UK Genealogy Archives logo
DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission.

West Down, Devon

Historical Description

WEST DOWN is a parish and pleasant village on a bold acclivity near a rivulet, 6 miles N.N.W. of Barnstaple, in the Northern division of the county, Barnstaple union, county court district and archdeaconry, Braunton hundred and petty sessional division, and Sherwell rural deanery. It had 492 inhabitants (249 males, 243 females) in 1871, living in 110 houses, on 4050 acres of land, including the small hamlets of Willincott, Dean, Bradwell Mill, and Cheglinch, and the straggling farms of Trimstone, Stowford Barton, Buttercombe, Aylescott, &c., &c. John E. Loveband, Esq., is lord of the manor of Bradwell, and Arundel W. Yeo, Esq., lord of that of Stowford, which was the seat of Judge Stowford, the builder of Pilton Bridge. Tom Hole, Esq., Mrs. M. Parminter, A. W. Yeo, Esq., J. E. Loveband, Esq., the Rev. A. C. Bassett, John Chugg, Esq., and E. Anderton, Esq., are the principal landowners.

Transcribed from The History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Devon, by William White, second edition, 1878-9

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 parishWest Down Holy Trinity 
Poor Law unionBarnstaple 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1583.

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 West Down


Church of England

St. Calixtus (parish church)

The parish church of St. Calixtus is an ancient cruciform building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, transept, south porch and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and 6 bells: in the north transept is an effigy of Sir John Wyatt kt. (also called le White or de la Wayt), a Justice of the Common Pleas from 1342 to about 1372; he was born at Stowford in this parish, about 1290, and the effigy, which represents him in the robes of a sergeant-at-law, was re-coloured in 1873; the figure of John (Tracy), his wife, is lost: the stained east window is a memorial to Mr. Robert Hole: in the chancel are two other stained windows to the Rev. H. J. Drury, a former vicar, and two members of the Davy family: the west window, a memorial to Grace, wife of James Bate, was given, in 1866, by Mrs. Fitzmaurice, her sister, who also erected a lych gate in the same year: the stained windows in the south transept are in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Anderton, of Trimstone: the font, a Norman work, was found under the floor during restoration: on the tower is a tablet recording its demolition in 1711 and rebuilding in 1712, at the cost of the parish, except a sum of £21, given by Sir Nicholas Hooper knt. of Fullabrook, who also at the same time presented the clock and its bells: the church was thoroughly restored in 1874, when the chancel walls were raised, the entire church newly roofed and re-seated with open seats and the chancel re-paved, at a total cost of £1,785: there are 250 sittings. In the churchyard is a grantite cross, erected in 1920 to the memory of the men of the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for West Down from the following:


Online maps of West Down 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

Dean (West Down)

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 districtEX34