"KNOWSTONE, a pleasant village, on a bold eminence, encompassed by lofty hills, 9 miles E. by S. of South Molton, has in its parish 578 souls, and 4994 acres of land, including 1219A. of common, 219A. of moorland; the village of East Knowstone, about a mile from the church; the hamlet of Rochill; and many scattered houses, some of them among the high moorlands near the sources of the river Yeo. Sir Robert Geo. Throckmorton, Bart., is lord of the manor, and owner of the manor-house, called Knowstone Beaple, which was so called from its ancient owners, and was long a seat of the Pollards. J. Handford, Esq., Mr. Joseph Hill, and many smaller owners, have estates in the parish. The manor of Wadham belonged to Ulf at Domesday Survey, and his descendants took the name of Wadham. Shapcote was long held by a family of its own name, and they sold it about 1770 to the Handfords. Sir John Berry, an eminent naval officer in the reign of Charles II., was born here at the Vicarage. The Church (St. Peter,) is a small ancient structure, with a tower and three bells, and was repaired four years ago." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
Select map to view parish
boundaries in detail.
A parish in South Molton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.
Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler, Barcott, Buckland Brewer, Bideford, Devon EX39 5LN. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]
Wilkin, Walter Harold. The vicars of Knowstone-cum-Molland, 1767-1915. Trans. Devon. Assoc. (1932) pp509-518. [Raymond: Includes notes on family of Rev. John Froude.]
Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1538, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1668, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon & Cornwall Record Society's Collection.
The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1740-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.
Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1538-1837 and Marriages 1539-1836. (These entries are in part from Bishops' Transcripts.)
The Deanery of South Molton: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bishop's Nympton, Cheldon, Creacombe, Cruwys Morchard, East Anstey, East Woolfardisworthy, East Worlington, George Nympton, King's Nympton, Knowstone, Mariansleigh, Meshaw, Molland, North Molton, Oakford, Puddington, Rackenford, Romansleigh, Rose Ash, Satterleigh, South Molton, Stoodleigh, Templeton, Thelbridge, Twitchen, Warkleigh, Washford Pyne, West Anstey, West Worlington and Witheridge. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850) and Kelly's Directory of Devonshire (1902). CD-ROM 062, Exeter, Devon FHS (2015). [Bishop's Nympton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Cheldon Bapt: 1813-1843, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1841; Creacombe Bapt: 1814-1902, Mar: 1759-1835, Bur: 1813-1850; Cruwys Morchard Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Anstey Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1688-1839; East Woolfardisworthy Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1840, Bur: 1813-1837; East Worlington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; George Nympton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1790-1837; King's Nympton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Knowstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1740-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Mariansleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1757-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Meshaw Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1813-1838; Molland Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; North Molton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Oakford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1840; Puddington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1759-1836, Bur: 1740-1837; Rackenford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Romansleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1730-1837; Rose Ash Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1850; Satterleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; South Molton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Stoodleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Templeton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Thelbridge Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1853; Twitchen Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Warkleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Washford Pyne Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1813-1840; West Anstey Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1745-1838; West Worlington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1846, Bur: 1813-1851; Witheridge Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1835]
The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
Peskett, H.M. The Wadham family estates, Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 31, 1968-70, pp. 238-45. See also 32, 1971-73, pp. 93-94. [Raymond: 14-18th c.; of Wadham and Seaton, Devon, and Merifeld, Somerset.]
Shapcote, Dorothy. Shapcote or Shapcott family of Knowstone, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries. 14, 1928-29, pp. 98-99 & 162-63; 15, 1928, pp. 30-37. [18th c.]
General historical and descriptive information, area map from 1765, details about administrative boundaries, etc., about Knowstone from the Devon Library's Local Studies Service.
Rapley, Verna C. Knowstone: a brief history of the parish, a north Devon hill village. East Knowstone: V.C.Rapley  12p. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/KNO/0001/RAP]
Worth, R.N. A History of Devonshire, With Sketches of Leading Worthies, London, Elliot Stock (1886) p.109. [Knowstone extract]
The Devonshire Domesday and Geld Inquest: Extensions, Translations, and Indices (2 vols.)., Plymouth, Devonshire Association (1884-1892) xlix + 1236 + 29 pp. [Knowstone extract]
Ryall, David. Lest We Forget, War memorials around South Molton. South Molton Archive, 68pp. [ISBN 0 951236 1 4] [Provides an indexed list of names]
Shapcote, Dorothy. Wills of Shapcotes of Knowstone. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 15 (1928-29) pp.231-235, 257-259. [Raymond: Wills of Thomas Shapcote, 1696, Elizabeth Shapcote, 1698, and Elizabeth, widow of Philip Shapcote, 1699.]
South Molton and District Archive Local History Society web-site (archived copy) - provides details of archive holdings for the twenty-eight parishes in what used to be the South Molton Rural District, lists of publications, etc.Find help, report problems, and contribute information.
Last updated: 16 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell
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