WEMBURY, a scattered village near the sea cliffs between Plymouth Sound and the mouth of the Yealm, 6 miles S.E. by S. of Plymouth, has in its parish 616 souls and 3670 acres of land, including the hamlets of Knighton and Down Thomas. The manor of Wembury belonged to Plympton Priory till the dissolution, and afterwards passed to various families. In the 16th century it belonged to Sir John Hele, sergeant at law, who built here a magnificent mansion, at the cost of £20,000, and enclosed a park, which had a salt water lake, supplied by the tides. After his death this manor was sold for the payment of his debts. It was purchased in 1803, by Thos. Lockyer, Esq., who pulled down the mansion, and built a smaller house for his residence. E. R. P. Bastard, Esq., is now lord of the manor and the royalty of the river Plym (sic), from Kitley to Plymouth Sound. C. B. Calmady, Esq., is lord of the manor of Langdon, and resides at Langdon Hall, a neat mansion, which has been the seat of his family for several generations. T. Lockyer and several smaller owners have estates here, and Sir Edward Thornton, G.C.B., has a handsome seat in the parish. The Church (St. Werburg,) stands near the sea cliff, and is a small antique structure, with a tower and three bells. It contains several handsome monuments in memory of the Heles, and an iron helmet supposed to have been worn by Sir Warwick Hele. The perpetual curacy, valued in 1831 at only £83, is in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Windsor, and incumbency of the Rev Rd. Lane, jun., of Brixton. The Wesleyans have a small chapel here, built in 1820. The church and poor have £40 three per cent. consols, given in lieu of two ancient rent charges. The Almshouses for ten poor people were founded by Sir Warwick Hele, who endowed them in 1625 with £30, arising from six tithe rent charges. Sir John Hele left two yearly rent charges to this parish, viz: £6. 13s. 4d. to the perpetual curate, and £2. 12s. for the poor. They are paid out of land at Clifton in Dorsetshire, belonging to the Marquis of Anglesea. The incumbent has also £20 a year as the interest of £500, left by Josias Calmady in 1682, and now secured on an estate called Higher Edgecombe and Ransdown, at Milton Abbott. The same donor also left a yearly rent charge of £2. 12s. for the poor, out of Colebrook estate.
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