Place:Rattery, Devon, England

Alt namesRatreusource: Domesday Book (1985) p 85
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish
Coordinates50.433°N 3.767°W
Located inDevon, England
See alsoStanborough Hundred, Devon, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
Totnes Rural, Devon, Englandrural district 1894-1974
South Hams District, Devon, Englanddistrict municipality in which it has been located since 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Rattery (#18 on map) is a village and civil parish in Devon, England, a few miles from Buckfastleigh, Ashburton, and Dartington. The name is often interpreted as a variant of "Red Tree" and is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Ratreu".

Since 1974 the village is part of the electoral ward of Eastmoor in South Hams District, Devon, England. The ward population at the 2011 UK census was 2,321. Between 1894 and 1974 the parish was in the Totnes Rural District.

Historic estates

Various historic estates are situated within the parish of Rattery, including:

  • Marley House, a Georgian mansion built by Walter Palk (1742-1819), MP, renamed "Syon Abbey" in 1925 when the formerly exiled community of nuns whose antecedents were from Syon Monastery, Twickenham, Middlesex, dissolved by King Henry VIII, took up residence.
  • Luscombe, a Domesday Book estate mentioned as held from the manor of Dartington and later the seat of the Luscombe family from before the 16th century to shortly before 1810. Purchased from the Luscombe family by Walter Palk (1742-1819). Not to be confused with Luscombe Castle, a 19th-century country house near Dawlish, about 16 miles to the northeast.
Image:Totnes RD small.png

Research Tips

(revised Jul 2021)

  • 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.
  • There is, however, a proviso regarding early records for Devon. Exeter was badly hit in a "blitz" during World War II and the City Library, which then held the county archives, was burnt out. About a million books and historic documents went up in smoke. While equivalent records--particularly wills--are quite easy to come by for other English counties, some records for Devon and surrounding counties do not exist.
  • 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 and includes a lot of useful information on each parish.
  • 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.)
  • South Hams, Devon, A Genealogical Information Resource A collection of transcriptions of church registers and the 1841 census, plus a free lookup service in registers and other materials that have not been transcribed, for the South Hams District of Devon, England. The website states that its latest transcription was added 10 Nov 2018.