Zeal Monachorum Online

zeal monachorum village

Welcome to my website. It says Zeal Monachorum on the tin, but it's allsorts inside: just stuff about the village and anything else I feel like talking about. Plus - no guarantees, instant refunds!

a rural village

Zeal Monachorum's new sign, unveiled in Summer 2006, reflects its ecclesiastical past.This is a peaceful and pretty village with many traditional cottages, in rural Mid-Devon. Its existence was noted in the Domesday Book of 1086, though it could have been occupied since settlement replaced hunter-gathering. Now farmlands surround it. The church of St. Peter is at the top of the main street. Many footpaths lead through farms and woods. The Waie Inn is both an inn, a farm and a leisure centre. From the village are distant views of Dartmoor.


Between the small market towns around, the countryside rolls gently. In the Devon hedgerows are many wild flowers: campion, cow parsley, dog rose, hyacinth, primrose, orchid, valerian and wild strawberry, among diverse others. The village's current population is over 400, none of whom have ever been in a workhouse.

Cell of the Monks

This is a translation of the village's latin name. The manor was gifted to Buckfast Abbey by King Canute, who invaded Britain in 1018. Canute, or Cnut, king of England, Denmark and Norway, was born c994 and died in 1035. King Henry V111 dissolved the monasteries around 1539, in the context of the perennial motives of power, politics and finance.

The Parish

Zeal Monachorum parish covers about 3300 acres. Parishes were early administrative areas, possibly based on a Saxon manorial system. The first parish churches, built about 1300 years ago, were owned and controlled by local lords. Sites of pre-Christian ritual practices were taken over by churches for subsequent use. Yew trees of age and size were often a key part of early sacred sites, which might explain their frequent association with Christian churchyards today. You can read more about the village here.

new village sign
traditional villages cottages
St. Peter's church in Winter
Zeal Monachorum high street
Zeal Monachorum village
Zeal Monachorum in snow, Spring 2006
ancient yew tree in St. Peter's churchyard
site navigation
walks for wimps
various stuff