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Salcombe, Devon

Historical Description

Salcombe, a small town and a parish in Devonshire. The town stands on the W side of Salcombe Haven, 2 miles NNE of Bolt Head, and 6 S of Kingsbridge station on the G.W.R., has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Kingsbridge, and is governed by an urban district council of nine members. It had anciently a castle, enjoys a climate said to be the warmest on the SW coast of England, presents a picturesque appearance, and has a town-hall with public room, a coastguard station, and a lifeboat station. The Central Hall Institute, with good recreation rooms, was erected in 1894. The Marine Hotel consists of the house and grounds formerly the property and residence of the late Lord Kinsale, and is beautifully situated on the estuary. The sea-fishing is excellent, and the sands afford safe and pleasant bathing. The castle stood on a rock insulated at high water, about a quarter of a mile below the town; was built for the defence of the harbour, and called the Bulwark; was strengthened and garrisoned for the king in the Civil Wars of Charles I.; sustained two sieges, the latter one of four months' duration; surrendered eventually on honourable terms, and is now represented by a battered ruin. The church was built in 1843, and is in the Pointed style of the 13th century; it was considerably enlarged in 1889. There are Wesleyan, Baptist, and Brethren chapels, and a Catholic Apostolic church. Boatbuilding, the brewing of white ale, and the catching of lobsters, crabs, and fish are carried on. The haven is a sea-inlet penetrating northward to Kingsbridge, sends off several creeks, admits vessels of 200 tons up to Dodbrooke, and affords safe anchorage for about 200 ships. At North Sands, about three-quarters of a mile from Salcombe, is the Anglo-Brazilian telegraph house. The chapelry was constituted in 1844, and formed into a distinct civil parish in 1894. Population, 1593. There are several good marine villas. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; gross value, £280 with residence.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDevon 
Civil parishMalborough 
Poor Law unionKingsbridge 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Salcombe from the following:


Online maps of Salcombe are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564, with additions from the earlier visitation of 1531, is online.

The Visitations of the County of Devon, comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by Lieutant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, published for the author by Henry S. Eland, Exeter 1895 is online.

DistrictSouth Hams
RegionSouth West
Postal districtTQ8
Post TownSalcombe