Kenton (and Starcross)
A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
KENTON, a parish in the hundred of EXMINSTER,
county of DEVON, 8¾ miles (S. S. E.) from Exeter, containing
1891 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the
archdeaconry and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's
books at £34. 13.4., and in the patronage of the Dean
and Chapter of Salisbury. The church, dedicated to
All Saints, is a handsome structure in the later style of
English architecture, and has a rich wooden screen,
on which is inscribed the Creed, in Latin. There is a
chapel of ease at Star-cross, in this parish. The river
Ex is navigable for large ships along the eastern boundary
of the parish. Kenton was once an ancient borough,
and had a weekly market and an annual fair.
Courts leet and baron are held annually by the lord
of the manor. A curious custom prevails here regarding
tenancy, by which the heirs of a tenant, retaining their
occupancy for three descents in succession, establish
their claim to the inheritance.
STARCROSS, a sea-port (small), in the parish of KENTON, hundred of EXMINSTER, county of DEVON, 1½ mile (W. by N.) from Exmouth. The population is returned with the parish. The chapel, recently erected, contains five hundred sittings, of which three hundred and fifty are free, the Incorporated Society for promoting the building of additional churches, &c., having contributed £400 towards the expense. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. Starcross is a pleasant watering-place, situated on the western side of the mouth of the river Exe, south of Powderham castle, and opposite to Exmouth. The trade consists principally in the importation of coal and timber, for landing which there is a convenient quay. A fair is held on the Wednesday in Whitsun-week. On an eminence in the neighbourhood is a conspicuous landmark, called Belvidere, consisting of a lofty triangular tower, with an hexagonal turret rising from each corner: it was erected, in 1773, by Lord Courtenay, and commands interesting views of the rich and diversified scenery of the vicinity, including Powderham castle, erected by Isabella, the last of the great family of Rivers, in the reign of Edward I., the park, grounds, and plantations of which are nearly ten miles in circumference.