STOKENHAM, or Stockingham, a small pleasant village, 5½miles E. by S. of Kingsbridge, has in its parish 1619 inhabitants, and 5920 acres of land, including six villages, extending 4 miles along the picturesque shore of Start Bay, of which the following are the names and population :- Chillington, 325 ; Beeson, 106 ; Beesands, 104 ; Halsands, 128 ; Kellaton, or Kellington, 105 ; and Torcross, 192. several of them are fishing villages, noted for fine crabs, which are in high repute in London. The parish extends southward to Start Point, where there is a lighthouse. It includes also the hamlets of Bickerton, Dunstone, Cornborough, and many scattered houses. TORCROSS, near Ley lake and Slapton Sands Hotel (see Slapton), is a pretty little bathing place, with several lodging-houses for visitors. An annual regatta is held here. The parish is generally fertile, and it extends westward in a picturesque vale to Frogmore, where there is a creek from Kingsbridge estuary. Sir R. L. Newman, Bart., of Mamhead, is lord of the manor of Stokenham, and has a neat marine residence, called Stokely House, built about 35 years ago. The manor has been held by the Fitzjohns, Fitzherbert, Courtenays, Hastings, and Carys, and was sold by the latter to the Newmans. Miss Burnell is lady of the manor of Kellaton, and A. B. E. Holdsworth, Esq., owns Stokenham Priory estate, and has a picturesquely situated mansion near the bay called Widdecombe, rebuilt about 1725. Coleridge, a handsome new mansion, in the Elizabethan style, is the seat of John Allen, Esq., who owns the estate which gives name to this hundred. The Nicholls, Edmunds, Pitts, Randall, Cole, and other families have estates in the parish, mostly freehold. The Church (St. Barnabas,) is a large antique structure, with a low tower and six bells. It is mostly in the perpendicular style, but the stone mullions of the windows have been replaced by wood. When repairing the chancel in 1846, a beautiful cinquefoiled and crocketted double piscina was discovered. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £48. 7s. 8 ½d., and in 1831 at £625, with the curacies of Chivelstone and Sherford annexed to it, is in the patronage of the Crown, and the incumbency of the Rev. Hy. Taylor, M.A., of South Pool Rectory. The Parsonage is small, but neat, and the glebe is only 2A. 21P. The tithes were commuted in 1843, the vicarial for £350. 5s., and the rectorial for £309. 14s. 11d. per ann. Of the latter, £171 belongs to A. B. E. Holdsworth, Esq., and the rest belongs to 41 other impropriators, in sums varying from £16 to 2d. The rectory was appropriated by the Earl of Salisbury to Bisham Priory, in Bucks. The hundred court was anciently held here, and there are some remains of an old building called the Prison, near the church and the site of an ancient manor house. There was anciently a market and a fair at Stokenham, but they were removed to Dodbrooke after a long dispute between the lords of the two manors. The old Independent Chapel here was built by Presbyterians about 1715, and at Torcross is a small chapel, erected by Admiral Pearson, about 20 years ago, and now occupied by the Home Missionary Society. As noticed with Exeter, this parish has from Jeffery’s Charity £4 a year for the dissenting minister, and has hats, shoes, and stockings for three poor men. The Parish School is conducted on the British system, and occupies, rent-free, a building belonging to R. Peek, Esq.
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