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Paignton, Devon

Historical Description

Paignton, a village and a parish in Devonshire. The village stands on the coast, at the central part of the semicircle of Tor Bay, with a station on the G.W.R., 217 miles from London, and 5 SSW of Torquay. It dates from remote times, and of late years has risen into notice as a fashionable resort for invalids on account of its salubrious air and its adaptability as a watering-place, the beach affording a fine expanse of firm sand 2 miles in extent. There is a promenade pier, on which are billiard and concert rooms, pavilion and band-stand. The town-hall comprises a court-room, in which the petty sessions are held, and contains the offices of the local board. There are a temperance hall and social club, many handsome private residences, convenient boarding-houses, and two excellent hotels. There is a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage of parish, 5177; population of the civil parish, 6783; of the ecclesiastical, 5961. The two chief seats are the Wigwam and Redcliff Tower. The Church of St John the Baptist is a handsome and ancient cruciform building of stone in the Norman and Perpendicular style, with a richly decorated interior, and contains some fine memorial windows and monuments. The living is a vicarage, with the chapelry of Marldon annexed, in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £450 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Iddesleigh. Christ Church was erected in 1881 at a cost of £7000, and is a cruciform building of sandstone in the Early English style. The living is a vicarage; net value, £90. St Andrew's Church, in Sands Road, was erected in 1893 at a cost of £8000. The style is based on the French 14th century period; it is built of stone. There are a mission church, and Congregational, Wesleyan, and Methodist chapels. The Roman Catholic church, erected in 1883, is a small building of red stone in the Decorated style. At St Mary's Hill is the novitiate of the Marist Fathers, established in 1881 for the training of missionary students for the Roman Catholic Church. A palace of the Bishops of Exeter once stood in this parish, was last occupied by Miles Coverdale, and has left some slight remains.

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 parishPaignton St. John the Baptist 
Poor Law unionTotnes 

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

Church Records

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 Paignton

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Paignton from the following:


Online maps of Paignton 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

Preston (Painton)

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.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtTQ3
Post TownPaignton