From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chulmleigh - main street - - 420150.jpg
Main Street in Chulmleigh
Chulmleigh is located in the United Kingdom
Location within the United Kingdom
Population1,017 (2011)
OS grid referenceSS6814
Civil parish
  • Chulmleigh
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtEX18
Dialling code01769
UK Parliament
List of places
50°54′46″N 3°52′09″W / 50.912778°N 3.869167°W / 50.912778; -3.869167Coordinates: 50°54′46″N 3°52′09″W / 50.912778°N 3.869167°W / 50.912778; -3.869167

Chulmleigh (/ˈʌmli/ CHUM-lee) is a small Saxon hilltop market town[a] and civil parish located in North Devon in the heart of the English county of Devon. It is located 20 miles (32 km) north west of Exeter, just north of the Mid Devon boundary, linked by the A377 and B3096 roads.


The first documentary reference to the place is in the Domesday Book of 1086 where it is recorded as Calmonlevge. The name derives from the Old English personal name Ceolmund and the common place-name element leah which has various meanings including "woodland", "a woodland clearing" and "meadow".[3] At the time of Domesday the land was held by Baldwin the Sheriff from whom it passed to the Courtenay family, who made the settlement a borough in the mid-thirteenth century. Situated on the main road between Exeter and Barnstaple, Chulmleigh thrived during the 17th and 18th centuries; it was a centre of wool production, had a good market and three cattle fairs. The wool trade had ceased by the early 19th century, but the road traffic kept the town prosperous until a new turnpike road bypassed the town in about 1830 and the opening in 1854 of the North Devon Railway also contributed to its decline.[4]


The parish is surrounded, clockwise from the north by the parishes of King's Nympton, Romansleigh, Meshaw, East Worlington, Chawleigh, Wembworthy (a short border only), Ashreigney, Burrington, and Chittlehamholt.[5] In 2001 the population of the parish was 1,308,[6] decreasing to 1,017 at the 2011 census.[7] An electoral ward with the same name also exists whose total population at the same census was 2,081.[8]

Because of its former prosperity the town has several fine old buildings, many constructed of cob and thatch. The parish church dedicated to St Mary Magdalene was originally a collegiate church and was founded early. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century and partially restored in 1881.[4]

Chulmleigh has a retained[9] fire station which is part of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. The secondary school is Chulmleigh College,[10] it has been amongst the highest in Devon's GCSE league tables. The town's pub is the Old Court House.[11] on South Molton Street.

Local businesses and organisations include a health centre, a dentist, a butcher, Chulmleigh Cricket Club, Winston Pincombe, a deli, an antiques shop, a florists, a hair and beauty salon, a bakery and Chulmleigh Golf Course.


Chumleigh is close to the Tarka Line, the railway from Exeter to Barnstaple. Kings Nympton railway station is within the parish although it is around 2 miles (3.2 km) from the town. Eggesford railway station is closer to the town.

Historic estates[edit]


  1. ^ Since at least 1292, Chulmleigh has held the right to hold a regular market,[1] making it a market town. However, the parish council has not elected to give itself the status of a town as it could do under s.245(6) of the Local Government Act 1972,[2] so it does not have a town council and cannot have a town mayor.


  1. ^ "Devon – Chulmleigh". Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Local Government Act 1972". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  3. ^ Victor Watts, ed. (2004). The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names. Cambridge University Press. pp. xlvi, 138. ISBN 978-0-521-16855-7.
  4. ^ a b Hoskins, W. G. (1972). A New Survey of England: Devon (New ed.). London: Collins. pp. 367–8. ISBN 0-7153-5577-5.
  5. ^ "Map of Devon Parishes" (PDF). Devon County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Parish Headcounts: North Devon". Office for National Statistics : Census 2001. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  9. ^ "SS6814: Chulmleigh Fire Station". Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Chulmleigh Community College".
  11. ^ "Old Court House".

External links[edit]

Media related to Chulmleigh at Wikimedia Commons