Status: Ancient Parish

Alternative names: South Bovey

Parish church: St. Thomas à Becket

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1538
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1613

Nonconformists include:

  • Baptist
  • Presbyterian
  • Society of Friends/Quaker
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Adjacent Parishes

  • Lustleigh
  • Hennock
  • Manaton
  • Chudleigh Knighton
  • Teigngrace
  • Christow
  • Highweek
  • Ilsington
  • Moretonhampstead

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BOVEY (South), or Bovey-Tracey, a village and a parish in Newton-Abbot district, Devon. The village stands on Bovey brook, and on the Moreton-Hampstead railway, 5½ miles NW of Newton; and has a post office under Newton-Abbot, and a r. station with telegraph. 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. Cromwell made a night attack on a part of Lord Wentworth’s brigade here, in 16 46; and captured 400 troopers and 7 standards. The parish comprises 7,262 acres. Real property, £.8,229. Pop., 2,080. Houses, 413. The property is much subdivided. 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 Earl of Devon. 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, and by the poor. 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. Value, £450. Patron, the Crown. The church is perpendicular English, with a square tower; and was renovated in 1859. A chapel-of-ease, a beautiful structure, stands adjacent to the pottery. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and a free school. The Devon house of mercy was erected here in 1868; includes a lofty chapel, in the first pointed style; and has accommodation for seventy-two inmates and eight sisters.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death Census Migration & Naturalization Military Probate & Court

Ancestry – Census & Voter Lists Birth, Marriage & Death Military Immigration & Emigration Directories & Member Lists Court, Land, Wills & Financial

Maps

Vision of Britain historical maps

Administration

County: Devon
Civil Registration District: Newton Abbot
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Totnes
Diocese: Exeter
Rural Deanery: Moreton
Poor Law Union: Newton Abbot
Hundred: Teignbridge
Province: Canterbury

Further Reading

Bovey Tracey in Bygone Days: A Portrait of a Dartmoor Town by Lance Tregoning

Bovey Tracey – An Ancient Town: Its Story and Legend by Lance Tregoning

Bovey Tracey Rediscovered by Elizabeth Westwood

The Bovey Book: The Story of a Devonshire Town in Words and Pictures by Bovey Tracey Heritage Trust and Veronica Kennedy