within easy walking distance of the Taw and Torridge estuary, the
tiny village of Westleigh boasts a population of only about 350
It occupies a quiet, elevated site where cottages cluster around
the church, the inn and the cricket field.
On clear days, views of the coast can extend as far as Lundy island.
Despite the close proximity of Bideford (2 miles south) and Barnstaple
(7 miles north), the village nevertheless maintains the ethos of
a rural idyll.
It's a place where the residents always have time to stop and talk
and where typically, polite drivers give a friendly wave when passing.
of the narrow village streets
village has traditionally been an agricultural community, although
there are records of coal mining having taking place there.
At one time, the village was almost entirely owned by the Tapeley
Estate, where most of the villagers worked.
Some parts of the village still belong to the Christie Estates and
the beautiful house and gardens at Tapeley Park are immediately
adjacent to the Parish.
There are no longer any shops in the village and the Post Office
finally closed in March 1999.
Happily the inn, now called the Westleigh Inn survives.
Back in the 1850s, there were two blacksmiths, two millers, three
boot and shoe makers, three masons, three carpenters, an innkeeper,
a tailor, a shopkeeper, two butchers and two teachers.
the church at Westleigh
was also a Wesleyan chapel, now converted into a private dwelling.
Much of the village social life revolves around the Westleigh Inn
and the Village Hall.
In this context, activities such as Line Dancing and lessons in
the use of computers take place in the hall, together with mother
and toddler groups.
Due to its friendly atmosphere, the range of its ales and fine food,
the inn attracts customers from across the region especially for
its carvery each Sunday lunchtime.
by kind permission of Westleigh