North Devon Record Office

Ilfracombe and Wildersmouth, Devon. c. 1880Ilfracombe and Wildersmouth, Devon. c. 1880. By Francis Bedford (1816-1894) National Media Museum

North Devon Record Office was established in 1988.  

The Office is one of three organisations in North Devon Local Studies Centre, Tuly Street, Barnstaple, the other organisations being the Local Studies Library and the Athenaeum. 

They hold documents and records relating to  the area of the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple and North Devon and Torridge District Councils.

Collections held by the Archive include materials of North Devonshire and Torridge District Councils, the boroughs of Barnstaple, Bideford, South Molton and Great Torrington and most Anglican parishes.  Their collections also include the local studies collection, which relates to North Devon.

If you are researching the history of a house, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment, studying family history or are interested in finding out more about your local area or community, you will find the records held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Information about North Devon Record Office


North Devon Record Office
c/o Barnstaple Library
Tuly Street 
EX31 1EL

Telephone Number:

01271 318792

Fax Number:

01271 388608



For information regarding their holdings, please visit their Home Page.  You can also search for documents using their online catalogue, which has details of their collections.  Census Returns and Parish Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials are available on microfilm.

Collections held by the Office also include:

  • Business Records
  • Charity Records
  • Court Records
  • Estate Records
  • Family Papers
  • Hospital Records
  • Local Authority Records
  • Poor Law Records
  • School Records
  • Solicitors' Records

Opening Hours

Opening Hours can be found by going to the appropriate section of their visiting us page.  

Location and Directions

If arriving by car, you should leave the M5 at Junction 27 and follow the A361 towards Barnstaple.  You should then turn right at Portmore roundabout, following the signs for A39 Barnstaple/Lynton, arriving in the town via Eastern Avenue.  

You should then follow the signs towards Town Centre/Lynton, turning left at the roundabout at Alexandra Road towards Braunton/Ilfracombe on the B3149.  You should then go straight across the roundabout, then turning left into Tuly Street.

If arriving from the West on the A361, you have to follow the signs for town centre, heading towards Rolle Street.  Go over the river, then turning right at the following roundabout, then turning left into Tuly Street.

From the North on the A39, you should enter via North Road, and go straight over two small roundabouts, then turning left into Tuly Street.

If travelling by train, North Devon Record Office is 15 minutes walk from Barnstaple Railway Station.  If travelling by bus, most buses stop at Barnstaple Bus Station, which is 10 minutes walk from the Office.  

On-Street parking is available next to the Office, this having some spaces assigned as disabled parking.


It is prudent to contact North Devon Record Office before you visit to avoid disappointment, especially if you live some distance away.  If you wish, you are able to order documents you wish to consult in advance of your visit.  

You are able to contact the Office via letter, telephone or email.  On contacting them, you should also tell them the date and approximate time you wish to visit.

The Local Studies Centre has 4 microfilm readers, 8 microfiche readers, 2 micro-form reader printers, a photocopier and 4 public access computers.  


You are able to use a digital camera, but before taking any photographs, you have to purchase a photographic licence.    Some documents cannot be photographed because they are fragile and easily damaged.  The photographs must be for your own use or for research purposes.  

If you wish to publish images, you must contact the Office, and they will contact the owner of the document for permission, or assist you in contacting them for yourself.  You will infringe copyright laws if you do not seek permission before publishing an item.

You are able to take photocopies, but restrictions apply because of copyright laws and because some documents are fragile.  The Office makes a charge for this service.


You are able to use your own laptop in North Devon Record Office, but must keep your laptop bag in the lockers provided.  Power points are provided next to microfiche readers and under the tables in the search-room.

Other Facilities

If you are attempting to read ink that has badly faded, the Office provides an ultraviolet lamp.


The building is fully accessible, having a lift and a disabled toilet.  A hearing loop is operational in the searchroom.


A refreshment area is situated in the foyer area of the Office, where you are free to eat your own food.

Research Service

If you are unable to visit the Office, they offer a research service, in which, for payment of a fee, they will conduct research on your behalf.

Readers' Tickets

The Archive does not accept Archive Cardsso you will have to register for a South West Heritage Trust reader's ticket, which are valid for four years.  

To obtain a ticket, you will have to bring identification containing your name, address and signature with you when you first visit.  

Tickets are also valid at Somerset Archives and Local Studies and Devon Archives and Local Studies.

For more details of other Record Offices in Devon, please visit my pages relating to Devon Archives and Plymouth and West Devon Archives.

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