Stoodleigh, Devon - Genealogy and Family History

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St. Margaret's

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Historical Overview

Stoodleigh is a parish and small village situated approximately 4 miles south-east of the small market town of Bampton and 5 miles north-east of the ancient market town of Tiverton.

Settlement in the tiny village of Stoodleigh dates back to at least 1086 as it appears in the Domesday Book as Stodlei - in old English "leigh" meant a "a place at the wood or woodland clearing".

White (1850) tells us that Stoodleigh Manor was anciently held by the Fitzpayne, Anstill, Kelly, Carew, Brickdale and Fitzakerley families.  In 1851 Thomas DANIEL, Esq., was Lord of the Manor residing at Stoodleigh Court, a mansion house within a small park.

Within the parish of Stoodleigh is a place called Hangman's Hill Cross and also Quoit-at-Cross - such strange names make you wonder how such names were derived - maybe Hangman's Hill speaks for itself?  On the following page is a link to a 17th Century Farmhouse at Quoit-at-Cross Stoodleigh and also a photograph of the church and surrounding countryside.

In 1668, Elizabeth CAREW left a legacy of £400 to be used for the poor of Stoodleigh and Crowcombe in Somerset.  White (1850) tells us that 33 acres of land was purchased in Crowcombe and let for about  £45 per annum.  The money raised was used to help the parish poor of Stoodleigh and Crowcombe.

St. Margaret's Church

Stoodleigh's church of St. Margaret's was built in the 15th century, although it contains a Norman font which might have come from an earlier church in the parish.  Mee (1965) describes this font as being:

"of an unusual shape with a small deep bowl on a pedestal from which two queer faces look out." (p. 343)

Kelly (1893) gives the following description of the church:

"The church of St. Margaret is an edifice of stone in the Early English and Later styles, consisting of a chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled tower, containing 6 bells: the edifice was restored in 1782, chiefly by members of the Daniel family and the Rev. J. Bockett M.A. late rector, at a cost of about £3000: the stained east window is a memorial to the late Thomas Daniel esq. d. 1872, and his wife, and was inserted in 1880: there are two other stained windows in the chancel and two at the east end of the aisle: the church affords 220 sittings." (p. 579)

Parish Life

White (1850) tells us that in 1847, a Parish School was built next to the churchyard at a cost of £220, by Thomas DANIEL, Esq., who was Lord of the Manor.   Margaret VENNER is listed as the school-mistress.

Kelly's (1893) Post Office Directory for Devon shows that the Church of England Parish School  was rebuilt in 1873 to cater for 100 children, although is says that average attendance at the school, was only about 63.  The school-master was listed as Israel John FRISBY and Miss. Alice FENNING was assistant mistress.

Stoodleigh only appears to have had one public house - The New Inn.  White (1850) and Kelly (1893) list the following as publicans in the parish:

Name White (1850) Kelly (1893)
New Inn John MARLEY
Victualler and Butcher

Chiefly from the occupations listed in Kelly (1893), like most other Devon parishes, farming was a predominant occupation in the village and wheat, barley and oats are listed as the main crops grown in the parish.



Books - click for sources.

Historic Populations

Year 1801 1851 1901 1931 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 355 499 381 300 278 297 274 319 338

Source: 1801-1991 Census ©Crown Copyright
Source: 2001 Registrar General Population Estimates

Data originally from Devon Facts and Figures part of the Devon County Council website. [no longer available]

Map of the Area


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