Calstock (St. Andrew)

CALSTOCK (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Liskeard, Middle division of the hundred of East, E. division of Cornwall, 5¼ miles (E.) from Callington; containing 2553 inhabitants. This place anciently belonged to the Coteheles, of whom the last heiress, more than three centuries since, conveyed it by marriage to the Edgcumbe family, whose descendant, the Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe, is the present proprietor. In the reign of Richard III., Sir Richard Edgcumbe, a zealous adherent to the Earl of Richmond, erected a chapel in the grounds of his baronial mansion of Cotehele, in commemoration of his escape from the partisans of Richard III., by whom he had been pursued. Charles II. passed several nights in this residence; and, in 1789, it was visited by the Princess Royal, and the Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth. The house is a spacious and highly interesting quadrangular structure, having on the north side a lofty square tower, containing the state apartments, with all their ancient furniture, which has been carefully preserved. The chapel erected by Sir Richard Edgcumbe has been much defaced by modern alterations, and externally retains but little of its original character.

The parish is separated from Tavistock and Beer-Alston, in Devon, by the navigable river Tamar, which forms its boundary on the east and south, and over which are a ferry and a bridge: the scenery is diversified, and near Cotehele House is singularly beautiful. The tide flows nearly to the centre of the parish, where is a weir; and a very productive fishery is carried on, of salmon and trout of excellent quality, with which the Tamar abounds. A steamer runs three times a week to Plymouth, distant upwards of twenty miles. The parish comprises 6133 acres, of which 1397 are common or waste: the surface in the hilly parts is shelfy, and the soil light; the remainder is tolerably good corn-land. Mines of copper and tin are in operation; and a lead-mine, the ore of which is richly intermixed with silver, has been opened: the mineral Uranium is likewise procured, and there is a quarry of fine granite, of which considerable quantities were used in the erection of Waterloo Bridge. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £26. 7. 8½., and in the patronage of the Crown, in right of the duchy of Cornwall; net income, £510. The church is an ancient structure, with a lofty embattled tower crowned by pinnacles; it stands upon a hill, and commands fine prospects. The parsonage-house was built in 1710, by Launcelot Blackburn, Archbishop of York, then rector. There are several places of worship for dissenters. On Hengist Down are several tumuli: here was fought a great battle between the Saxons and ancient Britons.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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