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Sidmouth, Devon

Historical Description

Sidmouth, a town and a parish in Devonshire, with a junction station on the L. & S.W.R., 168 miles from London. Acreage of parish, 1563; population, 3758. The town has a post, money order, and telegraph office. It stands at the mouth of the river Sid, in a vale inclosed by lofty hills, terminating in the precipitous cliffs of Salcombe and High Peak, about 500 feet high, at the centre of the great sea-encurvature extending from the Isle of Portland on the E to Start Point on the W, and 6 miles SSE of Ottery St. Mary. Sidmouth was so important as a seaport in the time of Edward III. as then to send two ships to the siege of Calais, became so far blocked as to be accessible from the sea only by flat-bottomed boats and small fishing craft, rose into consequence in recent times as a sea-bathing resort, gave the title of Viscount to the family of Addington, was the deathplace in 1820 of the Duke of Kent, witnessed in 1827 the commencement of an abortive project for giving it a harbour by means of a tunnel and a pier, enjoys a remarkably pure and mild climate, enjoys also picturesque and romantic environs replete with objects interesting to loungers, artists, botanists, mineralogists, and geologists; has an esplanade protected by a wall 1700 feet long constructed to stop encroachment by the sea, is a seat of occasional petty sessions, publishes two newspapers, has a charming appearance with many fine residences, and has several hotels, numerous good lodging-houses, a bathing establishment with hot and cold baths, coastguard and lifeboat stations, an assembly-room, a literary institute, two banks, two churches, an endowed school, two other public schools, markets on Thursdays and Saturdays, and fairs on Easter Monday and the third Monday of Sept. New baths were opened on the Esplanade in 1895. Many women and children are engaged in making Honiton lace. There are Congregational, Wesleyan, and Unitarian chapels, and a Roman Catholic convent. The manor was given by William the Conqueror to St Michael's Abbey in Normandy, passed to Sion Abbey, and belongs now to the Balfour family. The living of St Nicholas is a vicarage, and that of All Saints is a perpetual curacy, in the diocese of Exeter; value of St Nicholas, £220 with residence; of All Saints, £180 with residence. St. Nicholas Church was rebuilt in 1861, and has a memorial window to the Duke of Kent, presented by the Queen in 1866. All Saints' Church was built in 1837, and is a building of stone in the Early English style; connected with this church is an iron mission-hall.

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

Administration

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

Ancient CountyDevon 
Ecclesiastical parishSidmouth St. Nicholas 
HundredEast Budleigh 
Poor Law unionHoniton 

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 Sidmouth


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Sidmouth from the following:


Maps

Online maps of Sidmouth 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.

DistrictEast Devon
CountyDevon
RegionSouth West
CountryEngland
Postal districtEX10
Post TownSidmouth