Chivelstone is located within South Hams local authority area. Historically it formed part of Coleridge Hundred. It falls within Woodleigh Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 562 in 1801 385 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 116 adult males signed the Protestation returns.
A parish history file is held in Kingsbridge Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.
Maps: The image below is of the Chivelstone area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.
On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 137/13 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 137SW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX783387. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX73NE, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Outdoor Leisure 20, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 202. Geological sheet 355 also covers the area.
Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:
CHIVELSTONE parish has magnificent cliff scenery along its whole coastline, including the fine headland of Prawle, the most southerly point in Devon. Prawle means " look-out hill " and must have been so used in Saxon times. A Lloyds signal station reports all passing ships. There was a medieval chapel at Prawle, dedicated to the 6th century Irish saint Brendan, now quite gone. (Reg. Lacy, ii, 442, 523, The chapel existed in the 1420s.)
Chivelstone, Prawle, South Allington, and Ford were all Domesday estates and are now substantial hamlets. Much of the parish consists of a plateau of pre-Cambrian rocks, dissected by deep and beautiful combes of which Lanacombe is the best. Field-walls of grey slate on the plateau are an unusual sight for Devon.
The church, founded as a chapelry of Stokenham (q.v.), is the only one in England dedicated to St. Silvester, a 4th century Pope. It is mainly a late 15th early 16th century building in local slate, with some granite. The chancel is 14th century work (much rebuilt), as also are the tower arch and font. The altar-table and rails, and font-cover, are I 7th century in date; but the richest features of the furnishings are the 15th century rood-screen and the pulpit. The richly carved pulpit, similar to that at Holne, was carved from a single block of oak.