Christow is located within Teignbridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Wonford Hundred. It falls within Kenn 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 422 in 1801 520 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 131 adult males signed the Protestation returns.
A parish history file is held in Chudleigh 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 Christow 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 91/10 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 91SW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX833851. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX88NW,SW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 031, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 191. Geological sheet 339 also covers the area.
Illustrations: The image below is of Christow as included in the Library's illustrations collection. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.
Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:
CHRISTOW stands on the W. hillside of the Teign valley. To the W. it rises well over 800 ft. to moorland where the two reservoirs of Tottiford and Kennick, supplying Torquay with water, lie. These cover nearly 74 acres; and here the scenery of the parish, which is everywhere of great beauty, reaches its loveliest.
Canonteign was the original Domesday manor. It was given to the canons of St. Mary du Val in Normandy c. 1125 and so acquired its prefix. Canon- teign Barton or Old Canonteign was the Tudor manor house. It is a fine example of its period, built of local stone with massive granite quoins, window- frames, mullions, and doorways, and tall granite chimney-stacks. When Sir Edward Pellew bought the two manors of Christow and Canonteign in 1812, he built a new Canonteign House, in a beautiful timbered park SW. of the old house, and the old house was occupied as a farm. Some of its internal features remain, e.g. a fine early 17th century staircase. The house was garrisoned for the King, and was taken by Fairfax in December 1645 (plate 33).
Sir Edward Pellew (1757-1833), first Viscount Exrnouth, was a brilliant naval commander. Among his many exploits was the bombardment of Algiers in 1816, upon the refusal of the Dey to abolish Christian slavery, an action which brought him honours from all over Christendom and a viscountcy at home. He is buried at Christow, where a monument to him may be seen.
Christow church (prob. St. Christina) is a 15th century granite building, except the chancel, which was rebuilt in 1862. The W. tower is one of the finest granite towers in Devon. It bears the date 1630, when it was either rebuilt in its old form or substantially repaired. There are some carved 16th century bench-ends, a 15th century chancel screen too garishly coloured, and some 18th to 19th century Pellew monuments. The font is Norman. There were formerly silver, lead, copper, and manganese mines in the parish. An abandoned lead mine may be seen near Old Canonteign. Pale Farm is of some antiquarian interest, and a farm near the church contains late medieval panelling.