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"WOLBOROUGH, or Woolborough Parish, comprises only about 970 acres of land, and had 2609 inhabitants in 1841, of whom 1192 were returned as being in Newton Abbot, but the whole parish is in the town and suburbs of that improving place.. . . NEWTON ABBOT . . is an ancient market town, picturesquely seated on the north side of the small river Lemon, near its confluence with the navigable river Teign, . . . 15 miles S. by W. of Exeter, . . . It has now about 3000 inhabitants, exclusive of its suburb of NEWTON BUSHEL, . . . The town has many good houses and shops, especially in the new streets laid out during the last ten years. . . . Woolborough Parish Church (St. James,) stands on an eminence more than half a mile south of the town, and is a large cemented structure, with a tower and four bells. . . . The living is a donative, valued at £235, with the curacy of Newton Abbot attached to it, in the patronage of the Earl of Devon, and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. C. Clark. . . . The town has a Literary Society, with a good library; a Mechanic's Institution, established in 1836; a well-supplied News Room; and an Agricultural and Labourers' Friend Society. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Haytor Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter.

Peskett: "What is now known as Newton Abbot comprises two adjoining 'twin' boroughs which are for ecclesiastical purposes in separate parishes and for civil purposes in separate hundreds, viz: Newton Abbot in Wolborough parish and Haytor hundred . . . and Newton Bushel in Highweek parish and Teignbridge hundred."

Archives and Libraries

Newton Abbot Town and GMR Museum - summary details.


Amery, John S. John Lethbridge and his Diving Machine. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 12, (1880), pp. 490-496. [Index]
Brander, Michael. The perfect Victorian hero: Samuel White Baker, Edinburgh, Mainstream (1982) 184p: ill, map. [ISBN 0906391245] [Torbay Library D929/BAK]
Brushfield, T.N. Sub-marine vessels - John Lethbridge and others. Devon Notes & Queries 2:1, (1902) pp.25-28. [Index]
Cornish Fox, Hubert, (Ed.). The Cornish-Bowdens of Newton Abbot: Family Letters, Illusts., Bridgwater, (1965) 121 p.
Editors. In memoriam: Maxwell Adams. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 11:6, (1921) pp.193, plates: port. [Local histrian, 1848-1920] [Transcript]
Harpley, W. Obituary notices: Edward Fisher. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 27, (1895) pp.35. [Archaeologist, 1828-1895] [Transcript]
Heathcote, Bernard V. and Heathcote, Pauline F. Richard Beard: an ingenious and enterprising patentee, Hist. Photography, vol. 3, no. 3, (1979) pp.313-330. [Westcountry Studies Library px770/DEV/HEA]
Huxtable, John. As it seemed to me, London, United Reformed Church (1990) 90p: ill. [ISBN 0853461147] [Westcountry Studies Library s920/HUX] [Autobiography of Pastor of the United Reform Church at Newton Abbot]
Keys, Roger. Ruby Keys n&eacutee Westaway 1910-2011, Devon Family Historian, vol. 139, (2011) p.33.
Porter, J.H. J.C. Hele: Newton naturalist. Devon Historian 27, (1983) pp.7-9: ill. [1832-1887]
Sells, Rosemary. From seedtime to harvest: the life of Frank Horne, 1904-1975, Cambridge, Hobsons Press (1978) 196p: ill. [ISBN 0860212777] [Westcountry Studies Library 920/HOR]
Walker, Brian Mercer, (Ed.). Frank Matcham theatre architect, Belfast, Blackstaff Press (1980) 178p: ill. [ISBN 0856402311] [Westcountry Studies Library 920/MAT] [Frank Matcham was born in Newton Abbot]


MIs for this parish are included in the Incledon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.
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Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]

