Welcome to Stoodleigh
Stoodleigh lies about 800ft above the Exe Valley, roughly equidistant between the north and south Devon coasts and near the Devon/Somerset border. The village is about 6 miles north of Tiverton and 5 miles south of Bampton. It is an area of natural beauty on the Exmoor fringe, characterised by rolling hills and scattered woodland. On a clear day, both Dartmoor and Exmoor can be viewed from the surrounding hills. It retains an air of isolation that many find attractive. The centre of the village is a Conservation Area. The village has easy access to the A361 North Devon Link Road with links to Barnstaple and the M5 (J27).
- Stoodleigh has some interesting tales behind its place names: Gibbett Moor was the site of the gibbet, where many a sheep stealer was hanged. Hangmans Hill also has a sad story behind its name. An old sailor, returning from serving his time in the press gang, reached the vicinity of hill when he saw an old crone who lived nearby. She was walking towards him with a crow perched on her shoulder. This sight terrified him so much he went off and hanged himself. Quoit-at-Cross was not where quoits were once played, but is instead the site of an old burial ground.
- The ancient Stoodleigh Beacon, on the top of Warbrightsleigh Hill, is said to have been erected by order of King Edward II “when he doubted of the landing of his queen Isabel and Sir John of Henold” referring to Isabel’s Invasion of England in 1326.
- There are two grade II listed bridges in Stoodleigh: ‘Cove Bridge’ and ‘Iron Mill Bridge’. The iron bridge was constructed across the River Exe by Thomas Daniel of Stoodleigh Court in the mid 1800’s. Its design mirrors aspects introduced by Brunel (although there is no evidence of Brunel’s involvement with this bridge). However, very few other examples of this type of construction have survived.
- Near to Stoodleigh is the circular earthwork ‘Castle Close’, that is most likely to be an Iron Age Hillfort or enclosure.
- Film and TV writer Martin Booth, known for his work on The American (2010), The Russ Abbot Show (1986) and Evolution’s Child (1999), lived in Stoodleigh before his death in 2004.
A number of events take place throughout the year in the village including an annual flower show, Easter and Autumn Markets and Christmas Fayre. The Parish Church also hosts occasional classical music concerts.
Things to do
- There is a children’s playground situated next to St Margaret’s Church, where children can swing, climb and slide, or walk the wobbly beam! Bring a picnic; there is plenty of room on the grass or at the table.
- Stoodleigh Cricket Club play on the village ground. Both the cricket and view are worth seeing! For cricket fixtures during the summer months see https://parish.middevon.gov.uk/stoodleigh/parish-groups-organisations/cricket-club/
- Walkers visit the area specifically to enjoy the countryside walks along hillsides, beside streams and through woodland. All the recorded public rights of way in Stoodleigh can be found on the Devon County Council website at https://map.devon.gov.uk/dccviewer/MyLocalPaths/
Places to Visit
- Stoodleigh’s parish church, ‘The Church of St Margaret’, is believed to have been built in Norman times near the manor known as Stoodleigh Barton. The first recorded incumbent was installed in 1264 and the current building dates from the 15th century.
- Stoodleigh Court is a premier wedding and conference venue set in a historic manor house in Devon’s countryside.
- Devon Badger Watch is a kid-friendly venue offering up-close views of badgers in a natural setting, plus photography events.
- The ancient Stoodleigh Beacon offers stunning views across Exmoor and to Dartmoor and is of interest to visitors and trigpointers.
Places to Eat
- For those staying in the village or passing through, a warm welcome and good company awaits you at the Stoodleigh Inn. In fine weather, the lovely large garden provides a great opportunity to sit outside and relax or enjoy a sofa seat indoors by the fire if it’s chilly outside.
Many thanks to Stoodleigh Parish Council for providing information for this site
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