"PAIGNTON, which gives its name to large petty sessional division, is a neat and improving village and bathing place, delightfully situated on the central part of the semi-circular shore of Torbay, about 3½ miles S.W. of Torquay, . . . Its parish increased its population from 1575 in 1801, to 2501 souls in 1841, and now has upwards of 3000. It comprises 5092 acres of land, and the scattered hamlets, &c., of Collaton-Kirkham, Goodrington, Blagdon, Preston, Polsham, Yalberton, &c., extending more than two miles S., and one mile N., along the shore of the beautiful bay. Paignton has risen into notice as a place of resort for invalids during the last fifteen years, and is capable of being made a first-rate watering place, . . . The parish and neighbourhood form one of the most fertile parts of Devon, and abound in extensive orchards, celebrated for excellent cider, . . . The district is also famous for very large and sweet cabbages, . . . The Church (St. John,) is a large and handsome structure, with a tower and six bells, . . . The vicarage, . . . with the curacy of Marldon attached to it, is in the patronage of Sir S.H. Northcote, Bart., and the heirs of the late Rev. J. Temper, and in the incumbency of the Rev. Robert Gee, of Steartfield, who is also lessee of the rectory and the manor of Preston . . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Haytor Hundred, and a Peculiar of the Bishop of Exeter. Marldon was a chapelry of Paignton; Collaton St Mary is a modern parish formed here in 1864.



/big/eng/DEV/Paignton/Coverdale1930Pike, John R, Vernon F.Palmer and Hilary J.Barrett. Paignton, Torbay: a biliographical guide. Torquay: Torbay Borough Council (1974) 57p. [Westcountry Studies Library - 016/PAI/PIK]



Adams, Maxwell. Thomas Gray Skardon. Obituary. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 44, (1912). pp. 41-42. [Transcript]

Brandon, Ruth. Singer and the sewing machine: a capitalist romance. London: Barrie and Jenkins (1977) xiii, 244p, 16p of plates. [ISBN 0214204562]

Eastley, Charles M. The Singer saga. Braunton: Merlin Books (1983) 51p. [ISBN 0863030890]

Goodridge, Charles Medyett. Narrative of a voyage to the South Seas and the shipwreck of the Princess of Wales cutter. (2nd ed.) Exeter: W.C. Featherstone (1838) plate, 181pp. [Index]

Harpley, W. Francis Hoare Spragge [Obituary]. Trans. Devon Assoc., 1882, Vol XIV, pp. 119-120. [Transcript]

Harpley, W. Charles William Wood, QC. [Obituary]. Trans. Devon Assoc., 1884, Vol XVI, pp. 68-69. [Transcript]

Harpley, W. H. Charles William Peach. [Obituary]. Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1886, Vol XVIII, pp.64-66. [Transcript]

Harpley, W. H. Vice-Admiral E.J. Bedford [Obituary]. Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1887, Vol XIX, p.40. [Transcript]

Harpley, W. Edward Vivian. [Obituary] Trans. Devon. Assoc. 25, (1893) pp.163-169. [Historian, 1808-1893]

Holgate, Robert. Paignton's First Postmaster, Devon Family Historian, vol. 175, (2020) pp.9-11.

Saxton, William A. Singer, the sewing machine, and Paignton. Brixham Museum & History Society [1982] 16p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p920/SIN]

W.K. Spragge [Obituary] Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1875, Vol. VII, pp. 62-63. [Transcript]

Antiquaries: Did Miles Coverdale work at Paignton? Manor & Myth. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette (Exeter, England) Wednesday, Mar. 19, 1930 Volume CLVIII, Issue 26131 p. 8 [Transcript]



MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Church and in Coverdale Churchyard is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 6 of Devon Memorial inscriptions (DE/M19).

Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]

Monumental inscriptions in Paignton, recorded by members of the Devonshire Association, Torbay branch. [Torquay]: [The Association] (1978) 106p. [Westcountry Studies Library - x929.5/PAI/MON]


Church History

Paignton - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Well-illustrated history of Paignton Parish Church - from the church web-site.

