"THURLESTONE, 4½ miles W.S.W. of Kingsbridge, is a small scattered village, on rising ground, near the beach of Bigbury Bay. Its parish contains 437 souls, and 1763 acres of fertile land, including the hamlets of Buckland, Avenmouth, and Bantham, the latter of which is a small fishing village, with fine hard sands, and a salmon pool and harbour for barges. The Earl of Devon is lord of the manor, but part of the parish belongs to several smaller freeholders. The river Aven bounds the parish on the north, and the Bay on the west. On the coast is a remarkable arched rock, through which boats have sailed. It has for centuries braved the foaming surge; hence the proverb, "Brave every shock, Like Thurlestone Rock." It is of red conglomerate formation. Clannacombe, a large Elizabethan mansion, which has been modernised, is the seat of H.R. Square, Esq. The Church is an ancient structure, with a tower and five bells. The pulpit is finely carved, and partly composed of elegant panels taken from the screen. The rectory. valued in K.B. at £25. 10s., and in 1831 at £383, is in the patronage of Sir J.B.Y. Buller, Bart., and incumbency of the Rev. P.A. Ilbert, M.A., who has 36A. of glebe, and a large and handsome residence, erected by himself. The parish school, established in 1844, is supported by the rector." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Stanborough Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter. Regarded as part of the South Hams area.