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Old stone bridge with pedestrian refuges over River Culm at Culmstock

Culmstock is a village and civil parish in Mid Devon, England, centred 10 miles from Tiverton and 6 NE of Cullompton. It is laid out on both sides of the River Culm; the village is joined by a single old narrow stone bridge across the river. The population of the parish at the 2011 Census was 554.[1] The northern boundary of the parish forms part of the Devon – Somerset border and clockwise from there it is surrounded by the Devon parishes of Hemyock, Uffculme, Burlescombe and Holcombe Rogus.[2]

Historically in minor matters of law and taxation it contributed to Hemyock Hundred. It saw prosperity as a centre of weaving and the wool trade, but this prosperity, and the relative population to that nationally, declined considerably in the latter part of the Industrial Revolution.[3] People numbered around the same figure of forty years before the 1841 census, namely 1446; which fell in the 40 years to 1881, to 863. In 1961 after a non-linear descent, it numbered 692, broadly similar to today's total.

1588 signal station above village at Culmstock Beacon, built to warn of the Spanish Armada.

Notable people connected with village[edit]

R.D. Blackmore lived in Culmstock for six years while his father, John Blackmore, was curate-in-charge of the parish and he based his novel Perlycross on the Culm Valley.[4]

Octavius Temple, father of Frederick Temple and grandfather of William Temple, (both Archbishops of Canterbury) purchased Axon Farm, near the settlement. Octavius went to be Governor of Sierra Leone where he died in 1834.[5] The family had, however, remained at Culmstock. Blundell's School at Tiverton hosted the boarding years of the latter childhood of Frederick.


The village was served by a station on the Culm Valley Light Railway which connected to one of two main lines leaving the south-west peninsula, at Tiverton Junction. The Light Railway ran from 1876 to 1975 though the last passengers were carried in 1963.


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Map of Devon Parishes" (PDF). Devon County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Culmstock". Devon County Council. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  4. ^ Blackmore, David. "The Five Lives of R. D. Blackmore". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  5. ^,_1912_supplement

Coordinates: 50°55′44″N 3°17′06″W / 50.929°N 3.285°W / 50.929; -3.285