Historical Notes on Ashwater
In the Doomsday Book, 1086, the name is given as Aissa. In 1270 it was Esse Water and by 1281 had become Assewalteri. The two Manors of Aissa and Hindefort became Ashwater Barton and Henford Barton.
The Church is dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula, a name shared by a few Churches one of which is the chapel in the Tower of London. There are six bells in the church tower, with various dates from 1671, one from 1772, one undated and one dated 1929. Bell number four (1772) is inscribed SAMPSON BEALE, C.W., this is possibly the son of Sampson Beale one of the oath-takers in 1723. A full terrier was made by John Becket, Rector, 1673-1690 and Oliver Veale, churchwarden. The name Oliver Veale appears as having sworn on 12 September 1723. A terrier dated 1727, in the incumbency of Christopher Mitchell, describes the rectory. This is referred to in the 1779 replies to visitation queries.
The number of recorded baptisms, marriages and burials in the parish in 1723 and the following two years are listed below.
In his replies to the 1744 visitation queries the residing curate states that, 'I know not what number of familys are in the Parish'. In 1779 the residing curate, T. Melhuish, states, 'There are about one Hundred families. The number of Communicants are about thirty'.
Note: Information on Ashwater parish and church from: G.D. Melhuish, Ashwater Church and Parish: Some Historical Notes, by the late Prebendary G.D. Melhuish (1991).