"EXMINSTER is a large straggling village, pleasantly situated, 4 miles S.E. by S. of Exeter, on the western side of the vale of the river Exe, opposite Topsham, and near the South Devon Railway, and the Exeter Canal, which here falls into the estuary at Turf lock. The parish contains 1177 inhabitants, and 4670 acres of land, including a fine tract of rich marshes, the hamlets of Lower Shillingford and Matford; and several scattered farm-houses and neat mansions . . . . The Earl of Devon is lord of the manor of Exminster, . . . Sir L.V. Palk is lord of the manor of Shillingford, and owner of the estates called Little Bowhay, Breynton, and Lower and North Shillingford, or Shillingford Abbots. . . . The Church (St. Martin,) is a large structure, with a fine tower, containing a clock, chimes, and six bells. . . . The Rev. J.P. Hugo, M.A., is the incumbent, and has 15 acres of glebe, and a pleasant residence, commanding a fine view of Topsham, and the estuary of the Exe. . . . DEVON COUNTY PAUPER LUNATIC ASYLUM is an extensive and handsome building in this parish . . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Exminster Hundred, the Archdeaconry and the Diocese of Exeter. It includes Shillingford Abbot.