1850 Gazetteer of Stoke-Gabriel England
STOKE-GABRIEL, 3½ miles S.E. of Totnes, is a neat village picturesquely scattered on the east bank of the estuary of the Dart, where a small creek projects about a mile eastward, and by being dammed up is made to turn the wheel of a tidal corn mill. Its parish contains 691 inhabitants, and 2595A. of land, fertile and well-wooded, and rising boldly from the Dart and the creek. It has several handsome mansions, and the small hamlets, &c., of Ash, Watton, and Portbridge. Henry Studdy, Esq., of Watton Court, a handsome modern Elizebethan mansion, is lord of the manor of Watton or Wadeton. Sandridge, a large and beautiful mansion, built by the late Lord Ashburton, is the property of Lord Cranstoun, but is now unoccupied. Sir R. L. Newman, Capt. Rhodes, Mrs. Douglas, and several residents, have estates here, mostly freehold. The Dart and its creek abound in salmon. The Church (St. Gabriel,) is a fine antique fabric, with a tower and five bells. It is mostly in the later decorated style, but has undergone many repairs, and the south entrance is in the Tudor style. It has several neat monuments, and in the church-yard is a remarkably large yew tree. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £16. 11s. 10½d., and in 1831 at £170, is in the alternate patronage of Sir S. H. Northcote, the Rev. F. Belfield, and the Executors of the late Rev. J. Templer; and in the incumbency of the Rev. Robt. Bowden, who as neither glebe nor parsonage. The rectorial glebe (46A. 1R. 34P.) and the great tithes belong to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, and are held on lease by the Rev. F. Belfield. The tithes were commuted in 1839, the vicarial for £198, and the rectorial for £297. Here is a National School and a Baptist Chapel. The poor parishioners have 6A. of land, purchased in 1679 with £62, left by J. Fell and other donors. They also have two annuities, viz., 20s. out of the great tithes, left by an unknown donor, and 6s. 8d. left by Richard Kelly, in 1633. Capt. John Davies, a celebrated navigator, who discovered Davies Straits, was born at Sandridge, in the reign of Elizabeth.