Transcribed from William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire 1850, by Terry Partridge.
YEALMPTON, a large and respectable village, with many good houses, is pleasantly seated on a salubrious acclivity, overlooking the river Yealm, 7 miles E. by S. of Plymouth, and 5½ miles W. of Modbury. It is on the high road to Kingsbridge, &c., and about a mile below it the Yealm spreads into a broad estuary. It has a great cattle market on the fourth Wednesday of every month, and is noted for the social and friendly intercourse of its inhabitants. Petty Sessions are held here every third Monday, by the magistrates of Ermington and Plympton Division, to whom Mr. Thomas Kelly is clerk. The parish contains 1317 souls, and 3432A. 3R. 2P. of land, generally fertile and mostly arable, and including the hamlets of Dunstone and Yealm Bridge, and many scattered farm houses, &c., and three corn mills. Yealmpton is described as a borough in ancient records, and tradition says the Saxon King Ethelwold had a palace here, where his lieutenant Lipsius, is said to have died, and to have been buried in the churchyard, where his gravestone is still to be seen. The manor was given by King John to Matthew Fitzherbert, and afterwards passed to the Earls of Huntingdon, one of whom sold it in 1580 to Sir John Hele. The heiress of Edmund Pollexfen brought it to an ancestor of its present owner, E. R. P. Bastard, Esq., of KITLEY, a large and elegant mansion, in the Elizabethan style, erected in 1825 by the late Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., from designs by Mr. Repton. It has many handsome and elegantly furnished apartments, and stands in the picturesque valley about a mile from the village, upon a finely wooded lawn, embellished with terraces and a sheet of water. The Pollexfens resided in the old house at Kitley as early as the reign of Elizabeth, and the Bastards removed to it from Garston. Wm. Bastard, Esq., was created a baronet in 1779, and the creation was gazetted, but he declined the intended honour. The late E. P. Bastard, Esq., was one of the representatives of Devon in Parliament, from 1816 till 1830, and his uncle held the same office from 1784 till his death, in 1816. The manors of Bowden and Dunstone also belong to Mr. Bastard, and he has large estates in many other parishes. Bowden, an ancient house, near the village, was long the seat of the Coplestons. Lyneham, now a farm house, belongs with the estate to Lady Bulteel, and was the seat of the Lynehams and Crockers. Thos. Holberton, Esq., has an estate here, and a neat mansion near the bridge. Coffleet is the seat and property of the Rev. Richd. Lane. George Woollcombe, Esq., and several smaller owners, have estates in the parish. The Church (St. Bartholomew,) was a very ancient structure, but is now being completely renovated and nearly all rebuilt, chiefly at the cost of Mr. Bastard, in the decorated style which prevailed in the time of Edward II. The chancel was rebuilt in 1849, and the nave is now undergoing a similar restoration. The arches and windows are of Caen stone, and the columns are of limestone marble got at Kitley, and every alternate block is polished, and a band of the same polished marble is carried round each arch. The expense of its restoration will be about £7000, and when completed it will be one of the handsomest churches in the county. It has several neat monuments of the Pollexfens and Bastards. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £35. 16s. 4½d., and in 1831 at £444, with the perpetual curacy of Revelstoke annexed to it, is in the patronage of the Bishop of Exeter, and incumbency of the Rev. James Longmore, of Cadleigh. Here is a good parsonage, and 22A. of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1841, the vicarial for £307., and the rectorial for £355. The latter belong to the trustees of the late Rev. J. Kenrick. The Wesleyans and Plymouth Bretheren have small chapels here; and a handsome National School was built in the village in 1849, of the grey limestone got in the parish. Under a hill near the church is an extensive limestone cavern, which was discovered by the quarrymen about 60 years ago, and in it were found the bones of a large animal. It may be entered from the bank of the river, and has a splendid appearance when lighted up. The poor parishioners have the interest of £100, given by Mrs. Croker and Mrs. Knowling, and vested in the Modbury turnpike.
Bastard Edmund Rodney Pollexfen, Esq., Kitley
Blackler James, saddler
Brooks & Co. lime burners, Bridge
Coad John Foote, surgeon
Constantine Nathan, organist
Desbrisay Rev Thos. curate, Vicarage
Ford Lieut. Wm., R.N. Yeo
Harris Capt. Wm., R.N.
Holberton Thos. Esq. Yealm Bridge
Lane Rev Rd. vicar of Brixton, Coffleet
Mann Thos. & John, wheelwrights
Oldreive Lewis John, land agent
Pearse James, plumber and tinner
Popham James, dairyman
Kelly Thos. solicitor & clerk to magistrates & comssrs. of taxes
Ratcliffe Wm. tallow chandler
Shillabear John, wood ranger
Walters E. milliner
Williams Charles, timber merchant, Saw Mills
Anthony John, Yealmpton
Barratt Thos. & Southwood Hy. Bridge
Lavers Richard, Weston Mill
INNS AND TAVERNS.
Yealmpton Inn, Rebecca Glanville
Yealm Bridge Inn, Wm. Arscott
Volunteer, John Burford
(2, at Dunstone; 3, at Weston.)
2 Adams James
3 Brooks Philip
Chaffe Richard, Wilberton
Coyte James, Lyneham
2 Daw Henry
3 Lavers Richard
Parnell Thomas, Bowden
Pearse Wm. regr
at Sml. Brock's.
Letters from Plympton
to Plymouth and Kngsbdg. daily
to Plymouth and Exeter pass dly