History of Southfield Methodist Church (archived copy).

Paignton (Palace Avenue) Methodist Church web-site.

Paignton (Sacred Heart) Catholic Church photograph and history.

Martin Jones' Collaton St Mary church history page.

Clifford, David. The centenary of Gerston Chapel, Paignton, 1888-1988. Gerston Chapel (1988) [32] pp.

Tancock, Sylvia. Something to Sing About: The story of Methodism in Paignton in the Wesleyan tradition. Paignton: S.Tancock (1990) 59p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p287.1/PAI/TAN]

The centenary of Gerston Chapel, Paignton 1888-1988. Paignton: Gerston Chapel (1988) [64]p: ill, ports. [Westcountry Studies Library - p289.9/PAI/CEN]

The church by the marsh: the early years of Christ Church, Paignton. [Christ Church Centen. Ctte.] [1988] 27p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/PAI/CHU]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1559 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1559 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837, together with Paignton Independent Chapel Burials 1826-1836 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Independent/Congregational Chapel, Spratts Lane then Cecil Road: Registers for 1818-37 (ZC), 1826-36 (B) in PRO RG 4/2536
  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1811-37 - see Brixham (PRO RG 4/842)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1559-1837, Marriages 1559-1837, Independent chapel Christenings 1818-1837.

Deanery of Ipplepen: Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD - Devon FHS (2012). [An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of: Abbotskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1756-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Berry Pomeroy Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Brixham All Saints Baptisms (1826-1839), Marriages (1826-1837), Burials (1831-1832); Brixham St Mary Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Broadhempston Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1681-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Churston Ferrers Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1835), Burials (1800-1837); Cockington Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1780-1834); Coffinswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1857); Denbury Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837); Ipplepen Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1843), Burials (1813-1837); Kingskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Kingswear Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1755-1837), Burials (1780-1837); Littlehempston Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1731-1837), Burials (1813-1840); Marldon Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Baptisms (1813-1841), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Independent Burials (1826-1836); Staverton Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Stoke Gabriel Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torbryan Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1838), Burials (1813-1854); Tormohun Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torquay St Marychurch Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Wolborough Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1839), Burials (1813-1837); Woodland Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1755-1835), Burials (1813-1838).]


Description & Travel

Section on Paignton  from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

Martin Jones' Collaton St Mary pages.

Virtual Tour of Paignton - from Halien.

Bainbridge, John. Around Torbay, Francis Frith (1999) 91 pp. [ISBN 1 85937 063 2]

Barber, Chips and Sally. Paignton. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1992) 32p: ill, map [ISBN 0946651590]

Evans, John, AM. (1799). An excursion into the West of England during the month of July 1799. In Four Letters to a Friend, Letter II, The Monthly Visitor and Entertaining Pocket Companion, Vol. 8, London: H D Symonds, pp. 140-157. [Index]

Poulton-Smith, Anthony. The English Riviera: Paignton, Brixham & Torquay Through Time. Amberley Publishing (2012) 96pp. [ISBN-10: 1445609479]

Handbook to Paignton and the neighbourhood. Paignton: H.P.Luscombe (1883) 40p. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/PAI/1883/HAN]

A pictorial and descriptive guide to Torquay, Paignton, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Totnes and other South Devon resorts (14th ed), London, Ward, Lock & Co. (1934) xxxii, 132p, 48pls: maps. [Westcountry Studies Library B/TOR 7/1934/PIC]

Spotlight on Paignton. Devon Life vol. 1 no. 9, (1965) pp.13-18; ill.

You can see pictures of Paignton which are provided by:



Where to buy at Paignton. An illustrated local trades' review. By the Editor of the "Agents' Guide" ... with illustrations of the West of England., Brighton, Robinson, Son & Pike (1891) 27. xxiv pp. [Directory giving brief histories of companies and shops, with illustrations of shopfronts] [BM 10368.k.33.]

Kelly's Directory of Torquay and Paignton. Kelly's Directories (1928-67) [19 eds.]

