Kilhampton (St. James)

KILHAMPTON (St. James), a parish, in the union and hundred of Stratton, E. division of Cornwall, 3½ miles (N. by E.) from Stratton; containing 1237 inhabitants. This place, which had anciently a market, was distinguished at an early period as the residence of the Granville family, one of whose ancestors, descended from Rollo, first duke of Normandy, came over with William the Conqueror, and is said to have founded the church. Upon the site of the ancient mansion, John, Earl of Bath, soon after the Restoration erected the magnificent residence of Stowe, which, within little more than half a century, was demolished; on its demolition, the elaborately carved cedar wainscot which lined the chapel, was purchased by Lord Cobham, and put up in the chapel of his seat at Stowe, in Buckinghamshire. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Tamar, which separates it from the county of Devon; and comprises by measurement 7300 acres, whereof 350 are common or waste. There are quarries of stone, for rough building and for repairing roads. The road from Camelford to Bideford passes through the village; and at the eastern extremity of the parish is a branch of the Bude canal, by which sea-sand for manure, and supplies of coal, are obtained. The reservoir of the canal, covering an area of 70 acres, is partly within the parish. Fairs are held on Holy-Thursday, the third Thursday after, and the 26th of August. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £26. 3. 11½., and in the gift of Lord Carteret: certain impropriate tithes have been commuted for £50, and the incumbent's for £607; the glebe comprises 90 acres. The church is partly Norman, and partly in the later English style, and abounds with interesting details; the south door is a beautiful specimen in the Norman style, with shafts and bands of zig-zag and beak-headed tracery. The original ceiling of carved oak, and several of the old oak benches, are remaining; the pulpit is highly enriched, and the Norman font is preserved in its ancient state. Of the several monuments, the most striking is one to the memory of Sir Beville Granville, of Stowe, Earl of Corbill, and Lord of Thorigay and Granville, in France and Normandy, who was killed in the parliamentary war, at the battle of Lansdown, July 5th, 1643. There are places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The Rev. James Hervey resided for some time at Alderscombe, with the Orchard family, and is said to have conceived here the subject of his Meditations among the Tombs.

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

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