West Down, Devon
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.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||West Down Holy Trinity|
|Poor Law union||Barnstaple|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1583.
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:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Down, West (Holy Trinity))
Online maps of West Down are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:
Villages, Hamlets, &cDean (West Down)
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.