Introduction about the Parish
***** Please note the new and latest Winkleigh Parish Council website can be found at winkleighpc.org *****
Winkleigh Parish is centred on a hill-top village situated in the heart of Devon. It is a thriving village with an active community and a good range of local services and facilities. Historically, the name of the village and many of the farm names are Saxon in origin. Winkleigh has a rich history: it gave its name to a “Hundred”, an ancient division of a shire; it was recorded in the Domesday Book (1086); and its annual fair was chartered in 1262. In the village are two large mounds, Croft Castle and Court Castle, dating from the Medieval period. Winkleigh is the only village in Devon with two such remains.
It lies in the transition zone of the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve, where the objective is to provide a ‘living laboratory’ for testing and demonstrating sustainable development on a sub-regional scale.
Natural England has identified one Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the Parish at Popehouse Moor – a wet grassland with rush pasture, fen meadow, and willow carr.
Winkleigh is identified as a Local Centre within the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan, and it acts as the administrative centre for many surrounding Parishes. Development within the Parish over the centuries has been primarily driven by changes in agriculture, and even today pastoral and arable agriculture remain a key local source of employment and a determinant of its character.
There are 76 buildings and structures which are statutorily protected, including the church and the two castle mounds.
The only other settlement in the Parish is the hamlet of Hollocombe, to the north of Winkleigh. It is a small, dispersed community of some 50 households, nestling on the side of the hill overlooking Hollocombe Water and the wooded tributary valleys of the River Taw. The most notable economic activity in Hollocombe is agriculture, specifically the rearing of gamebirds. There are no local services or physical community assets within Hollocombe.
There are eight County wildlife Sites, which are designated areas of substantive nature conservation, the largest being the 61ha. Of Culm grassland and rush pasture at Hollocombe Moor.
The Ancient Woodland Inventory identifies four areas of ancient and semi-ancient woodland at Chapple Copse; at the medieval deer park of Winkleigh Wood; Hollocombe Wood; and Woodrobert’s Wood, Hollocombe.
Shute Lane and green lanes between Riddlestone Farm and Graysbridge Farm, and between Taw Green and Bullow brook are old track ways and wildlife corridors.
The Parish population as of the 2011 Census was 1690 and is now significantly larger.
Further information about Parish Council meetings and minutes can be found on the Minutes Page. Councillors' Contact Details: These can be found on our Councillors page, or the Parish Council notice boards, located in the village square (beside the Kings Arms and phone box) and in Hollocombe.
Winkleigh Parish: The parish is located in the south-eastern corner and falls under Torridge District Council; it lies within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of North Devon and part of it is within the Nature Improvement Area of the Torridge. The parliamentary constituency is Torridge and West Devon.
Further information about Winkleigh, activities, clubs, local services, farms and businesses can be found in the Winkleighonline information Directory.