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Paignton (St. John the Baptist)

PAIGNTON (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Totnes, hundred of Haytor, Paignton and S. divisions of Devon, 5¾ miles (E.) from Totnes; containing 2501 inhabitants. This place was anciently held in demesne by the bishops of Exeter, who had a palace here, of which some fragments still remain. The parish comprises 4396 acres, whereof 92 are common or waste. The village is situated on Tor bay, at its western extremity, and has a considerable trade in cider, for shipping which, and discharging coal, &c., vessels come within half a mile. In 1838, an act was passed for the construction of a harbour and other works. A small fair is held on Whit-Tuesday. The living is a vicarage, with the living of Marldon annexed, valued in the king's books at £52. 1. 0½., and in the patronage of the Northcote and Templar families. The vicarial tithes of Paignton have been commuted for £430, and the impropriate for £405. The church has an enriched Norman door, and the transept and upper part of the tower are in the later English style; it contains a screen of elegant tabernacle-work, and a stone pulpit richly ornamented with foliage. There is a place of worship for Independents. In 1800, Allan Balfield bequeathed £1000 three per cents. for education.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.