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Bovey Tracey, Devon

Historical Description

Bovey, South, or Bovey-Tracey, a village and a parish in Devonshire. The village stands on the Bovey Brook, and on the G.W.R., 215 miles from London, and 5½ NW of Newton, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) It was formerly a market-town, and still has fairs on Easter Monday, Holy Thursday, and the first Thursday of July and Nov. Part of an ancient cross stands in an open space in it, and an ancient wayside monument is built into one of its houses. The parish comprises 7567 acres; population of the civil parish, 2422; of the ecclesiastical, 2324. The manor belonged anciently to the Traceys, one of whom, Sir William Tracey, was the leader in the assassination of Thomas à Becket, and belongs now to the Bentinck family. Cromwell made a night attack on a part of Lord Wentworth's brigade here in 1646, and captured 400 troopers and 7 standards. A reach of valley adjacent to the village bears the name of Bovey-Heathfield; has a low flat bottom, seeming to have been once a lake, and contains deposits of porcelain clay and beds of lignite, called Bovey coal. The clay is worked in an interesting pottery close to the village, and the lignite is used as fuel at the pottery, in lime-kilns. A great ridge of hills flanks the valley, and culminates picturesquely in the Bottor Rock. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; gross value, £342 with residence. Patron, the Crown. The church is Perpendicular English, with a square tower, and was renovated in 1857 and 1887. In 1889 a good organ was placed in the church. A chapel of ease stands adjacent to the pottery. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels. The Devon House of Mercy was erected in 1867; it includes a lofty chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDevon 
Ecclesiastical parishBovey-Tracey St. Thomas à Becket 
Poor Law unionNewton-Abbot 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the South West Heritage Trust, Parochial Church Council, and Devon Family History Society have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Bovey Tracey

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bovey Tracey from the following:


Online maps of Bovey Tracey are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564, with additions from the earlier visitation of 1531, is online.

The Visitations of the County of Devon, comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by Lieutant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, published for the author by Henry S. Eland, Exeter 1895 is online.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtTQ13
Post TownNewton Abbot