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All Saints Church, Moreleigh - - 1273516.jpg
All Saints Church, Moreleigh
Morleigh is in the south of Devon, which is in the southwest of England and forms part of the south and west coasts.
Morleigh is in the south of Devon, which is in the southwest of England and forms part of the south and west coasts.
Morleigh shown within Devon
OS grid reference 50.361657,-3.73602
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town TOTNES
Postcode district TQ9 7
Dialling code 01548
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°21′43″N 3°44′06″W / 50.362°N 3.735°W / 50.362; -3.735Coordinates: 50°21′43″N 3°44′06″W / 50.362°N 3.735°W / 50.362; -3.735

Morleigh is a small village within the civic parish of Halwell and Moreleigh, the South Hams, and the county of Devon, England. The village is spread across the two historical parishes of Halwell and Morleigh.[clarification needed]



Throughout the village history it has been recorded with various spellings, listed below in chronological order, newest first.


It is currently officially known as Moreleigh. An early 20th century directory of Cambridge University alumni spells it this way in its reference to a long-standing rector.[1]


It is still known and spelt as Morleigh by local inhabitants as evidenced at the New inn[2] several websites and on various older road signs.


It was also known as Morley for very long periods, and is the name used by Viscount Bovington when he was to be elevated to an earl.

Morleygh and Morlei

There are references to Morleygh in 15th-century historical documents,.[3] and to Morlei in the Doomsday Book

Morleigh was part of Stanborough Hundred [4] one of the 32 ancient administrative areas of Devon

Domesday Book[edit]

In the Domesday Book it was recorded as having nine households and being within Diptford Hundred.[5] Alfred de Breton (AKA Auvrai Le Breton) was the tenant in chief.[6] one of his descendants Richard le Breton went on to kill Thomas Becket[7]

Morleigh is referred to in the BBC Domesday Project from 1986.[8]

Moreliegh Manor and the Earl of Morley[edit]

Morley Manor has been dismantled but small signs of existence still survive near Place Barton farm, which is adjacent to the church and rectory. Morley Manor has been recorded as having been owned by the Ufflete and Maynard families, it was also owned by John Shapland Esq before passing to John Seale Esq (listed as Teale in the church records) eventually being bought by Viscount Bovington, who become the 1st Earl of Morley in 1815.[citation needed]

Recent history[edit]

The village had a football club in conjunction with the adjacent village of Halwell that is now defunct. The post office branch is also now closed.[9] The closest(3Miles) railway at Gara Bridge railway station which closed in 1965.[10][citation needed]


The New Inn is the village pub, historically used as court house and meeting place,[11] it was also the scene of a shooting incident within the pub [12][13]

The village also had another Inn called the London Inn, according to census records (1841 - 1861) was situated at Morley cross, which is within the village but technically across the historic Morleigh parish boundary and with in the historic Halwell parish.

The village has now built a village hall[14] and an active village life with various activities for all age groups.

Church and religion[edit]

Morleigh ecclesiastical parish is part of the deanery of Woodleigh, the archdeaconary of Totnes and the diocese of Exeter.

All Saints Church[edit]

All Saints church is small and ancient building, said to have been built by Sir Peter Fitzacre, who killed the parson of Woodleigh to whose parish Morley then belonged.

For this crime the Pope got the knight to build a church at Morleigh. The Fisacre tomb is part of the church.

It is a Grade 1 listed building[15]


The village had a chapel, the Protestant Dissenters of Union Chapel,[16] which is now a private dwelling again situated within the part of the village in Halwell Parish.

Current events[edit]

The population has increased with the number of houses in the village doubling over the last 20 years.[17][citation needed]

The local catchment schools are for primary age, Harbertonford CofE and for senior age Totnes comprehensive.


  1. ^ J. Venn and J. A. Venn. "Alumni Cantabrigienses: Edward Seale". University Press. p. 453. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
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  4. ^ a b Whatley, Stephen (1751). "England's Gazetteer: Or, an Accurate Description of All the Cities, Towns, and Villages of the Kingdom ... Vol. I. And Vol. II. Contain a Dictionary of the Cities, Corporations, Market-towns, and the Most Noted Villages; Their Manufactures and Trade ... &c. ... This Work Includes All the Chief Harbours, Bays, Forests, Hills, Mines ... \etc.] and Particularly Shews the Estates that Were Formerly Abbey-lands". 
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  16. ^ Barrow, John Henry (1834). "The Mirror of Parliament for the ... Session of the ... Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland". 
  17. ^

External links[edit]