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Plympton St Mary, Devon

Historical Description

Plympton St Mary, a parish in Devonshire, on the river Plym, 4½ miles ENE of Plymouth, with a station on the G.W.R. 237 miles from London. Acreage, 10,211; population of the civil parish, 3587; of the ecclesiastical, 2633. There is a parish council consisting of fifteen members. It also returns four members to the rural district council. It contains the village of Ridgeway, with three good inna and many shops; also the villages of Colebrook and Underwood, and the hamlets of Hemerdon, Sparkwell, Venton, and part of Leemill Bridge-the hamlets forming the ecclesiastical district of Sparkwell. Saltram, said to be the largest mansion in the county, and situated in a finely-wooded park with rich features and splendid views, is the seat of the Earl of Morley; Beechwood, Chaddlewood, Hemerdon House, and Newnham Park are all handsome residences in the neighbourhood. A college was founded in the parish by some one of the Saxon kings, and an Augustinian priory, founded on its site in 1121 by Bishop Warlewast, went at the dissolution to the Champernownes, and has left some remains. A tract of 175 acres, called Chelson Meadow, was recovered from the sea by means of an embankment 2910 feet long and 16 high, is the place of Plymouth Races, and has a grand stand. An eminence called Hemerdon Ball was crowned with a large camp at the time of Bonaparte's threatened invasion. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter; net value, £200 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The church stands in the cemetery of the ancient priory, is a mixture of Decorated and Later English from 1350 to 1450, stands over the burial crypt of the Earl of Morley's family, was restored in 1860 at a cost of £3000, has several fine memorial windows, one inserted in 1868 by the Earl of Morley, and contains monuments of the Strodes, the Parkers, and others. There are Congregational, Wesleyan, and Brethren chapels, and a small convalescent home for women. The workhouse stands at Underwood, is in the Tudor style, with imposing appearance, and has accommodation for upwards of 200 inmates.

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 
Poor Law unionPlympton St. Mary 

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 Plympton St Mary

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Plympton St Mary from the following:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Colebrooke (Plympton St Mary)
Lee Mill Bridge

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.