Place:Buckfastleigh, Devon, England

Watchers
NameBuckfastleigh
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates50.483°N 3.767°W
Located inDevon, England
See alsoStanborough Hundred, Devon, Englandhundred in which Buckfastleigh was located
Totnes Rural, Devon, Englandrural district 1894-1974
Teignbridge District, Devon, Englanddistrict municipality of which it is now a part
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Buckfastleigh is a small market town and civil parish in Devon, England situated beside the Devon Expressway (A38) at the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. It is part of Teignbridge and, for ecclesiastical purposes, lies within the Totnes Deanery. It has a population of 3,661. It is a centre of tourism and is home to Buckfast Abbey, the South Devon Railway, the Buckfastleigh Butterfly Farm and Otter Sanctuary, the Tomb of Squire Richard Cabell and The Valiant Soldier. With 13 letters, Buckfastleigh is the longest place name in England with no repeated letters, tied with Buslingthorpe, Leeds and Buslingthorpe, Lincolnshire.

The town was originally part of Stanborough Hundred, an ancient division of Devon. In 1894 it was split into two parishes of East Buckfastleigh and West Buckfastleigh which together made up the urban district of Buckfastleigh. In 1974 the two parishes were re-joined and with other local municipalities became part of the Teignbridge District.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Historically Buckfastleigh has grown as a mill town known for its woollen mills, corn and paper mills and a tannery supported by the rivers Dart, Mardle and the Dean Burn – water being an essential natural resource used in the manufacturing of wool and other products.

Buckfastleigh is medieval in origin, as is still evident in the original layout of the town. By the seventeenth century, most of the properties had been rebuilt, but the medieval layout, particularly in Fore Street, is still visible today.

The name "Buckfast" means "stronghold" – traditionally a place where deer and buck were held, and "Leigh" would have been the pasture belonging to Buckfast – hence the meaning deer held in a pasture (buck-fast-leigh).

Buckfast probably existed before Buckfastleigh as it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and in 1018 a Benedictine Abbey was founded and endorsed by King Canute at Buckfast.

Buckfastleigh town centre is now an area of mostly late eighteenth- to early twentieth-century buildings with an interesting collection of private dwellings, commercial and retail properties and public houses which retain many, if not all, of their original features, styles and character.

The town centre during the first half of the twentieth century was a lively almost self-sufficient community with locally based employment and a large building programme of local authority housing initiated by Buckfastleigh Urban District Council which commenced in the 1920s and extended the town to the south west and the north west. Census data shows that in 1801 the population was 1,525, and 2,781 in 1901.

The most prominent benefactors of the town were the Hamlyn family . who were the original owners of the woollen mills up until 1920 and together with other philanthropists in the town, new cottages were erected. In 1887 they were instrumental in the building of a new Town Hall and community building to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Land was also made available at this time for further public facilities which included Victoria Park, the tennis courts and the swimming pool. The new primary school was built in 1875 and the railway line from Buckfastleigh and Ashburton to Totnes was opened.

Pennywell Farm is an organic farm and tourist attraction just outside the town.

Registration Districts

Listed as East Buckfastleigh and West Buckfastleigh between 1894 and 1974.

Research Tips

(revised Nov 2018)

  • For a quick view of all the parishes in Devon, download this map from Devon County Council and save it to your computer. It is in pdf format and expansion to 200% allows viewing of all the parishes by name. Modern "district" and parish boundaries are shown.
  • Ordnance Survey Map of Devonshire North and Devonshire South are large-scale maps covering the whole of Devon between them. They show the parish boundaries when Rural Districts were still in existence and before the mergers of parishes that took place in 1935 and 1974. When expanded the maps can show many of the small villages and hamlets inside the parishes. These maps are now downloadable for personal use but they can take up a lot of computer memory.
  • GENUKI has a selection of maps showing the boundaries of parishes in the 19th century. The contribution from "Know Your Place" on Devon is a huge website yet to be discovered in detail by this contributor.
  • Devon has three repositories for hands-on investigation of county records. Each has a website which holds their catalog of registers and other documents.
  • Devon Family History Society Mailing address: PO Box 9, Exeter, EX2 6YP, United Kingdom. The society has branches in various parts of the county. It is the largest Family History Society in the United Kingdom. The website has a handy guide to each of the parishes in the county and publishes the registers for each of the Devon dioceses on CDs.
  • This is the home page to the GENUKI Devon website. It has been updated since 2015.
  • Devon has a Online Parish Clerk (OPC) Project which can be reached through GENUKI. Only about half of the parishes have a volunteer contributing local data. For more information, consult the website, especially the list at the bottom of the homepage.
  • Magna Britannia, Volume 6 by Daniel Lysons and Samuel Lysons. A general and parochial history of the county. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822, and placed online by British History Online. This is a volume of more than 500 pages of the history of Devon, parish by parish. It is 100 years older than the Victoria County Histories available for some other counties, but equally thorough in its coverage. Contains information that may have been swept under the carpet in more modern works.
  • There is a cornucopia of county resources at Devon Heritage. Topics are: Architecture, Census, Devon County, the Devonshire Regiment, Directory Listings, Education, Genealogy, History, Industry, Parish Records, People, Places, Transportation, War Memorials. There are fascinating resources you would never guess that existed from those topic titles. (NOTE: There may be problems reaching this site. One popular browser provider has put a block on it. This may be temporary, or it may be its similarity in name to the Devon Heritage Centre at Exeter.)
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Buckfastleigh. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.