The name is derived from the Old English "leah" meaning a clearing in a forest.
Wood Barton on the northern edge of Woodleigh was built as a Cistercian monastery before being converted to apartments.
The population of Woodleigh is approximately 150.
Whilst there was once a small school in the village now this has been converted into a house so that the children of the village must travel to the much larger village of Loddiswell to receive their education. Woodleigh has no shops, pubs or sports facilities but it does have a postbox.
The parish includes the following historic estates:
Wood was held by a junior branch of the Fortescue family whose earliest known seat in Devon was Wympstone in the parish of Modbury. Sir Henry Fortescue (fl. 1426), Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland, married as his first wife Jane Bozun, daughter of Edmond Bozun of Wood, and Wood became the residence of his son and heir John Fortescue, and passed to his male descendants for three generations. The only daughter and heiress of John's great-grandson Anthony Fortescue of Wood was Joan Fortescue, who married her cousin John Fortescue (d.1587) of Preston, Devon. The Fortescue Baronetcy, "of Woodleigh in the County of Devon", was created in the Baronetage of England on 29 January 1667 for Peter Fortescue (1620-1685) of Wood in the parish of Woodleigh, 3rd son of Francis Fortescue (d.circa 1649) of Preston, Devon, descended from John Fortescue (d.1479) of Wympstone in the parish of Modbury, Devon, MP for Totnes, Tavistock and Plympton. The title became extinct on his death in 1685.
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- Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, (Morris, John, gen. ed.) Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Chap 28, 13
- Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.181
- Vivian, p.353
- Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.353, 357
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