The Churchward One-Name Study


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Stoke Gabriel

Stoke Gabriel is situated on a creek of the River Dart, where locals have fished for Dart salmon for centuries. The river is tidal.

The village has had a long association with the Churchward families, who were mainly farmers in and around the parish. The main Chjurchward residences included Hill House (which more recently has been the Gabriel Court Hotel) and Rowes Farm.

The parish church - dedicated to St. Gabriel - has thought to have been in place for 1,000 years. It still has its 13th century Norman tower, was largely rebuilt in the 15th century, and finally restored in the 1850s.


In the churchyard are many Churchward graves, and what is reputed to be one oof the oldest yew trees in the country. Estimates of its age vary from 800 to 1,000 years.

The parish registers commenced in 1539, and the very first entry was that of a Churchward baptism.

Parts of Hill House are reputed to date from the 15th century, and the Churchward family claimed to have been in the parish from at least 1485. Their descedants can now be found in most parts of the English-speaking world. The many descendants of Matthew Churchward (1709-1789) are well documented, but earlier relationships have yet to be proven.


Details of the descendants of Matthew Churchward will be added to this website at a later date.