HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV108706
Name:Teignmouth

Summary

The modern town of Teignmouth is the product of the 19th century amalgamation of the two separate medieval boroughs of East and West Teignmouth which were divided by the Tame River; the parishes were joined together in 1909. However, the two boroughs had long been amalgamated physically and were often referred to as the single settlement, Teignmouth. East Teignmouth can claim to be the oldest part of town; there appears to have been a settlement here since at least the 11th century. Medieval development was based on salt working. The workings became disused by the end of the 17th century but other industries had arisen to take their place; the Newfoundland fishing industry and the export of clay from the Bovey Basin. The town was all but destroyed by a French raid in 1690. The 19th century was a period of largescale residential growth as the town became a fashionable resort. It suffered significant damage during the Second World War. The construction of the A379 in the 1970s involved the demolition of a number of houses along its route through the town. Despite modern alterations the historic character of the town can still be seen and today it is one of Devon's best known seaside towns.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 941 729
Map Sheet:SX97SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTeignmouth
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishEAST TEIGNMOUTH
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST TEIGNMOUTH

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SETTLEMENT (First mentioned, XI - 1044 AD to 1044 AD)

Full description

Watts, S., 11/12/2014, Teignmouth (Personal Comment). SDV357552.

Please note that the location of the GIS point is arbitrary, situated on the boundary between the parishes of East and West Teignmouth within the area of 19th century development.


Hale, W., 1759, Estate Survey (Cartographic). SDV358998.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

The modern town of Teignmouth is the product of the 19th century amalgamation of the two separate medieval boroughs of East and West Teignmouth which were divided by the Tame River; the parishes were joined together in 1909. However, the two boroughs had long been amalgamated physically and were often referred to as the single settlement, Teignmouth.
The placename is not recorded in Domesday book but a Saxon charter of 1044 refers to a church in this location as one of the features on the boundary of the estate of Dawlish. This church appears to have stood close to the site of St. Michaels and suggests there was a settlement here long before the creation of the two medieval boroughs. Its early commercial growth was based on the salt industry; 24 salt workers are recorded in the manor of Taintona in Domesday Book, in which area the borough of West Teignmouth was later founded and salt working was also a feature of the manor of Holcomma, in which East Teignmouth lay. The settlements' economic growth declined in the 16th century; an official commission reported in 1565 that the port was much decayed with the only activity being 'ffyshe and salte'. It's possible that this decline was the result of the silting up of the river Teign. By the end of the 17th century the salt workings were disused but two other industries had arisen to take their place. From the end of the 16th century Teignmouth had become the starting point for ships working the Newfoundland fisheries and, of more long-term significance, were the opening up of the clay beds of the Bovey Basin. In 1820 a new quay was built to handle the shipments of Dartmoor granite to London for the new London Bridge. The 19th century also saw largescale residential growth in the town which became a fashionable resort and its prosperity can still be seen in the rows of terraces and villas and also the large amount of 19th century ecclesiastical building. The port is still active and the modern town provides a striking example of the integration of port and resort activities.


Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council, 1994, Teignmouth Conservation Area Partnership Bid (Report - non-specific). SDV351928.

Brief historical development of Teignmouth given. Three principle areas of architectural interest can be identified. Firstly, West Teignmouth and the river frontage which remains very much a working area, secondly the resort town; the most conspicuous group of resort buildings being Den Crescent and thirdly, old East Teignmouth with its modestly scaled 18th and 19th century terraces finished in plain stucco with sash windows.


Wilson, V., 1994, Teignmouth Historic Walkabout (Pamphlet). SDV354751.


Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council, 1994, Teignmouth Townscape Assessment, 4-5, 15-17, 28 (Report - Assessment). SDV351926.

Teignmouth is one of Devon's oldest and best known seaside towns although its role as a seaport, fishing and market town preceded that of a resort and these functions continue to be important today. It is the amalgamation of the two parishes of West and East Teignmouth with resort development infilling between the two settlements. East Teignmouth, distinctly located between the cliffs and the sand spur of the estuary, can claim to be the oldest part of Teignmouth. A chapel dedicated to St. Michael was established in the 11th century and a market and fair were granted in 1253. The twin settlements of East and West Teignmouth continued to develop throughout the medieval period although both suffered through war and plague. Teignmouth was attacked by pirates in 1340 and again by the French in 1690. The destruction of the latter raid was almost complete, although St. Michael's church survived, and the main architectural references today are due to the rapid regeneration of the town in the 18th and 19th centuries. The towns function as a port expanded rapidly in the 18th century with trade from Newfoundland and in the 19th century with trade in Dartmoor granite, pipe clay, manganese and timber. The resort town developed in the area behind the Den in the 19th century and the arrival of the railway gave a further spurt of growth to the town which spread rapidly to the north and west. Significant damage was done by bombing during World War II and since that time a great deal of redevelopment has taken place, unfortunately much of it insensitive including large, out-of-scale buildings and the construction of the relief road which cut through the old settlement of West Teignmouth. Despite these modern alterations and erosion of the historic character in some areas, the two has great charm which should be protected. Den Crescent remains an imposing centrepiece to the resort town, while Northumberland Place and Bruswick Street form the core of the historic West Town.


