[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)]
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003
"PAIGNTON, a parish and market town in the hundred of Haytor, county Devon, 6 miles E. of Totnes, its post town, and 2.¾ N.E. of Torquay. It is a station on the Torquay branch of the South Devon railway. It is a watering-place, situated on the coast of Torbay, at its western extremity, and small vessels can approach within half a mile of the town. The parish, which is extensive, comprises the hamlets of Preston, Fernham, Goodrington, Yalberton, Collaton-Kirkham, and Blagdon. The manor was formerly held in demesne by the bishops of Exeter, who had a seat here, some fragments of which are still to be seen. The town, of late years, has greatly improved, and now contains many good shops, a reading-room, and commodious lodging-houses. In 1848 a pier was constructed at an outlay of £5,000, for the loading and unloading of small vessels of 150 tons. It is a coastguard station. Petty sessions are held on the first Thursday in every month, at the Crown and Anchor hotel. The Torquay and Dartmouth turnpike trust meets at the same place on the second Thursday in every month. Paignton is celebrated for the salubrity of its air, and is a favourite resort for invalids. The neighbourhood abounds in extensive orchards, from which its far-famed cider is produced; cabbages are also grown to great perfection. Bathing-machines are to be had on the beach. The living is a vicarage* with the curacy of Marldon annexed, in the diocese of Exeter, value £665. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is an ancient stone edifice, with a square tower containing a clock and six bells. It has a carved stone pulpit, a screen of tabernacle work, and several monuments. The parochial charities produce about £110 per annum. There is a National school for both sexes; also two other endowed schools, one with an annuity of £20, and the other £4. The Independents, Reformed Wesleyans, Baptists, and Plymouth Brethren, have each a place of worship. There are Sunday and day schools for the Independents. Among the principal residences are Barkham, Primley, Parkfield, Steartfield House, and Red Cliff Tower. J. G. J. Templer, Esq., is lord of the manor. A market for cattle and sheep is held every third Monday in each month. An annual fair is held on Whit-Tuesday."