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Swimbridge, Devon

Historical Description

Swimbridge, a parish, with a village and two hamlets, in Devonshire, with a station on the G.W.R., 200 miles from London, and 4½ ESE of Barnstaple. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Barnstaple. Acreage, 7146; population, 1171. There are several handsome residences in the neighbourhood. The Duke of Bedford is lord of the manor. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £270 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Exeter. The church is Later English, and has a tower and spire. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels and a church mission-room.

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 parishSwimbridge St. James 
HundredSouth Molton 
Poor Law unionBarnstaple 

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

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms and marriages dates from the year 1563; burials, 1562.

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 Swimbridge


Church of England

St. James (parish church)

The church of St. James is a fine building of stone in the Late Perpendicnlar style, consisting of chancel with aisles, north transept, which retains an ancient piscina, nave, north aisle, south porch and a western tower of the Decorated period, with spire, and containing a clock and 6 bells, all cast in 1753 by William Evans, of Chepstow: on the south side of the chancel is St. Bridget's chantry chapel, built by the Mules family, of Ernesborough: the bosses of the roof are adorned with emblazoned shields of the D'Abernon, Denys, Cary, Mules and Orchard families: the north aisle was built bv Sir John Moeles, or Mules, whose family, a younger branch of the Lords Moels, were for some generations seated at Ernesborough, now called Irishborough, in this parish: there are several monuments and a memorial on copper to the Chichester and other families, and a stone pulpit, with figures of the Evangelists: the oak rood screen, restored under the direction of the late Mr. J. L. Pearson R.A., F.S.A. is remarkable for the marvellous delicacy and beauty of its carving: the font is inclosed within a screen of carved oak and there is a reredos of alabaster and marble, erected in 1894 as a memorial to the late John Smyth esq.: the church was restored in 1880, at a cost of £4,000, and has 250 sittings.

St. James, Swimbridge

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Swimbridge from the following:


Online maps of Swimbridge 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:

Villages, Hamlets, &c


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.

DistrictNorth Devon
RegionSouth West
Postal districtEX32
Post TownBarnstaple