The History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire 1850 provides a historical look at the county of Devonshire prior to 1850. Devonshire, the largest county in England, except Yorkshire, and the most westerly except Cornwall, ranked among the first in agricultural importance, and the sixth in amount of population. Occupying the whole breadth of the central portion of that great south-western peninsula of the British Island, which juts out between the Bristol and English Channels, and having more than 150 miles of sea coast, and some fine navigable rivers and broad estuaries, Devonshire was one of the most important maritime counties in the kingdom.
YEALMPTON, a large and respectable village, with many good houses, is pleasantly seated on a salubrious acclivity, overlooking the river Yealm, 7 miles E. by S. of Plymouth, and 5½ miles W. of Modbury. It is on the high road to Kingsbridge, &c., and about a mile below it the Yealm spreads into a broad estuary. It has a great cattle market on the fourth Wednesday of every month, and is noted for the social and friendly intercourse of its inhabitants. Petty Sessions are held here every third Monday, by the magistrates of Ermington and Plympton Division, to whom Mr.
WOODLEIGH, which gives name to a deanery, is a small village, in a healthy and elevated situation, on the east side of the Aven valley, 3½ miles N. of Kingsbridge. Its parish contains 269 souls, and 2319 acres of land, including the hamlets of Priston and Hendham. The manor belonged at an early period to the Damarells, but it now belongs – 3/8ths to J. B. Swete, Esq., 1/8th to the heirs of F. Wise, Esq., ¼ to the heirs of Mrs. S. Edmonds, and ¼ to the heirs of Mrs. E. Netherton. the chief owners of the soil are
WEMBURY, a scattered village near the sea cliffs between Plymouth Sound and the mouth of the Yealm, 6 miles S.E. by S. of Plymouth, has in its parish 616 souls and 3670 acres of land, including the hamlets of Knighton and Down Thomas. The manor of Wembury belonged to Plympton Priory till the dissolution, and afterwards passed to various families. In the 16th century it belonged to Sir John Hele, sergeant at law, who built here a magnificent mansion, at the cost of £20,000, and enclosed a park, which had a salt water lake, supplied by the tides. After his
UGBOROUGH is a neat and pleasant village, on the slopes of an eminence, surrounded by higher hills, 2½ miles E. of Ivybridge, and N.N.E. of Modbury, and 1½ mile S.W. of Kingsbridge Road Station. Its parish contains 1532 souls, and 8659 acres of land, generally fertile, and extending westward to the river Erme. It includes several handsome mansions, and many respectable farm-houses, and the small hamlets of Ludbrooke, Cheston, Nilham, Wrangaton, Fileham, and part of Ivybridge. There is a conduit in the centre of the village, and the church stands on the crown of the hill, which commands delightful views.
TOTNES, an ancient borough and market town, which retains some portions of its once formidable castle, and gives name to an archdeaconry and deanery, to a large union, and to county court and polling districts; is picturesquely seated on the western bank of the navigable river Dart, opposite the suburb of Bridgetown, 10 miles N.W. by W. of Dartmouth, 22 miles S. by W. of Exeter, 22 miles E. by N. of Plymouth, 9 miles W.S.W. of Torquay, and 194 miles W.S.W. of London. It has a station on the South Devon Railway. The Dart is navigable to it for
THURLESTONE, 4½ miles W.S.W. of Kingsbridge, is a small scattered village, on rising ground, near the beach of Bigbury Bay. Its parish contains 437 souls, and 1768 acres of fertile land, including the hamlets of Buckland, Avenmouth, and Bantham, the latter of which is a small fishing village, with fine sands, and a salmon pool and harbour for barges. The Earl of Devon is lord of the manor, but part of the parish belongs to several smaller freeholders. The river Aven bounds the parish on the north, and the Bay on the west. On the coast is a remarkable arched
STOKENHAM, or Stockingham, a small pleasant village, 5½miles E. by S. of Kingsbridge, has in its parish 1619 inhabitants, and 5920 acres of land, including six villages, extending 4 miles along the picturesque shore of Start Bay, of which the following are the names and population :- Chillington, 325 ; Beeson, 106 ; Beesands, 104 ; Halsands, 128 ; Kellaton, or Kellington, 105 ; and Torcross, 192. several of them are fishing villages, noted for fine crabs, which are in high repute in London. The parish extends southward to Start Point, where there is a lighthouse. It includes also the
MILTON, (SOUTH) a small village, in a deep fertile valley, 3 miles S.W. of Kingsbridge, has in its parish 475 souls, and 1556A. 3R. 11P. of land, including Upton and Sutton hamlets. Mrs. Prideaux is lady of the manor, but a great part of the parish belongs to W. R. Ilbert, Esq., of Horsewell House, a large and neat mansion, formerly the seat of the Roopes, from whom it passed to the Ilberts. Holwell belongs to Mrs. Gilbert and the Rev. E. Reed and the Earl of Devon have small estates here. The Church is a handsome structure, of perpendicular
SLAPTON, a pleasant village on the acclivity, rising from the central part of the coast of Start Bay, 6 miles S.W. by S. of Dartmouth, has in its parish 726 inhabitants, 3260 acres of tithe free land, and many scattered houses, commanding fine views of the bay and coast. On the beach is the Sands Hotel, from which visitors have a fine promenade at low water along the sands to within a mile of Start point. The hotel is elegantly fitted up for the accommodation of visitors, and about 200 yards from the beach is a long fresh-water lake of