Kingswear is located within South Hams local authority area. Historically it formed part of Haytor Hundred. It falls within Ipplepen 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 300 in 1801 841 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 157 adult males signed the Protestation returns.
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 Kingswear 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 128/13 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 128SW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX885510. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX85SE, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Outdoor Leisure 20, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 202. Geological sheet 350 also covers the area.
Illustrations: The image below is of Kingswear as included in the Library's illustrations collection. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.
Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:
KINGSWEAR is a small town on the E. side of Dartmouth Harbour, about 1 m. from the mouth of the Dart. At the mouth is Kingswear Castle, erected in 1491-1502 as part of the defences of this important harbour (Frontispiece). It was so exposed to the elements that the iron guns had to be replaced by brass. Soon after 1643 the increasing range of guns on the Dartmouth side allowed it to be abandoned. It was held by Sir Henry Cary for the king during the Civil War, but he found it necessary to throw up additional defences on the brow of the hill, at what is now called Mount Ridley, which remains a good example of a Civil War redoubt. It was captured with the town by Sir Thomas Fairfax on 19 January 1646. Kingswear Castle remained in good repair and was converted into a summer dwelling for Mr. Seale Hayne in 1855. (Russell, Dartmouth, 54-5; Lysons, 548-9.)
Kingswear itself contains little of interest except a number of very attracttive early 19th century "villas" overlooking the harbour, of which Brookhill, just SE. of the town, is perhaps the most notable.
Kingswear church (St. Thomas) was a daughter-church of Brixham in which parish and manor Kingswear formerly lay. The church was rebuilt, except the tower, in 1845, and is of little interest. A regular ferry has crossed the Dart from Kingswear to Dartmouth from time immemorial.