Sidmouth  Devon


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

SIDMOUTH, a town and a parish in Honiton district, Devon. The town stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Sid, in a vale enclosed by lofty hills, terminating in the precipitous cliffs of Salcombe and High Peak, about 500 feet high, at the centre of the great sea-encurvature extending from the Isle of Portland on the E to Start point on the W, and 6 miles SSE of Ottery-St. ...

Mary, and 8 S by E of Ottery-Road r. station; was so important as a seaport, in the time of Edward III., as then to send two ships to the siege of Calais; became so far blocked as to be accessible from the sea only by flat-bottomed boats and small fishing-craft; rose into consequence, in recent times, as a sea-bathing resort; gave the title of Viscount to the family of Addington; was the death-place, in 1820, of the Duke of Kent; witnessed, in 1827, the commencement of an abortive project for giving it a harbour by means of a tunneland a pier; enjoys a remarkably pure and mild but moist and relaxing climate; enjoys also picturesque and romantic environs, replete with objects interesting to loungers, artists, botanists, mineralogists, and geologists; has an esplanade protected by a wall 1,700 feet long, constructed in 1838 to stop encroachment by the sea; is a seat of petty sessions; publishes a monthly newspaper; presents a charming appearance, with many fine residences; and has a head post-office,‡ several hotels, numerous good lodging-houses, a bathing establishment with hot and cold baths, an assembly-room, a literary institute, two churches, four dissenting chapels, an endowed school, two other public schools, markets on Mondays and Saturdays, and fairs on Easter Monday and the third Monday of Sept. St. Nicholas' church was restored in 1861; and has a memorial window to the Duke of Kent, presented by the Queen in 1866; All Saints' church was built in 1837. Pop. of the town in 1861, 2,572. Houses, 537.—The parish comprises 1,540 acres of land and 60 of water. Real property, £14,960; of which £50 are in gasworks. Pop., 3,354. Houses, 692. The manor was given by William the Conqueror to St. Michael's abbey in Normandy; passed to Sion abbey; and belongs now to G. E. Balfour, Esq. The living of St. Nicholas is a vicarage, and that of All Saints is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Exeter. Value of St. N., £481;* of A. S., not reported. Patron of St-N., not reported; of A. S., Sir J. Kennaway and others.

Sidmouth through time

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

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 29th November 2021

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