Buckfastleigh Devon Family History Guide

Buckfastleigh is an Ancient Parish in the county of Devon.

Other places in the parish include: Buckfast and Scorriton.

Parish church: Holy Trinity

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1602
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1597

Nonconformists include: Bible Christian Methodist, Independent/Congregational, and Wesleyan Methodist

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BUCKFASTLEIGH, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict in the district of Totnes, Devon. The village stands near Dartmoor forest, 2¼ miles SW by S of Ashburton; and is on the line of a railway from the South Devon to Ashburton, near completion in 1869. It dates from old times; was formerly a market town; carries on blanket and serge manufactures, in mills employing about 400 hands; and has a post office‡ under Newton-Abbot, a chief inn, and fairs on the third Thursday of June and the second Thursday of Sept. The parish comprises 5,928 acres. Real property, with Holne, £11,184. Pop., 2,544. Houses, 522. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged to Buckfast Abbey; was given, at the dissolution, to Sir Thomas Dennis; and passed to successively the Doyleys, the Bradfords, and the Benthalls. Buckfast Abbey stood on the Dart, about a mile N of the village; succeeded a Saxon monastery, founded in 918; and was itself a Cistertian establishment, of 1137, founded by Ethelbard, son of William Pomeroy. The buildings of it covered several acres; but the chief remains of them are an ivy-clad tower, adjacent to the present mansion of Buckfast Abbey, and the tithe barn, about 100 feet long, at the Grange; and part of their site is now occupied by a large woollen factory. Black marble is quarried, chiefly to supply kilns. A tin mine, now the property of the Earl of Macclesfield, 2½ miles from the village, was worked in the time of Henry VI., and re-opened in 1854. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £270. Patron, the Rev. M. Lowndes. The church surmounts a limestone eminence, overhanging the Dart, ¼ of a mile from the village; is early English, with mixtures of perpendicular and debased Tudor; and was, not long ago, restored. The churchyard contains ivy-clad remains of an ancient chantry or baptistery, many black marble tombstones, and the grave of Admiral Thomas White. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Wesleyans; and charities £57. The subdistrict contains four parishes. Acres, 19,646. Pop., 4,263. Houses, 882.

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

Parish Records

FamilySearch - Free

Birth Marriage and Death Records

England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887

England, Devon and Cornwall Marriages, 1660-1912

England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912


England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

England Marriages, 1538–1973 

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Grave Indexes

BillionGraves Index

Find A Grave Index

Migration and Naturalisation Records

Migration Records at FamilySearch

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries

Census Records

England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales National Register, 1939

Probate and Court Records

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

Military Records

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Devon
Civil Registration District: Totnes
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Totnes
Diocese: Exeter
Rural Deanery: Totnes
Poor Law Union: Totnes
Hundred: Stanborough
Province: Canterbury