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Kingsbridge, Devon

Historical Description

Kingsbridge, a small town and a parish in Devonshire. The town stands on a declivity at the head of Salcombe Haven or estuary, 6 miles N of that haven's mouth at Bolthead, and 12 SW by W of Totnes. There is a railway station on the G.W.R. A line from South Brent to Salcombe was opened as far as Kiugsbridge in 1894, and steamboats run at frequent intervals between Kingsbridge and Salcombe on the Salcombe estuary. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of civil parish, 56; population, 1576; of ecclesiastical, 1888. Kingsbridge was a place of some consequence in 1260; is said to have derived its name from a bridge connecting it with its suburb, Dodbrooke; comprises a principal street of considerable length, running south-eastward to a quay at Dodbrooke; presents a very clean and respectable appearance; is a seat of county courts and petty sessions; publishes two weekly newspapers, and has banks, hotels, a town-hall, a church, four dissenting chapels, a grammar school, a workhouse, and charities. There are also a Masonic Lodge, Young Men's Friendly Society, Girls' Friendly Society, Constitutional Club, and Musical Society. The town-hall was built in 1850 at a cost of s£1500, is in the Italian style, and contains public reading-rooms and an interesting natural history collection. The church is ancient and cruciform, with tower and spire, and has undergone extensive restoration. The grammar school is endowed, and has several exhibitions and scholarships. The workhouse stands on the W side of the town, within Churchstow parish, was built in 1837 at a cost of £6000, and has accommodation for 350 inmates. Pindar Lodge, on the quay, was the birthplace of Dr Wolcott, better known as Peter Pindar, and a house in Fore Street is said to have been the occasional residence of the Abbot of Bnckfast-leigh, and contains some finely-carved wainscoting. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and a large cattle and pleasure fair is held on the Thursday after the 20 July in every year and extends to the end of the week. Industry is carried on in corn mills, tanyards, and agricultural implement manufactories, and considerable business is done in corn, timber, and coal. The manor was given by Queen Mary to John and Barnard Drake, and went by sale in 1793 to Sir John Petre and afterwards to the Scobells. The living is a vicarage, annexed to the vicarage of Churchstow, in the diocese of Exeter; gross value of the united benefices, —£240 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Exeter. David Tolley, a distinguished scholar of the time of Henry VIII., was a native.

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 
Ecclesiastical parishKingsbridge St. Edmund 
Poor Law unionKingsbridge 

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

Church Records

The earliest register, that of baptisms, is dated 1603; the rest date from 1754, and are in good preservation.

Findmypast, in association with the South West Heritage Trust, Parochial Church Council, and Devon Family History Society have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Kingsbridge


Church of England

St. Edmund, King and Martyr (parish church)

The church of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, standing near the centre of the town, on the western side, is a cruciform building of stone, erected previous to the year 1310, chiefly in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, transepts, north and south-west porches and a central tower with spire, containing 8 bells, rehung in 1877: the aisles were added in the 15th century, forming chapels on either side of the chancel: in both aisles are hagioscopes: the chancel retains a piscina and a fine ancient stall seat or miserere: about 1889 the reredos of Caen stone was restored and decorated in gold and colour by the Rev. James Henning, Duncombe lecturer, who also designed the baptistery, which contains the children's window: the large and ancient font of Polyphant stone is Early English; the walls immediately near it are panelled in oak, ornamented with decorative work of Early English design, and a quotation from the Te Deum, the whole being inclosed by wrought iron screen work, also from designs by the Rev. J. Henning: in the south transept are remains of Early English work: the piscinae of two chapels remain: the 15th century parclose screens separating the chancel from the chapels contain rich tracery: the doors and lower panels have been removed to make choir pews, but some good specimens of scroll pattern panels are still left: of the rood screen, also a work of the 15th century, the only remains consist of ten of the lower panels, incorporated in the pulpit and prayer desk: the south-west porch is of the early part of the 15th century, and has a water stoup constructed out of Early English window tracery: the stained east window was presented by John Millen and Tryphena Toby: there is a memorial window erected in 1873 by Thomas Harris esq. to his parents; and in the baptistery the "Children's window," so called from the fact that the cost was chiefly subscribed for and collected by the Sunday school children of St. Edmund's; two other stained windows have been presented respectively by Mrs. Birks and Mr. and Miss Nicholls: the window of the north chapel contains the arms of the Earls of Devon, the only fragment of ancient stained glass now remaining: the only old window of the church is in the south chapel, and, as well as the iron work protecting it outside, belongs to the 16th century: in the south porch the old parish stocks are still preserved: the church was restored in 1860, and again in 1884-91 at a cost of £758, and since 1896 the whole church has been re-floored; choir stalls placed under the tower, a chapel formed on the south side of the chancel, and a screen presented by Mrs. Birks; the south gallery has also been, removed, and a new porch built: the old choir vestry has been converted into a library for the clergy of the deanery, and the church has been reseated in oak, the whole work being carried out under the direction of Mr. Ralph Nevill F.S.A. of London, and Mr. T. W. Latham, architect, of Kingsbridge: in 1913 a screen was placed in the north aisle and the organ was enlarged and rebuilt at a cost of £600.

St. St. Edmund, King and Martyr, Kingsbridge Nave of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, Kingsbridge

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Kingsbridge from the following:


Online maps of Kingsbridge 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:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Kellaton or Killington

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 districtTQ7
Post TownKingsbridge