From Kelly's 1873 Directory of Devon

Transcribed by

Mike Brown, Dartmoor Press

Plympton St. Mary is a parish, head of a union, with the hamlets of Ridgeway, Underwood, Colebrook, Hemerdon, Sparkwell, Venton, and Lee Mill Bridge, half a mile north-west-by-west from Plympton St. Maurice, 4½ miles north-east-by-east from Plymouth, 44 from Exeter, 130 from Bristol, by rail, and 245 from London, in the Southern division of the county, Plympton hundred, county court district of East Stonehouse, rural deanery of Plympton, Totnes archdeaconry, and Exeter diocese. There is a station on the South Devon and Cornwall railway here, also a station at Marsh Mills, on the Tavistock branch, 3½ miles from Plymouth. The Gas works are situated at Underwood. The church of St. Mary was restored in 1860; it is a very fine old building in the Perpendicular style, and comprises chancel, nave, aisles, transept, porch, and tower containing 8 bells: it contains sedilia and a piscina and side altar, table, organ, and some old brasses and monuments; there are several stained glass windows, two of SS. Catherine and Margaret, the gift of the Treby family, a west window, in memory of the previous incumbent, the Rev. W.J. Coppard, and the east window, in memory of the late Earl of Morley. The register dates from the sixteenth century. The living is a vicarage, yearly value about £170, in the gift of the Dean and Canons of Windsor, and held by the Rev. Merton Smith, M.A., of Jesus College, Cambridge. The impropriate tithes are commuted at £1,800 per annum. There is a National school for boys and girls. The Workhouse for the union of Plympton St. Mary, erected in 1836, is a plain stone building, and occupies the site of an ancient hospital; it is endowed with land yielding £30 per annum, and has accommodation for £140 inmates. The union comprises the following parishes:- viz., Bickleigh, Brixton, Compton Gifford, Cornwood, Egg Buckland, Ermington, Harford, Holbeton, Laira Green, Newton Ferrers, Pennycross or Weston Peverel, Plympton Earls of Plympton St. Maurice, Plympton St. Mary, Plymstock, Revelstoke, St. Budeaux, Shaugh Prior, Tamerton Foliott, Wembury, and Yealmpton. The charities amount of £97 yearly. There are several lead and tin mines in the parish, some of which have stopped working; iron-ore has also been found here. There are chapels for the denominations of Independents, Methodists, Plymouth Brethren, and Wesleyans. The village is chiefly remarkable as having been the site of a priory, traces of which are still remaining at the Priory Mills. The following are the principal seats: Saltram House, the Earl of Morley; Newnham Park, George Sydney Strode, esq.; Chaddlewood House, G. Saltau-Symons, Esq.; Goodamoor House, Miss Blanche Treby; Blacklands House, Capt Conran; Beechwood House, Lord Seaton. The Earl of Morley (lord of the manor), Sydney Strode, esq., G. Saltua-Symons, esq., Mrs. Woollcombe, Lord Seaton, and Miss Blanche Treby, are the chief landowners. The soil is loam; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats, and root crops. The acreage is 9,997; gross estimated rental, £22,342; rateable value, £18,620; the population in 1871 was 3,491.

Brian Randell, 24 Mar 1999