Salcombe  Devon


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Salcombe like this:

SALCOMBE, a small town and a chapelry in Malborough parish, Devon. The town stands on the W side of Salcombe haven, 2 miles N N E of Bolt Head, and 4 S of Kingsbridge r. station; had anciently a castle; enjoys a climate said to be the warmest on the S W coast of England, and noted for the growth of orange-trees, lemon-trees, and American aloes in the open air; presents a picturesque appearance; and has a post-office‡ under Kingsbridge, two inns, a market house with public room, a custom-house, a coast-guard station, a church, a Wesleyan chapel, and national schools. ...

The castle stood on a rock insulated at high water, about ¼ of a mile below the town; was built for the defence of the harbour, and called the Bulwark; was strengthened and garrisoned for the king, in the civil wars of Charles I.; sustainedtwo sieges, the latter one of 4 months' duration; surrendered eventually on honourable terms; and is now represented by a battered ruin. The church was built in 1843, at a cost of £2, 605; and is in the pointed style of the 13th century. A fair is held on Whit-Monday; and ship-building, the brewing of white ale, and the catching of lobsters, crabs, and fish are carried on. The haven is a sea-inlet, penetrating northward to Kingsbridge; sendsoff several creeks; admits vessels of 200 tons up to Dodbrooke; affords safe anchorage for about 200 ships; and is often used for refuge in times of storm. Remains of a sub-merged forest are at North Sands. The chapelry was constituted in 1844. Pop., 1, 658. Houses, 350. The manor belongs to the Earl of Devon. There are several goodmarine villas. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £200.* Patron, the Earl of Devon.

Salcombe through time

Salcombe is now part of South Hams district. Click here for graphs and data of how South Hams has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Salcombe itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Salcombe, in South Hams and Devon | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 25th January 2022

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