From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cheldon church - - 126115.jpg
Cheldon is located in Devon
Location within Devon
OS grid referenceSS733134
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
List of places
50°54′22″N 3°48′12″W / 50.906127°N 3.80337°W / 50.906127; -3.80337Coordinates: 50°54′22″N 3°48′12″W / 50.906127°N 3.80337°W / 50.906127; -3.80337

Cheldon is a village and former civil parish, 17 miles (27 km) north-west of Exeter,[1] now in the parish of Chulmleigh, in the North Devon district, in the county of Devon, England. In 1961, the parish had a population of 32.[2]


Cheldon has a church called St Mary with a 12th century font and 16th century bells.[3]


The name "Cheldon" means "Ceadela's hill".[4] Cheldon was recorded in the Domesday Book as Cadeldone/Cheledone/Cha(d)eledona.[5] The parish was historically in the Witheridge hundred.[6] On 1 April 1986, the parish was abolished and merged with Chulmleigh.[7]

"Doing a Cheldon"[edit]

The village is thought to be the origin of the phrase "to do a Cheldon", meaning "to inadvertently cause a series of calamitous events", although alternative theories have been proposed. Longtime Cheldon resident Agnes P. Widdicombe attributes the phrase to an incident in 1918 in which a resident attempted to kill a marauding badger with a homemade flamethrower; the burning badger entered the village church and ignited a First World War munitions dump, causing an explosion that killed all 17 people inside at the time.[8]


  1. ^ "Distance from Cheldon Barton [50.906127, -3.80337]". GENUKI. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Population Statistics Cheldon AP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  3. ^ "St Mary Cheldon". Little Dart Churches. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Cheldon Key to English Place-names". The University of Nottingham. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Devonshire C-D". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  6. ^ "The Hundreds of Devon". GENUKI. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ "The North Devon (Parishes) Order 1986" (PDF). Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Origin and meaning of phrase do a Cheldon by Online Etymology Dictionary". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 1 August 2020.

External links[edit]