. 22.  The court of the Duchy of Lancaster is commonly kept here.

A cross-post from Crediton to Hatherleigh passes through every Saturday, Monday, and Thursday.  It is a poor place, having nothing of note either in the town or neighbourhood.  The following are the principal inhabitants:

Coles, Carpenter

Easterbrook, Butcher

Easterbrook, Fountain Inn

Greenslade, Taylor

Greenslade, Taylor

Hatherleigh, Blacksmith

Herd, Baker

James, Blacksmith

Jarman, Shopkeeper

Norley, Baker

Packer, Tanner

Pidler Mrs. Shopkeeper

Rowden, Blacksmith

Rowden, Butcher

Scott, Shoemaker

Snell, Shopkeeper

Sweet, Chandler

Sweet, Serge-maker

Toser, Blacksmith

Toser, Jun. Blacksmith

Tucker, King’s Arms Inn

Watts, Victualler, (Red Cow)

Western, Shoemaker

Western, Carpenter

Willicott, Shoemaker

Wrevit, Chandler

Source: Universal British Directory 1791

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: Crediton
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple
  • Diocese: Exeter
  • Rural Deanery: Chumleigh
  • Poor Law Union: Crediton
  • Hundred: North Tawton with Winkleigh
  • Province: Canterbury