Chudleigh Devon Family History Guide

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

Parish church: St. Martin

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1558
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1597

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist. 

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CHUDLEIGH, a town, a parish, and a sub-district in Newton-Abbot district, Devon. The town stands on an eminence, at the left side of the river Teign, 3½ miles ENE of Bovey r. station, and 10 miles SSW of Exeter. It consists of one main street and three minor ones. It was devastated in 1807 by a fire which destroyed nearly 200 houses; and it now presents a modern appearance. It formerly had a palace of the bishops of Exeter; but the only remains of this are a portion of the walls and a dungeon. It was a busy, active place previous to the formation of railways; but it is now quiet and declining. A considerable woollen trade was, at one time, carried on in it; but has disappeared. Markets are held on Saturdays; and fairs on Easter Tuesday and 2 Oct. The town has a post office under Newton-Abbot, a chief inn, an ancient parish church with massive tower, three dissenting chapels, and a free grammar school; and publishes a weekly newspaper. The parish comprises 6,037 acres. Real property, £11,162. Pop., 2,108. Houses, 455. The property is subdivided. The manor belongs to Lord Clifford, and gives him the title of Baron. The chief seats are Ugbrook Park, Lord Clifford: Kerswell House; Filleigh, J. Kelly, Esq.; Whiteway; and Rocklands. The scenery is strikingly picturesque, and in many parts romantic. Numerous limestone rocks diversify it, cut by fissures, and tangled with wood; and one of these, called par excellence Chudleigh Rock, towers into high prominence, commands charming prospects, embosoms a fairy glen, and is pierced by a deep cavern which the surrounding peasantry represent as haunted by the Pixies. A blue limestone, known as Chudleigh marble, is extensively quarried; and good cider is largely produced. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £550. Patrons, Trustees for the Inhabitants. The sub-district contains six parishes. Acres, 23,736. Pop., 6,748. Houses, 1,401.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

CHUDLEIGH (St. Martin), a market-town and parish, in the union of Newton-Abbott, hundred of Exminster, Teignbridge and S. divisions of Devon, 9 miles (S. S. W.) from Exeter, and 182 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 2415 inhabitants. This place, anciently called Chidleighe, was the residence of the bishops of Exeter, who had a sumptuous palace, of which there are some small remains. In the year 1309, Bishop Stapleton procured the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair. During the parliamentary war, the army under General Fairfax was quartered in the town. In 1807, nearly half of it was destroyed by fire, the loss of property being estimated at £60,000 value. It is pleasantly situated on an eminence near the eastern bank of the river Teign, and consists principally of one long street; the houses are in general modern and neatly built: the inhabitants are indifferently supplied with water. The environs are pleasant, and abound with woodland scenery; antimony and cobalt are among the mineral productions, and there are quarries of argillaceous slate, in which many organic remains have been discovered. The trade, which consisted mainly in the manufacture of woollen-cloth, has lately declined: extensive quarries of good marble and limestone, which abound in the vicinity, afford employment to many of the inhabitants; and the neighbourhood is famed for cider of superior quality. The market is on Saturday: the fairs, chiefly for cattle and sheep, are on Easter-Tuesday, the third Tuesday and Wednesday in June, and October 2nd, unless it falls on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, in which case the fair is postponed till the Tuesday following. The parish comprises 5188 acres, whereof 1660 are common or waste. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £21, and in the patronage of Trustees for the inhabitants; the impropriate tithes, belonging to Lord Clifford, have been commuted for £250, and the vicarial for £550; the glebe comprises one acre, with a glebe-house. There is a place of worship for Independents; also a Roman Catholic chapel at Ugbrooke, in the parish. The free grammar school was founded in 1668, by John Pynsent, of Combe, in the county of Surrey, who endowed it with a rent-charge of £30 per annum, founding also three exhibitions for its benefit at Cambridge, of £5 each, tenable for four years. Half a mile from the town is Chudleigh Rock, a stupendous mass of limestone, in which is a cavern of considerable extent; and near it are very perfect remains of an elliptical encampment, supposed from its form to be of Danish origin, but, from its proximity to a Roman road, to have been previously occupied by that people. Chudleigh confers the title of Baron on the family of Clifford.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

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: Newton Abbot
Probate Court: Court of the Peculiars of the Bishop of Exeter (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Exeter
Rural Deanery: Pre-1848 - None, Post-1847 - Kenn
Poor Law Union: Newton Abbot
Hundred: Exminster
Province: Canterbury