Robinson's directory of Paignton, including gentry, clergy. (Reprint of ed. first publ.: Paignton , 1851) Bedford: Bookmakers (1992) [4], xiii, [4]p: map. [Westcountry Studies Library - p380.1025/PAI/1851]

Torbay Household and Business Directory. Torquay: Torquay Times (1910-11).

Transcription of entry for Collaton St Mary in Kelly's Directory, Devonshire of 1935, by Deborah Carmichael.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Bartlett, William. Families of the name of Bartlett: extracts from the parish registers of Paignton church, Devon, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica 3rd series 4, 1902, pp. 128-32. [16-19th c., with extracts from St. Davids Exeter PRs.]

Chapin, Howard Millar. The English ancestry of Dea. Samuel Chapin of Springfield, Mass.: New England Hist. & Gen. Reg. 83, 1929, pp. 351-7. [Raymond: Of Paignton, 16- 17th c.]

Collum, Len. Searching for PC Sydney Smith, Devon Family Historian, vol. 163, (2017) p.37. [b. 1884, m. Elizabeth Howard at Lustleigh, 1907]

Cooper, Sue. Furneaux Family History, Devon Family Historian, vol. 163, (2017) pp.16-17.

Cowell, Peter. Worse then a brick wall, Devon Family Historian, vol. 179, (2021) pp.26-27. [George & Grace Browse, m. 1724/5.]

Furneaux, H. Furneaux family: genealogical notes, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica (New Series) 2, 1877, pp. 193-7. [Raymond: Of Paignton and Churston Ferrers, Devon; also Landrake, Cornwall. Extracts from parish registers, deeds, monumental inscriptions, etc., 16-18th c.]

Furneaux, H. Pedigree of the family of Furneaux of Paignton and Buckfastleigh, afterwards of Swilly, near Plymouth, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica (New Series), 2, 1877, pp. 171-5. [16th-19th c.]

Holgate, Robert. Serendipity, Devon Family Historian, vol. 177, (2021) pp.20-22. [Archer Slee family]

Mulreaney, Jan. Do You Remember the Pet Shop Budgies in Paignton, Devon Family Historian, vol. 161, (2017) pp.18-20. [Concerning the family of Charles Anthony Sederman, d. Torquay 1910]

Parrott, Mary. Drew Family of Paignton, Devon Family Historian, no. 151, (2014) p.20.

Vlajić, Janet. Searching for William Henry Morey, Devon Family Historian, vol. 170, (2019) pp.15.

Pedigree of the Family of Furneaux, of Paignton and Buckfastleigh, Devon; afterwards of Swilly, near Plymouth. A.D. 1550-1875. With pedigrees of other families connected with it, and notes. pp. 20. Privately printed (1876) 4o. [BL 9915.dd.19.(1.)]



Barber, Chips. Torbay In Colour . Obelisk Publications (1998) 32 p. [ISBN-13:978-0946651313]

Born, Anne. The Torbay towns. Chichester: Phillimore (1989) xiii, 160p: ill, maps. [ISBN 0850336945]

Britton, Ernest E. The Oldenburg Hotel presiding over three centuries of Paignton: a new approach to local history. [Paignton]: G. & M.Churchill (1990) 37p: ill, map. [Westcountry Studies Library - p647.94/PAI/BRI]

Brixey, A (i.e. W.S. Morrish) The story of Torbay from the earliest times to 1804. London: H.W.Wood [1909] 148p:map [Westcountry Studies Library - B/TOR 1/0001/BRI]

Churchward, H.E.B. Paignton in the Pembroke Survey of 1567. Trans. Devon Assoc. 64 (1932) pp.239-248. [Raymond: Includes descent of Gilbert, 14-15th c.]

Couldrey, W.G. Memories and antiquities of Paignton. Tran. Dev. Assoc. 64 (1932) pp223- 237.

Hope, Paul. The American Womens War Hospital, Oldway, Paignton, Devon Family Historian, vol. 157, (2016) p.10.

