Christow (St. James)

CHRISTOW (St. James), a parish, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of Wonford, Wonford and S. divisions of Devon, 7½ miles (S. W.) from Exeter; containing 624 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the river Teign, and comprises by measurement 3200 acres, of which 700 are common or waste: there are many excellent cherry-orchards. Mines of manganese are worked, and a lead-mine has been discovered, which affords some beautiful specimens of mundic, &c. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 6. 8.; patron and impropriator, Viscount Exmouth. The great tithes have been commuted for £99. 10., and the vicarial for £169. 19.: an excellent glebe-house has been erected, at the expense of the incumbent; and attached to the vicarage, is a glebe of 22 acres, in the parish of Bovey-Tracey. The church, the arches of which are in the pointed style, has a Norman font, and some fine screen-work across the nave and aisles. It is said to have been mainly erected by Lord Russell, in the reign of Henry VIII., of which monarch he purchased the parish for £200: the tower, 80 feet high, and much admired, is supposed to be of later erection. There is a place of worship for Baptists. The poor receive bread every Sunday from the rents of an estate called Smithhayes, producing about £40 per annum, left by a clergyman named Stocke, in the latter part of the 17th century; the residue, after affording small payments to two adjoining parishes, belongs to the vicar. Lord Exmouth takes the title of Baron Exmouth, of Canonteign, from his seat in the parish: the ancient mansion was besieged by Cromwell's army, and the loop-holes are still to be seen, through which the muskets were fired by the besieged. Pope House is said to have been a cell to the priory of Cowick, near Exeter.

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

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