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Cookbury is located within Torridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Black Torrington Hundred. It falls within Holsworthy Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 261 in 1801 146 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 62 adult males signed the Protestation returns.
A parish history file is held in Holsworthy Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.
Maps: The image below is of the Cookbury area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.
On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 50/12 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 50SE
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SS407060. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SS40NW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 112, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 190. Geological sheet 307 also covers the area.
Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:
COOKBURY is a pleasant little village in remote country. The church has an unusual dedication to St. John the Baptist and the Seven Maccabees. It consists of a nave and chancel of 13th century date; a small N. aisle c. 1500, which replaced one of 14th century date of which there are traces; and a small S. transept added early in the 16th century Though the church has been restored, much interesting early work is left, including a floor of late medieval tiles in the chancel and a number of ancient benches in the nave.
Stapeldon, now a farmhouse, was the mansion of the Stapeldons in the 13th and 14th centuries. and the birthplace of Walter de Stapeldon (1261-1326). He was professor of canon law at Oxford, chaplain to Pope Clement V, bishop of Exeter 1307-26, where he did much towards the rebuilding of the cathedral, founder of Stapeldon Hall (afterwards Exeter College) at Oxford, and Lord High Treasurer to Edward II. He was murdered by a London mob in 1326. The bishop stayed at Stapeldon for a few days in August 1315, when he dedicated Cookbury church.