Church History

Wolborough - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Ashworth, Edward. On Wolborough church, Devon. Exeter Diocesan Architectural Soc. Trans. 1 ser, v. 5, (1856) pp.40-47. [Index]
Cornelius, C Fryer. Medieval Effigies and other Sepulchral Memorials in the Parish Churches within a Ten-mile Radius of Newton Abbot. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 83 (1951) pp.217-34.
Harbord, Audrey. Keble Martin's dream church, Milber. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 90 (1973) pp.26-27; ill.
Lamb, Trixie M. The ancient tower of St. Leonard's, Newton Abbot, Newton Abbot, Abbot Litho Pr (1973) 34p, ill. [Westcountry Studies Library 726.597/NEW/LAM]
Schofield, John. St. Mary's Chapel, Newton Abbot, Devon. Appendix 3: historical development, Bristol, Architecton (1987) 21p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library px726.4/NEW/SCH]
Windeatt, Edward. Early nonconformity in Newton and its neighbourhood. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 16, (1884) pp. 489-497. [Index]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in the Devon Record Office - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1558 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): Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1754-1839, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1558-1805, Marriages 1558-1805, Wolborough Street Salem Independent Chapel Christenings 1726-1837, Providence Independent Chapel 1817-1837.

Deanery of Ipplepen: Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD - Devon FHS (2012). [An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of: Abbotskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1756-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Berry Pomeroy Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Brixham All Saints Baptisms (1826-1839), Marriages (1826-1837), Burials (1831-1832); Brixham St Mary Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Broadhempston Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1681-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Churston Ferrers Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1835), Burials (1800-1837); Cockington Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1780-1834); Coffinswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1857); Denbury Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837); Ipplepen Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1843), Burials (1813-1837); Kingskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Kingswear Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1755-1837), Burials (1780-1837); Littlehempston Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1731-1837), Burials (1813-1840); Marldon Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Baptisms (1813-1841), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Independent Burials (1826-1836); Staverton Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Stoke Gabriel Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torbryan Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1838), Burials (1813-1854); Tormohun Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torquay St Marychurch Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Wolborough Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1839), Burials (1813-1837); Woodland Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1755-1835), Burials (1813-1838).]

Court Records

Newton Abbot Bastardy Order Book - 1844-1860, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D005). [Foreword]

Description and Travel

Newton Abbot Town Council Website - photographs, history, etc.

Newton Abbot, from Wikipedia.

Chard, Judy. Along the Lemon: the life story of a Devon river from Haytor to Newton Abbot, Chudleigh, Orchard Publns (1993) 79p: ill. [ISBN 0951902741] [Westcountry Studies Library sB/LEM/1979/CHA]
Hallworth, Rodney. Newton Abbot. Devon Life vol. 2 no. 14, (1966) pp.15-21; ill.
Harvey, Dr. Mate's illustrated Newton Abbot: a pictorial and descriptive souvenir, Bournemouth, W. Mate & Sons (1903) [72]pp: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library sB/NEW 1/1903/HAR]
Jones, Roger. A Book of Newton Abbott. (3rd ed.) Bradford-on-Avon: Ex Libris (1986) 147pp: ill. [ISBN 0948578068]
Newton Abbot Town Council. Newton Abbot official guide. Gloucester: British Publish. (1993) 112pp: ill, map. [Torquay Library - D974]
Newton Abbot Town Council. Newton Abbot official guide (4th ed.). Gloucester: British Publish. (1994) 40pp: ill, map. [Index]
Tozer, Fred. Fred Tozer's Newton Abbot album. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1993) 48pp: chiefly ill. [ISBN 0946651736]
Tozer, Fred. Fred Tozer's Newton Abbot album - 2. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1995) 48p: chiefly ill. [ISBN 1899073116]
Newton Abbot. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 90 (1973) pp.24-24; ill.
Official Guide to Newton Abbott, (1978). [SoG Library DE tracts box]
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Transcript of the description given in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.
Where to buy at Newton Abbot. An illustrated local trades' review. By the Editor of the "Agents' Guide" ... with illustrations of the West of England., Brighton, Robinson, Son & Pike (1890) 35. xxiv pp. [Directory giving brief histories of companies and shops, with illustrations of shopfronts] [BM 10368.k.31.]
Kelly's Directory of Newton Abbot and neighbourhood, including Bovey Tracey and Kingsteignton. Kelly' Directories (1935 et seq).


