KINGSWEAR is a remarkably small parish, on a point of land projecting into the river Dart, opposite Dartmouth, and contracting the entrance to the harbour. It contains only 270 inhabitants, and 107A. 2R. 10P. of land. J. F. Luttrell, Esq., is chief owner and lord of the manor, which was anciently a royal demense, and had a small castle or fort, the walls of which are still standing, and near them are the ruins of another fort, where tradition says, the chain was fixed to prevent hostile ships from entering the harbour. On the brow of the hill, overlooking the village, are some embankments, which were thrown up during the siege of Dartmouth, in 1646. The Beacon, an elegant mansion, built in 1848, on a delightful eminence, overlooking the Dart, is the seat of A. H. Holdsworth, Esq. The Church (St. Thomas a Beckett,) was rebuilt at the cost of £1600, in 1847, except the tower, which contains a clock and three bells. It is in the decorated style, and is neatly fitted up with open benches, &c. The perpetual curacy, valued in 1831, at £99, is in the patronage of the Vicar of Brixham, and incumbency of the Rev. John Smart. The Church Lands, &c., have been vested in trust from an early period, and comprise four houses, nine gardens, and about half an acre of land, let for only £12 a year, in the consideration of fines paid on the renewal of leases. There are also belonging to the trust five chief rents, producing 9s. 10d. per annum. The Poor’s Land comprises about 2½ A., and with a stable upon it, is let for about £8. 10s. per annum, which is carried to the poor rates. The poor parishioners have 40s. a year from John Peter’s and Richard Kelly’s Gifts, as noticed with Cornworthy and Brixham.
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