Welcome to Chulmleigh

South Molton Street towards the church

Our Short Mat Bowls Club is situated in a small Saxon hilltop market town and civil parish located in North Devon in the heart of the English county of Devon. It is located 20 miles north west of Exeter, just north of the Mid Devon boundary, linked by the A377 and B3096 roads.  

A Little Chulmleigh History 


In 1253 Henry III granted his royal Charter to Chulmleigh, and every year since then the residents have held an annual Fair. 


A story goes that upon granting the Charter, Henry sent a white gauntlet to the town, as a sign of his approval. Whatever its origin, the white glove became the symbol of Chulmleigh, and a giant glove filled with flowers was hung from the Town Hall at the opening of the Fair each year.


Chulmleigh Old Fair is a now five-day event which takes place each July, when hundreds of people flock to our town for livestock shows, markets, music, entertainment and traditions such as the ‘money scramble’, when coins are thrown from the Town Hall to be gathered up by eager children waiting on the pavement. In 2013 we celebrated our 760th Old Fair.


Over the following centuries, Chulmleigh became prosperous as a wool-weaving town, and many of our beautiful medieval buildings were built by wealthy merchants at this time. There are more than 200 listed buildings in Chulmleigh.


Our Church of St Mary Magdalene dates from the 14th Century, and houses a wonderfully-preserved medieval Rood Screen, as well as beautiful ceiling bosses and figures from later centuries.


Chulmleigh Fair has been photographed by many throughout the years. A good selection of pictures can be found on the Devon Live website and older photographs of Chulmleigh and the fair can be found by searching James Ravilious, a well established North Devon photographer from the early 1970’s.


Today Chulmleigh is a thriving, village-sized town with a population of approximately 1,300 and many shops and businesses. These include butcher, baker, general store, The Old Dairy - deli & tea room, newsagents and post office, florist, antique shop, bistro, Indian restaurant/takeaway and two excellent pubs - Old Courthouse and The Red Lion. Winston Pincombe the local, old fashioned family run, independent garage is still going strong selling diesel, 4 x 4’s and an excellent repair service. The town also has a very well supported independent charity shop which has raised £1000’s over the years for the North Devon Hospice, Devon Air Ambulanceand many others.

The town also has a large Community Academy Trust with a College and Primary school which take pupils from a very wide area. A very busy library is staffed by the college and used by pupils and townspeople.

Other sports in Chulmleigh include a tennis club, Cricket Club and a 9 hole golf course. For further sports clubs associated with Chulmleigh have a look at the Chulmleigh Recreational Association website.

There are also lots of new build housing on going which will help populate the town even more. Why not have a look at Ladywell Meadows housing estate at the Devonshire Homes website.


Chulmleigh Fair map
War Memorial and Church
South Molton St. & The Old Bakehouse
Fair Queen and attendants 2018
Main Street - Fair activities
Chulmleigh Fair Showground
Created by Richard Pennance