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


Newton Abbot is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Fox, H.C., (Ed.). Cornish-Bowdens of Newton Abbot: family letters, Pearson & Lloyd Publishing (1995) 130 pp. [ISBN 189955016x]
Newman, Lesley. Selina Tarr of Newton Abbot, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) pp.21-22.
Worthy, C. Devonshire Parishes: or the antiquities, heraldry and family history of twenty-eight parishes in the archdeaconry of Totnes (2 vols), Exeter, W. Pollard (1887). [Chap. XVII: Wolborough - Descent of the manor; Lord William BRIWERE; GAVEROCKE; Sir Richard REYNELL and REYNELL of Ogwell; Ford House; Sir William WALLER; COURTENAY of Powderham; Earls of Devon; BALCULL; curates of Wolborough] [Index]


General historical and descriptive information, area map from 1765, details about administrative boundaries, etc., about Newton Abbot from the Devon Library's Local Studies Service.

Newton Abbot Past and Present, from the Newton Abbot Town Council Official Guide.

Beavis, Derek. Newton Abbot: the story of the town's past. Buckingham: Barracuda,1985, 120 pp. ill., 1 coat of arms, facsims., maps, ports. ; 27 cm. ISBN: 0860232360.
Berry, Les and Golding, Gerry. Newton Abbot, Bath, Alan Sutton (1994). [ISBN 0752400274]
Berry, Les and Gerald Gosling. Around Newton Abbot in old photographs. Chalford: Chalford Publishing (1994) 160p: chiefly ill.
Carter, Phillip. Newton Abbot, The Mint Press (2004). [ISBN-10: 1903356407]
Cresswell, B.F. Newton Abbot (Devon) and its Neighbouring Villages, including Chudleigh. (1908) [Westcountry Studies Library, Plymouth Central Library, Torquay Central Library]
Davenport, Mary M. Newton Abbot in old picture postcards, Zaltbommel, European Library (1984) [72]p: chiefly ill. [ISBN 9028828877] [Westcountry Studies Library sB/NEW 1/1880/DAV] [Illustrations: 1890-1930]
Dudley, E.R. and Garner, J. A history of the Globe Hotel, Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot, Typescript (1984) [37]leaves: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library sx647.94/NEW/DUD]
Harris, S.G. Notes on the State of Newton and its Neighbourhood Before the Fifteenth Century. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 18, (1886) pp. 215-228. [Index]
Harris, S.G. Notes on the history of Newton Abbot. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 31, (1899) pp.285-297. [Index]
Jones, Roger. A Book of Newton Abbot. Ex Libris Press, I The Shambles, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire [ISBN 0 948578 06 8]
Kingdom, Anthony Richard. The Newton Abbot blitz, Oxford, Oxford Publishing (1979) [32]p: ill. [ISBN 0860930548] [Westcountry Studies Library p940.5442/NEW/KIN]
Kingdon, A.R. The Bombing of Newton Abbot station, Newton Ferrers, Ark Publs (1991) 32p: ill, plans. [ISBN 1873029012] [Westcountry Studies Library p940.5442/NEW/KIN] [Repr of: The Newton Abbot blitz, 1979 (Railway Arkives; no. 1)]
Murrin-Pyne, Naomi. The History and Development of Newton Abbot Market, Typescript (1977) 23 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library sx381/NEW/MUR]
Rhodes, A.J. Newton Abbot: Its history and development, etc. Newton Abbot: Mid Devon Times (c1904) xvi,272p: ill,maps,pors. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/NEW 1/0001/RHO]
Rice, Iain, (Ed.). Newton Abbot: 150 years a railway town, Chagford, Hawkshill Publishing (1997) 48p: ill, plans. [ISBN 0900349086] [Westcountry Studies Library px385/NEW/NEW]
Searley, A.W. Notes on Newton Abbot. A collection of articles from Transactions Devon. Assoc. [1940] 296p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/NEW 1/0001/SEA]
Stirling, D. M. A History of Newton-Abbot and Newton-Bushel, and also illustrations ... of the neighbourhood, including Teignmouth, Torquay and Chudleigh. pp. xi. 179. W. Forord: Newton-Abbot, 1830. 8o. BL 10352.a.37.
Thomas, Brian. Newton Abbot in the news: a decade of change 1970-1979, Exeter, Obelisk Publications (1996) 32p: ill. [ISBN 1899073280] [Westcountry Studies Library pB/NEW 1/1970/THO]
Townsend, Elsie. Memories of Newton Abbot. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1987) 48p: ill,maps. [ISBN 0946651175]
Tozer, Fred. Fred Tozer's Newton Abbot. (1993) [ISBN 0946651736] [Devon FHS Library p942.35/NEW].
Tozer, Fred. Newton Abbot Album II. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. [ISBN 1899073116].
Unsworth, Harry. A new look at old Newton Abbot. Coffinswell: Mike Bateson (1993) vi,130p: ill,maps. [ISBN0952168901]
Worthy, Charles. Devonshire Parishes. Exeter: William Pollard (1887) - Vol. 2, pp. 85- 143.

