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Devon County

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The church of St Lawrence, Bigbury

The church of St. Lawrence, Bigbury

©Richard J. Brine


Bigbury is a parish and village, in a healthy situation, commanding a fine view of the sea, 9 miles south from Ivybridge station on the South Devon section of main line of the Great Western railway, about 4 south-west from Loddiswell station on the Kingsbridge branch of the same line, 5 north -west from Kingsbridge branch of the same line, 5 north-west from Kingsbridge, 16 north-east from Plymouth, 4 south from modbury, and 2 from Bigbury Bay; it is in the Southern division of the county, Hundred, and petty sessional division of Ermington and plympton, union and county court district of Kingsbridge, rural deanery of Woodleigh, archdeaconry of Totnes and diocese of Exeter.


The church of St Lawrence is an ancient structure, chiefly in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, south transept, a (once) private chapel and a western tower, with spire, containing 6  bells which were rehung in 1908; there is a slate monument with a quaint inscription to a man and his wife of the Pierce family, dated 1592; in the east window is a memorial to the Rev, James Parker Harris, chaplain at Lucknow during the siege in July 1857, and on the south side of the chancel is a memorial window placed in 1880 to Mrs Frederic Farrer: in the church is a large slab, with the brass effigy of a lady, 2 feet 4½ inches in height , attired in a long mantle and mitred head dress, with two dogs gambolling at her feet; The pulpit and oak eagle lectern were brought by the Rev, Elias Whiitier from Ashburton in about 1777. In 1872 /73, the church was restored at a cost of £1200 under the direction of Mr J. Bedding, architect, and affords 200 sittings. The living is a rectory in the gift of the J. D.  Buckton Esq and held since 1904 by the Rev. Harold Bowden-Smith MA of Keble College, Oxford.


Bigbury Court was the seat for many generations of the knightly family of Bigbury; and Hingeston and Houghton, now farm houses, were formerly seats of ancient families of those names. Mrs Wroth, Nicholas W. P. Pitts Esq. of Whympstone, Modbury and the Bigbury bay Land development Syndicate are the prinicpal landowners. The soil is light and sandy; subsoil shale. The chief crops are corn and roots.

The area is 2884 acres of land, 26 of tidal water and 181 of foreshore; rateable value £2097, The population, including the hamlets of St Anne's Chapel, half a mile north and Combe, 2 miles north, was , in 1911, 309 in the civil parish and 303 in the ecclesiastical parish.

By Local Government Order, Challons Combe was transferred to this parish from Kingston 24 March 1884.

POST & TELEGRAPH OFFICE:  Miss Kate Amms, subpostmistress. No Sunday delivery. Kingston, 3 miles distant, is the nearest money order office.

POST OFFICE: Bigbury on Sea. Mrs M. Chubb, sub postmistress.

There is a wall letterbox at St Anne's Chapel - collection weekdays only



Bowden-Smith, Rev. Harold, MA (Rector) the Rectory

Wroth, Mrs, Knowle


Amm, Kate (Miss), shopkeeper and sub postmistress

Bardens, Alfred Douglas, Royal Oak Public House

Bardens. Christine (Mrs) Refreshment Rooms, Warren Cottage

Biddick, Edgar Peter, farmer

Breeze, Alfred, Pilchard Inn, Borough Island

Camp, Samuel & Thomas, farmers, Easton, The Glebe

Crimp. John Arundel, farmer, Tuffland

Dale, William Henry & Son, haulage contractors, Duke's Mill

Furneaux, J. E.& H.  farmers, Hex Down

Hancock, Albert, farmer

Hext, Thomas & Son, farmers, Holwell

Hollman Bros, farmers. Challborough Down

Hooppell, Benjamin, farmer, Houghton

Luckraft, Augustus Garland sen, farmer, Challons Combe

Palmer, James, farmer, Hingeston

Rickman, Charles, farmer, Higher Cumery

Shepherd, George Henry jun, farmer

Steer, John, wheelwright

Symons, David, farmer, Wellings Farm

Twitchings, Henry , Hare & Hounds Public house, St Anne's Chapel

Wakeham, John, farmer and carrier

Ward, Henry John, baker, St Anne's Chapel

Woodmason, James, basket maker & assistant overseer, Duke's Mill

Wroth John Sparrow, farmer, Combe

Wroth, William Shepherd, farmer, Court Barton.



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