Archaeological History

Monkton, a sub-manor of Colyton, was probably in existence by at least the early 13th century.  The name suggests the village of Monkton and its environs were once Monastic property and since Colyton was royal demesne before the conquest the monastic connection is likely to have been of Ango-Saxon origin.

The Church of St. Mary Magdalene has been, from at least late medieval times, a dependent chapel of Colyton. Monkton and Shute, another dependent chapel, were often treated together with Colyton as a single benefice. In 1821 for example, all three were served by two curates substituting for one absentee vicar. The chapel of St. Mary Magdalene is mentioned in a writ sent to the Sheriff of Devon in 1282 in respect of the land and possessions of William De Mohun. It was stated that a payment of 20s should have been made towards support of a chaplain for the chapel. This suggests that the chapel was a small manorial church founded by its lord some time between the 8th and 12th centuries.  It is likley that the church was sited within a medieval manorial complex including various domestic and agricultural buildings as well as a grange and mill.

No further information has yet come to light on a possible pre-Conquest monastic establishment from which the settlement of Monkton probably derived its name.