Plympton St Mary
A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
PLYMPTON (ST. MARY), a parish in the hundred of PLYMPTON, county of DEVON, 1 mile (N. W. by W.) from Earl's Plympton, containing 2044 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Exeter, endowed with £15 per annum private benefaction, and £1300 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The church is principally in the later style of English architecture, with a handsome tower: it contains three stone stalls, and, among various other monuments, an altar-tomb, much mutilated, with a recumbent figure of a knight in armour. The village is chiefly remarkable as having been the site of a priory, accounted the richest in the county. A college is said to have been founded here by one of the Saxon kings, for a dean and four prebendaries. This was suppressed by Bishop Warlewast, in 1121, in consequence of the obstinacy of the monks, who, notwithstanding the injunction of celibacy, passed twenty years before, still entertained their connubial inclinations. The bishop's newly founded priory was for Black canons, and dedicated either to the Virgin Mary, or to St. Peter and St. Paul. The families of Baldwin and Valletort were considerable benefactors to it; and in 1534 the society consisted of a prior and twenty monks; at this time its yearly revenue was stated to be £912. 11. 8. The prior's pension, after the monastery was dissolved, amounted to £120 per annum. St. Anthony's abbey in Cornwall, and that of St. Mary de Marisco near Exeter, were subject to it. Among its possessions were included Plymouth and the Isle of St. Nicholas; it was also distinguished for the extent of its church patronage. The site was granted to James Coffin and Thomas Goodwin, The parish workhouse occupies the site of an ancient hospital, and is endowed with land yielding £50 per annum.