Taylor, T., 1996, Teignmouth, Devon (Article in Monograph). SDV362754.

The French raid in 1690 all but destroyed the town. It was also bombed during the Second World War. More recently, road schemes have carved up the older town structure. Illustrations show what the town may have looked like in the medieval period and in 1759.


Exeter Archaeology, 2004, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Fire Station on Land off the A379 Teignmouth, Devon (Report - Assessment). SDV361709.

At the time of the Domesday Survey, East and West Teignmouth were parts of the two estates of Dawlish and Bishopsteignton respectively, both owned by the bishop of Exeter. St Michael’s Church and by implication a settlement at East Teignmouth is mentioned in a Saxon charter of 1044, but there is no documentary evidence for a Saxon settlement at West Teignmouth.
The right to a Saturday market and yearly fair in East Teignmouth was granted in 1253 and it is referred to as a borough by circa 1311. The position regarding West Teignmouth is less clear. A charter of 1256 was renewed by Henry III in 1270, granting the Bishop a Thursday market and three day fair over the feast of St James in Teynton. This could refer to Bishopsteignton or to West Teignmouth where the parish church is dedicated to St James. West Teignmouth is regarded as a borough in the taxation of Pope Nicholas IV in 1292.
The two settlements were divided by the Brimley or Tame Brook which followed the approximate line of Station Road. They were two separate parishes until 1909.
West Teignmouth was granted to Andrew Dudley in 1549, from whom it passed to the Cecils. It was bought by Richard Martyn in 1614 before passing by marriage to the Clifford family. East Teignmouth remained with the Dean and Chapter of Exeter until 1803 and subsequently to the Courtenay family.
Teignmouth appears to have been a prosperous port in the late 13th and early 14th centuries but had declined by the Tudor period, probably due to a silting up of the harbour. It is described by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1601 as a ‘haven gone to decay’.
The town was attached by the French in 1690 and 116 houses were apparently destroyed. The Newfoundland cod fishery trade, however, led to an upturn in the town’s fortunes in the late 17th and 18th centuries, helped further by the exportation of local ball clay and Haytor granite in the 18th and 19th centuries. Imports included limestone, culm and coal. Shipbuilding flourished and increased during the Napoleonic Wars. The late 18th and early 19th centuries also saw the development of Teignmouth as a seaside resort, reflected in its late Georgian and Victorian architecture. In 1846 the South Devon Railway was opened to Teignmouth. This was tunnelled under the rear of properties on the north side of Higher Brook Street. In the early 1880s though the tunnels on either side of the station were replaced by cuttings necessitating the demolition of a number of houses.
Expansion of town continued in the 20th century with shipbuilding being revived in the 1930s. The town suffered 21 air raids during the Second World War during which 79 people were killed and 228 houses destroyed, including 14 on Higher Brook Street. It was suggested that the opportunity be taken to widen Higher Brook Street, dispensing with the one-way system. Further large scale demolition, including most of the rest of Higher Brook Street, took place in the 1970s with the building of the A379. The Orchard Gardens Conservation Area was designated in 1972.
See report for further details.


Various, Various, Three Plans of Teignmouth in 1759, 1771 and 1805 (Cartographic). SDV358997.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital.
SDV351926Report - Assessment: Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. 1994. Teignmouth Townscape Assessment. Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. A4 Unbound + Digital. 4-5, 15-17, 28.
SDV351928Report - non-specific: Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. 1994. Teignmouth Conservation Area Partnership Bid. Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV354751Pamphlet: Wilson, V.. 1994. Teignmouth Historic Walkabout. Leaflet.
SDV357552Personal Comment: Watts, S.. 11/12/2014. Teignmouth.
SDV358997Cartographic: Various. Various. Three Plans of Teignmouth in 1759, 1771 and 1805. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV358998Cartographic: Hale, W.. 1759. Estate Survey. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV361709Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2004. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Fire Station on Land off the A379 Teignmouth, Devon. Exeter Archaeology. 04.23. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV362754Article in Monograph: Taylor, T.. 1996. Teignmouth, Devon. Time Team 96. The Site Reports. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV21827Parent of: Borough of East Teignmouth (Monument)
MDV21826Parent of: Borough of West Teignmouth (Monument)
MDV107201Parent of: East Teignmouth (Monument)
MDV9883Parent of: Former Medieval Salterns, Teignmouth (Monument)
MDV16268Parent of: West Teignmouth (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jan 17 2019 12:28PM