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"WERRINGTON, a village and parish, on the banks of a rivulet, near the river Tamar and the Bude Canal, two miles N. of Launceston, has 685 souls, and about 5000 acres of land, adjoining Cornwall, and including Yeolmbridge, Druxen, Eggbeer, and other farms, &c. The Duke of Bedford is lord of the manor, but the Barton estate belongs to the Duke of Northumberland, who resides occasionally at Werrington House, a neat mansion, with a well-wooded park, which was purchased by his grandfather of the Morice family, who were seated here in the 17th century. E. Coote, Esq., and several smaller owners, have estates here. The manor was given by Ordulph to Tavistock Abbey, and was granted at the dissolution to John Lord Russell. The parish is in the Archdeaconry of Cornwall, and Deanery of Trigg Major. The Church (St. Martin and St. Giles,) was rebuilt in 1742, and is a handsome structure, with a large tower, and two small ones at the west end. . . . The Rev. J.B. Messinger is the incumbent, and has a handsome residence, built about five years ago, by the Duke of Northumberland,. at the cost of about £1000." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Black Torrington Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Cornwall and the Diocese of Exeter.

Peskett: This parish lay in the County of Devon until 1966 when it was transferred to Cornwall (a small part remains in Devon).


The Cornwall Family History Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for the Parish Church - 115 entries.


Counted variously in Devon and in Cornwall for the census:

1841 HO107/259 Black Torrington Hundred
1851 HO107/1899k Launceston/St. Stephen ED 2
1861 RG9/1519 Launceston/St. Stephen
1871 RG10/2224
1881 RG11/2276
1891 RG12/1803 Launceston/St. Stephen ED 3

Census information for this parish (1841 - 1891) is held in the Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family History Society offers a census search service for its members.

Census records for Werrington in 1861 in RG9/1519 Enumeration District 2b are available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.

Census records for Werrington in 1871 in RG10/2224 Enumeration District 2 are available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project.

Ray Woodbine has compiled the 1851 Census for many Cornish parishes. Entries for Werrington are contained in Volume 9-3. This is available in the Library of the Cornwall Family History Society from which copies can be purchased.

A search facility for a transcription of the 1871 Census of Cornwall, including Werrington, is available.

Church History

The parish church is located in OS Grid Square SX3287 and was dedicated to St Martin of Tours. The parish is in the Archdeaconry of Cornwall, and Deanery of Trigg Major. The Church (St. Martin and St. Giles) was rebuilt in 1742, and is a handsome structure, with a large tower, and two small ones at the west end.

There were Bible Christian and Wesleyan Methodist chapels here.

Hole, William, M.A. A sermon preached in the parish church of Werrington, Devon, at the consecration of that church, on Wednesday 7th December, 1743 Oxford: James Fletcher (1743), 41 pp. [Full text]

Church Records

According to Peskett, the original registers are still with the incumbent, but there are BTs at the Devon Record Office (covering 1597-1673, 1737-40, and 1773-) and at the Cornwall Record Office (covering 1676-1736, 1741-72).

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1737-1837 - for details see their book list.

Baptisms: (BTs) 1737 - 1812, (transcripts) 1678 - 1745 and 1857 - 1911; Banns: 1860 - 1911; Marriages: (Phillimore) 1654 - 1812, (BTs) 1737 - 1785, 1682 - 1745, 1838 - 1911; Burials: (BTs) 1737 - 1812, 1658 - 1745 are included in the Cornwall OPC searchable parish register database.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1670-1719, and Marriages 1720-1805. (These entries are in part from Bishops' Transcripts.)

Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1653 - 1854, Burials 1653 - 1967, Marriages 1653 - 1980.

The Devon and the Cornwall Family History Societies have published transcripts of 1813-37 Marriages.

King, E. Extracts from the Registers of Werrington, Co. Devon. Genealogist 4 (1880) pp.61-63 and 165.
Phillimore, W. P. W. (William Phillimore Watts). "Marriages at Werrington, 1654-1812", In Devonshire parish registers, vol. 1. London: Phillimore & Co., 1909 (Phillimore's parish register series, vol. 112), pp. 45-55. [Full text]
Thompson, Gillian Anne (ed.) Parish of Werrington: 1813-37: marriage transcripts. Cornwall Family History Soc. (1994) i, 2p. [ISBN 1858692059]
Burials: Werrington 1813-1839. [Devon]: Devon Family History Society (2013).

Civil Registration

The parish of Werrington is in the Launceston Registration District and has been since 1st July 1837.


Copy provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.


The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.


Glenda Garrelts Mattes is the Online Parish Clerk in the Cornwall OPC Scheme, for Werrington.

Acres, W. Marston. The Morice family of Werrington. Notes and Queries 192, 1947, pp. 178-80. See also pp. 240.


Finberg, H.P.R. Notes and documents: the early history of Werrington. [s.l]: [s.n] (1944) pp237- 251. [Westcountry Studies - D/WER/0001/FIN]
Rendell, Joan. A parish album of Werrington. Plymouth: Columbian Press (1990) 111p: chiefly ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies - sxB/WER/0001/REN]
Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the parish of Werrington, Devon. Typescript (1966) 6p. [Westcountry Studies - sB/WER/0001/WIL]


Peter, O.B. The manor and park of Werrington. Launceston: Brimmel Brothers [1906] 32p: ill, map. [Westcountry Studies - s728.83/WER/PET]


Map of the Launceston Registration District in which the parish lies.

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Werrington parish was part of the Launceston Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief. Settlement Papers (1767 to 1831) and Bastardy Bonds (1752 to 1830), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.


  • Population in 1841 - 685 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 707 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 529 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 440 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 386 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 390 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 439 persons

Probate Records

Wills for this parish were proved in the Court of the Archdeacon of Cornwall, and are now held by the Cornwall Record Office. They are listed in:
Glencross, R.M. (ed.). Calendar of Wills, Administrations and Accounts Relating to the Counties of Cornwall and Devon in the Connotorial Archdiaconal Court of Cornwall (with which are included the records of the Royal Peculiar of St. Burian) now preserved in the District Probate Office at Bodmin. Index Library, vols. 56 & 59.
Alcock, N.W. Surviving Devon Wills and Inventories, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 31, (1968-70) pp.182.
Moger, O.M. Some Notes on the Whereabouts of Devon Wills, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 25, (1952-53) pp.9-10.

Transcription of the will of Sir William Morice (1677) by J. M. Jolliffe.

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Last updated: 23 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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