Land and Property

Gray, T., (Ed.). Devon household accounts, 1627-59. Part I: Sir Richard and Lady Lucy Reynell of Forde House, 1627-43, John Willoughby of Leyhill, 1644-6 and Sir Edward Wise of Sydenham, 1656-9 (Devon and Cornwall Record Society. New series; vol. 38), Devon and Cornwall Record Soc. (1995) lviii, 285 p.
O'Hagan, M. History of Forde House, Newton Abbot, Teignbridge District Council (1990) 76,[4]p: ill. [Devon FHS Library 942.35/NEW] [Westcountry Studies Library sx728.8/NEW/OHA]
Weddell, Peter J. The Excavation of Medieval and Later Houses at Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot. Devon Archaeological Society Proc. 43 (1985) pp.77-109. [Raymond: Includes a list of property owners, 1596-1841.]
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Alexander, J.J. Early owners of Bradley Manor. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 68, (1936) pp.187-195.
Cotton, R.W. Ford and its associations. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 33, (1901) pp.693-713. [Index]
Watkin, Hugh R. The Early History of Bradley Manor, near Newton Abbot. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. 58 (1926) pp.245-252.

Military History

Devon Heritage's Newton Abbot War Memorial site - photographs and annotated name listings.

Article on at Seale Hayne military hospital, near Newton Abbot, where Dr Arthur Hurst treated WW1 shellshock victims.

Ellis, John. Newton Abbot's Great War - Forgotten Times - Forgotten Men, (2014?).[Devon FHS Tree House Library]

Names, Personal

Names from an 1822-23 edition of Pigot's Directory.
Bradford, John. Songs of Devon and Miscellaneous Poems. London: Simkin Marshall & Co. Crews: Newton Abbot (1843) xii, 156pp. [Surname Index]

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Clarke, Margaret. The Workhouse, Devon Family Historian, vol. 140, (2011) pp.35-38.
Newton Abbot Workhouse Births - 1846-1866, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D002). [Foreword]
Newton Abbot Bastardy Order Book 1844-1866, Exeter, Devon Family History Society (2005). [Foreword]
The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, vol. 112, (2004) pp.32-34. [On Newton Abbot and Barnstaple Workhouses]

Probate Records

Transcripts of the wills of Richard Reynell (1634), Lucy Reynell (1652), William Courtenay (1702) and Anne Courtney or Courtnay (1711), provided by Kathleen Noye.

P., M.A. Abstract of will of John Raleighe of Fforde in the Countie of Devon, Esquier. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 8:6, (1915) pp.181-183.


Website for Ashburton College (Newton Abbot) which stemmed from the Old Ashburton Grammar School, by John Oakford

Forster, Rowena. Knowles Hill School: a history from 1904 to 1995, [Newton Abbot?], [The School?] (1995) vi, 304p: ill, ports pp. [Westcountry Studies Library s373/NEW/FOR]
Key, Bishop Maurice and Key, Mrs Joan. Stover, the story of a school: Stover School, Newton Abbot 1932 -1982, Haytor, Blaketon-Hall Ltd (1982) 96p, [16]p of pl: ill, map. [Westcountry Studies Library 376.63/NEW/STO]
Watts, Richard. A History of Wolborough Hill School, 1877-1977. Southampton: Hobbs (1977). [Raymond: Newton Abbot School: many named photographs.]
Newton Abbot College Magazine. No 1, May 1870. Oxford & London: James Parker & Co. 29pp. [Surname Index]
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Last updated: 11 Jan 2016 - Brian Randell

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