The History of Petrockstowe

The square

This is "The Square" opposite the church, little changed today from this shot taken around 100 years ago. The cottages are still thatched but power supply cables are now in evidence and the village pump (bottom left) is long gone. The village had a population of 616 in 1850, which subsequently dwindled to 384 in 1901 but has since risen to around 400 today. In the mid 19th century the village was a thriving place with a school being built by Lord Clinton, the then Lord of The Manor residing in the neighbouring parish of Huish, at a cost of 700. The village comprised a tanner, carpenter, shopkeeper, reverend, innkeeper, two blacksmiths, three shoemakers, three wheelwrights and twenty-one farmers as listed in local records


Yes, the railway came to Petrockstowe, although here again a split vote on the spelling with later issue of tickets omitting the "e" from the village name. The ticket clerk was said to be so amazed to issue the First Class single ticket above @ 1s. 2d. for a trip on an almost empty train in July 1963, that he forgot to fill in the destination. The station closed in the late sixties, the line being converted into todays Tarka Trail, a 32 mile mile cycle and walkway. Nearby is "The Hanging Tree" where many are said to have met an early end. Scroll down the Locality page to find out about the nearby Tarka Trail and local places of interest. Here is the railway platform as it is today, forming part of the Tarka Trail

Tarka trail

More information on Petrockstowe can be accessed from The Domesday Book look under "Devon" for the entry on Petrockstowe. The population census figures can be found on Historic Parish Populations again look under "P" for the entry on Petrockstowe. The Genuki site on Uk & Ireland is also worth visiting for those interested in village history. It shows the parish register entries that are available, look under "P" in the on-line section of the parish registers and also the entry in the 1850 White's Devonshire Directory can be seen. See the Genealogy page for information available from this site about the parish registers and the Memorial Inscriptions. An Historic map of Petrockstowe is available, as are historic maps of most of the UK. These are first edition Ordnance Survey from aound 1886, just enter Petrockstowe in the search box

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