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Wednesday 22 October 2014

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Stoke Rivers

Stoke Rivers is located within North Devon local authority area. Historically it formed part of Shirwell Hundred. It falls within Shirwell 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 225 in 1801 174 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 80 adult males signed the Protestation returns.

A parish history file is held in Barnstaple 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 Stoke Rivers 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 10/13,14 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 10SW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SS633354. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SS63NW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Outdoor Leisure 09, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 180. Geological sheet 293 also covers the area.

Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:

STOKE RIVERS church (St. Bartholomew) is mainly 15th century in style, but sadly altered. According to Davidson it was almost entirely rebuilt in 1832. It is a lamentable sight to-day, damp and decay everywhere. There is a good inscribed slate slab near the S. porch to the wife of a local yeoman (1705).

2010 addendum - W.G.Hoskins gives the impression that the church is still in a lamentable state. This is no longer true. The church is open, has regular services and this tiny community has managed to raise money over the years to restore much of the building. Well worth a visit.

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