St. Thomas Registration District

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We know from questions we've been asked over the years that for anyone researching their family history from a distance, the Registration District of St. Thomas can be a very puzzling place.


The St. Thomas Registration District was created in 1837 to include a huge area covering places many miles apart. 

This District had the following sub-districts:













The places covered by the sub-districts cover a great swathe of Devon



Alphington Ashcombe Ashton Aylesbeare Bicton
Brampford Speke Bridford Broadclyst Budleigh Salterton Christow
Clyst Hydon Clyst St., George Clyst St.Lawrence Clyst St. Mary Colaton Raleigh
Doddiscombsleigh Dotton Dunchideock Dunsford East Budleigh
Exminster Farringdon Heavitree Holcombe Burnell Huxham
Ide Kenn Kenton Littleham* Lympstone
Mamhead Nether Exe Newton Poppleford Otterton Pinhoe
Poltimore Powderham Rewe Rockbeare St. Leonard
St. Thomas the Apostle Shillingford St.George Sowton Stoke Canon Tedburn St.Mary
Topsham Upton Pyne Whimple Whitestone Wythecombe Raleigh*


The two places marked in red above are "modern" parishes - that is to say they did not come into being until quite recent times. Older records for Budleigh Salterton appear in the East Budleigh Register while those for Newton Poppleford are in the Aylesbeare Register.

In 1836, the St. Thomas Poor Law Union was set up. Infirm, handicapped or poverty-stricken people from the above places were sent in from the surrounding countryside to the great Workhouse at Redhills which remained in operation until the 1990s as an NHS hospital accommodating infirm, elderly people and mental patients. 


The former St. Thomas Union Workhouse at Redhills

The former St. Thomas Union Workhouse at Redhills

Since this photograph was taken in 2001 the whole site has been 

redeveloped as private housing.

© Peter Higginbotham


* Wythecombe Raleigh and Littleham came to be known collectively as Exmouth during the middle of the 19th century.


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