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MARKET TOWNS OF DEVON (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Chulmleigh in 1836

Chulmleigh, Chumleigh, or Chimleigh, is in the hundred of Witheridge, on the north bank of the Little Dart, just above its junction with the Taw. It is on the road from Exeter to Barnstaple, about twenty-one or twenty-two miles north-west from Exeter. It is a small town. The parish contains 8,650 acres, but had in 1831 not more than 335 houses (including 1 building and 30 uninhabited) and 1,573 inhabitants, more than half of them engaged in agriculture. The church, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, was much damaged by lightning in 1797. It contains some ancient screen work. There were, in 1772, chapels at Ladywell and Cadbury, both desecrated, and some remains of chapels at Coleton, or Colleton, and Stone, all in this parish. There is one Dissenting place of worship, if not two, in the town. The manor of Chulmleigh once belonged to the Courtenays, earls of Devon, who had a castle here, of which there are no remains. In 1803 a destructive fire broke out in the town, and destroyed ninety-five houses and uninsured property to the value of £11,000. The market is on Friday, but as a corn-market is almost disused : there are three fairs in the year.

The church was formerly collegiate, and has five prebends, which are not necessarily united with the rectory, though of late years they have been held by the rector. The present value of the rectory (we presume without the prebends) is £415 a year. The education returns of 1833 assign to the parish five day-schools with 210 scholars ; one day and Sunday-school with 20 day scholars and 13 additional on Sundays, who attend the Established Church ; and two Sunday-schools, one supported by Churchmen and the other by Independents, with 120 children in each. Two of the day-schools are partially endowed, another is supported by the Independents.