Welcome to Lustleigh : A Short Tour of the Village – The Church, The Green and Wreyland

Walk Map

A Walk Around Lustleigh Map

Last week I was staying in deepest Devon in the lovely village of Lustleigh on the edge of Dartmoor but within the boundary of the Dartmoor National Park. In addition to everything listed on the walk leaflet there is an excellent community shop called The Dairy. It houses the Post Office (open 9-1 each weekday) and itself is open every day including Sunday. Come with me on a walk through Lustleigh …

Starting at the village centre, outside the Church.

Lustleigh Church

1. Church of St John the Baptist: built in the 12th century on a Celtic site. Inside see the raised Celtic stone and the beautiful rood screen.

The nave

The Nave with Rood Screen, Barrel Roof and Carved Pew Ends

Celtic stone

The Raised Celtic Stone

[This ancient stone was removed from the position in the paving below the inner doorway of the church porch in 1979 in order to preserve it from further wear. It belongs within a well-recognised series of commemorative stones erected in the post-Roman period between about AD450 and AD600. The inscription probably read ‘DATUIDOCI CONHINOCI FILIUS’ – the stone Datuidoci the son of Conhinoci’.]

Carved pew end

Carved Pew End

Rood screen

Rood Screen and Carved Pulpit

2. The Old Vestry: originally a school (see tablet on wall above the door). Now used for church choir rehearsals, parish council meetings and by the Lustleigh Society for the Community Archive.

Old Vestry

The Old Vestry


Tablet on The Old Vestry

3. Church House: built around the 14th century. It was once a centre for village social activities, later became a Poor House and then a Reading Room.

Church House

Church House

4. The Cleave Hotel: originally an old farm “Gatehouse” and became a public house in the 19th century.

The Cleave

The Cleave Public House

5. Tudor Cross on the village green. Made of stone with a Maltese Cross head and chamfered shaft on an octagonal base. Erected in memory of Rector Henry Tudor (1888-1904). Nearby was the site of the village pump. Only the granite trough remains.

Tudor Cross

Tudor Cross

6. Cottages around the green: In the mid 19th century many were shops and one a Post Office. Primrose Cottage [tea rooms] was built in 1940 on the site of a hardware shop.

Primrose Tea Rooms

Primrose Tea Rooms

7. Old Gospel Hall: formerly used for worship by the Plymouth Brethren.

Baptist Chapel

The Old Gospel Hall and Wrey Brook

8. Wreyland: Approached from under the railway bridge Wreyland (or Wrayland) is a small hamlet that was part of the parish of Bovey Tracey until 1957. The Wrey Brook being the boundary between Lustleigh and Bovey. The thatched cottage on the left, known as Wreyland Manor, was where early manorial courts were held. Cecil Torr’s family owned properties here, including Yonder Wreyland where “Small Talk at Wreyland” was written.

Wreyland Manor

Wreyland Manor

Yonder Wreyland

Yonder Wreyland

Small Talk at Wreyland

Small Talk at Wreyland


13 comments on “Welcome to Lustleigh : A Short Tour of the Village – The Church, The Green and Wreyland

  1. Thanks for the tour and great photos! Enjoyed it much!

  2. Small Talk at Wreyland!!! I knew I knew of Lustleigh!! I have been reading Cecil Torr’s book this year. Looks like a really lovely place Barbara, I must follow the signs and visit next time I am passing.

    • You can see the village from the road between Bovey and Moretonhampstead and it looks quite spread out but worth a visit for the walk and the centre is small. If you know Small Talk then you will find Wreyland delightful. Pick up a walk leaflet from the shop. I didn’t even make it to Lustleigh Cleave the cliff area nearby. Have to save something for next time.

  3. Chris Jones says:

    The picture of the old Manor or Old Rectory is not that building but the last rectory now known as the Old Rectory. The Great Hall or Old Rectory is further up Mapstone Hill and is next door to the house known as ‘Parsons Loaf’.

  4. Thanks for your Tour from Carleton Tarr and lunch at The Primrose Tea Room
    I had relatives who lived at Wreyland Cottage looking after sheep on the Cricket Pitch …John and Susannah Tarr..about 1851 …born c.1790 and 1782…not sure where!possiblyMoretonhampstead…..All the best….The TARRS

    • How very interesting, thank you.

    • Carleton Tarr says:

      Lustleigh Cleave is a worthwhile circular walk about an hour for some of us.

      Then, there is the walk by passing Yonder Wreyland …turn light at The Chapel on the Cleave Way and when you come to The Parsons Nose ….
      a huge rock on your left ……this will take you up over and through through the woods coming down in the Village of Manaton……
      There is a public house cum hotel there if you need to rest awhile.


  5. tillynailart says:

    Thank you so much for this! My Granny lived at Yonder Wreyland but she died when I was little. I am planning a visit to Lustleigh on Monday to go and see if I recognise the village. Did you see the playground too? I have vivid memories of a massive stone in the playground with a throne on the top, and I remember playing poo sticks over a little bridge and making my voice echo when coming into the village under a tunnel. I hope I’ll be able to rediscover everything as it was. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. […] On arrival in Lustleigh I turned into the pretty little hamlet of Wreyland which I wrote about here. […]

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