Hunt, Arthur Roope. On Exposures of the Submerged Forest Clays at Paignton and Blackpool Beaches in April 1881. Trans. Devon Assoc. vol. XIII, (1881), illus., pp. 344-350. [Index]

Patterson, C.H. The history of Paignton. Paignton: Paignton Observer (1952) 156p, plates: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/PAI/0001/PAT]

Pearce, Frank.The Book of Torbay: A Century of Celebration. Halsgrove Press, Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6SS (1999) 127p. [ISBN 1841140295]

Pearce, Frank. The Book of Paignton (Halsgrove Community History Series), Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6SS, UK, Halsgrove Publishing (2001) 160 pp. [ISBN 1841141135]

Penwill, F Ralph. Paignton in six reigns: being the history of local government in Paignton (1863-1952). Paignton: Paignton Urban D.C. (1953) [6], 156p: ill, plates. [Westcountry Studies Library - 352/PAI/PEN]

Pike, John R. Paignton. Torquay: Torbay Borough Council (1993) [2], 92, [10]p, plates: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/PAI/1800/PIK]

Pike, John R. Paignton: Archive photograph series. Chalford Publishing (1997) 128p: ill. [ISBN 0752410199]

Stewart, R.C.J. Paignton's pocket theatre. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 87 (1973) pp.28-46; ill. [Royal Bijou Theatre, 1879-1973]

Tully, Peter. Peter Tully's pictures of Paignton. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1988) 64p: of ill. [ISBN 0946651280]

Tully, Peter. Peter Tully's pictures of Paignton: Part 2. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1992) 64p: of ill. [ISBN 0946651523]

Tully, Peter. Peter Tully's pictures of Paignton: Part 3. Exeter: Obelisk Publications (1995) 48p: chiefly ill. [ISBN 1899073132]

Worthy, Charles. Devonshire Parishes. Exeter: William Pollard (1887) - Vol. 2, pp. 307- 346.

Grand photographic view album of Paignton. Paignton: S.E.Peake [1890?] 16p: of ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/PAI/1890/GRA]

West Briton Newspaper, 29 August 1845, Devon Family Historian, vol. 126, (2008) pp.17. [Reports of accidental deaths of a Mr Bundock of Paignton, on arrival in Australia, and of Edward Stevens of Ilfracome, who died saving a Miss Bailey from drowning]


Land & Property

Elliot, John. Homes and gardens - Oldway, Paignton. Devon Life vol. 9 no. 70 (1972) pp.14-16; ill.



Lane, Jno. The Court Rolls of the Manor and Borough of Paignton, with some notes on the tenures of the manor. Trans. Devon Assoc. 16 (1884) pp.703-724. [Raymnd: Includes extracts from 17th c. presentments.] [Index]



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX886608 (Lat/Lon: 50.436447, -3.570002), Paignton which are provided by:


Medical Records

Hope, Paul. The American Womens War Hospital, Oldway, Paignton, Devon Family Historian, vol. 157, (2016) p.10.


Merchant Marine

Goodridge, Charles Medyett. Narrative of a voyage to the South Seas and the shipwreck of the Princess of Wales cutter (3rd ed.). Exeter: W.C.Featherstone (1843) 175, [14]p, plate: port.


Names, Personal

Paington Vaccination Register - 1875-1876, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D042). [Foreword]

Paignton Vaccination Register - 1901, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D155). [Foreword]



Newton, P H. Blagdon Cider Barn, Paignton. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 123 (1991) pp.203-211, pls, figs. [Reports a building forming part of Blagdon House Farm complex. The rubble stone barn was purpose-built for making cider. There is a description of the building and of the apple press, along with details of the cider making process.]



Parnell, Peggy. School for the daughters of gentlemen and little boys: Marist Convent, Paignton, 1901- 1982. [Paignton]: [The Convent] (1982) [32]p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p376.5/PAI/PAR]



Paignton Freemasons - histories of Torbay Lodge and Coverdale Lodge.