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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Parish Records




War Memorials



Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Ivy Bridge, Devonshire' c.1814–15
Joseph Mallord William Turner loved Devon and often visited it to paint local landmarks. He first came to paint the Ivy Bridge in 1811 when he was in his early 30s but probably should have brought a timetable with him. He had particularly wanted to include the mail coach but on that, his first visit, he missed its arrival. When he came back in 1813 he was happy to be able to include it arriving across the bridge in its smart yellow livery.(to the left of the central tree) Turner loved the old coaches but sadly, their days were nearly done - by 1850 the railway had arrived in Ivybridge and coaches were seen no more.


"Ivybridge is a large and respectable village with many neat houses picturesquesly situated on the banks of the River Erme, where there is an ancient ivy-mantled bridge. on the Plymouth to Exeter road, 11 miles E by N of the former and 34 miles S.S.W. of the latter. The South Devon Railway crosses the valley by a bridge and viaduct a little to the north, and has a station here. More than half the village is in Ermington Parish, and the rest is in the three parishes of Cornwood, Harford and Ugborough.  It has a post offices, several neat villas and many good lodging houses; three large and commodious inns, two paper mills, a large corn mill, several good shops, an extensive joint-stock tannery and leather manufactory, a district church and two chapels."


Described as a

The "wild cataract" described below

© |Richard J. Brine

This is what lies beneath your feet as you look down from the "new" bridge which is also the site of the Town's War Memorial.


About 17 years ago, when the new road was made, a new bridge was erected a little below the old one. The bed of the river shows, by its jagged rocks, the impetuous nature of the stream, which, having just escaped from the highest moorlands, rushes down, after heavy rain, like a wild cataract, through the deep and narrow valley, the woody banks of of which rise in some places, above the old bridge so abruptly, the the foliage of the trees on either side meet, and form a sylvan arch over the river, which runs southwards to Bigbury Bay, about seven miles below."


St Johns church, Ivybridge

St John's Church, Ivybridge( the new church)

From our Postcard collection


The parish of Saint John was formed in 1836. The previous church had fallen into disuse. Ivybridge  became a civil parish in 1894 and a town in 1977.


Ivybridge has grown from being a tiny hamlet with a bridge crossing the river Erme to a village and finally, in 1977, to becoming a officially, a small town. Now, nearly 50 years later, it has grown to become a substantial dormitory town for Plymouth, which is soon reached by the motorway. When White's created the following list of townspeople in 1850, they will have listed virtually all of its key inhabitants: none of the addresses seem complete but it didn't matter - everyone on this list would have known who was who and where everyone else was.



Abbott, William, painter and decorator

Bidgood, Mr

Blight, Philip, farmer

Carkeet, William, Manager, the Tanning Company

Chapman, William, tinner and brazier

Cole, Maurice, Manager, Union Corn Mill

Cork, Rev.J.D; MA; incumbent

Cotton, William, Esq. Highland House

Curber, John, farmer

Devon and Cornwall Tanning and Leather Company

Fincher, John, schoolmaster.

Garrard, William, Inland Revenue Officer.

Hartley, Edmund, surgeon.

Hortop, Elizabeth, cider seller

James, Mrs, Erme House

Lethbridge, Robert, Private lunatic asylum, West Park House

Mackay, William, Schoolmaster

Mathias, Captain Thomas, RN

Menzies, James, Gentleman

Phillips, Roger, Landscape gardener

Rivers, Henry Bowen and Henry Esqrs.

Seldon, Mr John

Sherwell, John Adams, surgeon

Sherwell, Mrs

Toogood , Matthew

Smith Rev. P. Parker, Curate.

Spreat, Samuel, saddler.


The Bridge Inn, Solomon Northmore

Ivybridge Hotel, Richard Hillson

King's Arms Inn, John Seldon, jun.

Rivers Londond Inn, William Rivers

Grocer's Arms, William Atwill, Carrier


Allen, John

Windsor, John

Post Office: at John Bird's

Railway: 6 times a day to Exeter and Plymouth

Carrier to Plymouth: William Savery, daily.




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