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Wembury community page

Wembury is located within South Hams local authority area. Historically it formed part of Plympton Hundred. It falls within Plympton 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 390 in 1801 501 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 109 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 Wembury 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 130/6 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 130NW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX525490. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX54NW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Outdoor Leisure 20, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 201. Geological sheet 349 also covers the area.

Illustrations: The image below is of Wembury as included in the Library's Etched on Devon's memory website. 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:

WEMBURY lies between the estuary of the Yealm and Plymouth Sound, on a wild coast. The church (St. Werburgh) stands alone on the edge of the cliff and has long been a land- mark for mariners making for Plymouth harbour. It has a striking W. tower of 14th century date; the rest of the building is 15th to early 16th century with granite arcades. There is much excellent modern woodwork, and a magnificent Jacobean monument to Sir John Hele (1608), with recumbent figures of Sir John and his wife, and their ten children below. There are monuments to the Calmadys of Langdon Court, including a large tomb of Lady Narborough, daughter of Josias Calmady, who died aged 20 in 1678: "Mightily afflicted with a cough & Bigge with child." Wembury church is the little grey church by the sea, which Galsworthy describes in Swan Song, the scene of Soames Forsyte's pilgrimage to the home of his ancestors. (D.S., 94-5.)

Langdon was a Domesday manor. In 1555 Vincent Calmady, a lawyer, purchased it from the crown and rebuilt the medieval house about 1577. Josias Calmady remodelled it in 1707. The present house, which has four fronts enclosing a quadrangular court in the centre, is of these two dates. The Calmadys sold Langdon in 1875, after a stay of 320 years.

Wembury House was built in 1803 on the site of the great mansion of Sir John Rele which was then demolished. Re bought the estate in 1592 and built a new house which was esteemed the most magnificent mansion in the county at a cost (says Prince) of more than £20,000. Even the gatehouse was fit for the accommodation of "a large and genteel family". At Wembury are the Hele Almshouses (1862), the gift of Sir Warwick Hele. The little chapel in the centre of the block is charming.

Creator: Devon Library and Information Services
Title: Wembury community page
Imprint: Exeter : Devon Library and Information Services
Date: 2004
Format: Web page : HTML
Series: Devon community web pages ; GAZWEM3
Ref. no.: WEB GAZWEM3
Coverage: Devon . Wembury . History . Web pages

Last Updated: 08/03/2005

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