Woolfardisworthy, Torridge

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  • Woolsery
Holy Trinity Church, Woolfardisworthy.jpg
All Hallows' Church
Woolfardisworthy is located in Devon
Woolfardisworthy shown within Devon
Population 1,123 [1]
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
Website http://www.woolsery.org/
List of places
50°57′53″N 4°22′37″W / 50.96472°N 4.37694°W / 50.96472; -4.37694Coordinates: 50°57′53″N 4°22′37″W / 50.96472°N 4.37694°W / 50.96472; -4.37694

Woolfardisworthy is a village and civil parish in the Torridge district in the English county of Devon. The village is accessible via the A39 road, 2 miles from the village.


The name of the village is a local curiosity, as its pronunciation (and occasional spelling) differs from what one might expect. On local signs, the village is sometimes marked as Woolsery alongside the original name. This is due to the pronunciation of the village's name being /ˈwʊlzəri/. The name also provides evidence for the power of the written word in conserving place-names: the shortened pronunciation is known to have been in use since the 17th century.[2]

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names (Eilert Ekwall, 4th ed., 1960), the origin of the name is probably 'Wulfheard's homestead'. The element 'worthy' is from Old English worþig, one of several words used by the Anglo-Saxons to denote a homestead, farmstead or small settlement. Who Wulfheard was, or whether both Devon villages are named after the same man, cannot be known, but the relative proximity of two villages with such an unusual name is intriguing.


The Centre for Fortean Zoology is based here.


  1. ^ Census 2001; Parish Headcounts
  2. ^ Padel, O. J. (1999). "Place-names". In Kain, Roger; Ravenhill, William. Historical Atlas of South-West England. Exeter: University of Exeter Press. pp. 88–9. ISBN 0-85989-434-7. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Woolfardisworthy, Torridge at Wikimedia Commons