St Marychurch

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Coordinates: 50°28′55″N 3°31′26″W / 50.482°N 3.524°W / 50.482; -3.524

Priory Road, St Marychurch, with the tower of St Mary's Church in the distance
Furrough Cross United Reformed Church

St Marychurch in Torbay, Devon, England, is one of the oldest settlements in South Devon. Its earliest documentary record dates from around 1050 AD. Its name derives from the church of St Mary, which was founded in Anglo-Saxon times. The ward population taken at the 2011 census was 11,262.[1]

History and topography[edit]

It is a former English urban district, abolished in 1900 when it was incorporated into the neighbouring borough of Torquay. Notable former residents include 19th century zoologist and creationist Philip Henry Gosse, who lived at Sandhurst on Torquay Road (now called St Marychurch Road). The former town stretches from Plainmoor to Maidencombe and is known for its scenery, shopping precinct and neighbouring churches. These churches include:

  • St Marychurch Parish Church with its high tower and Saxon font dating from around 1110 AD. On Sunday May 30, 1943, the main part of this church was destroyed by a German bomb, killing 21 children and 3 teachers.
  • Our Lady Help of Christians & St Denis (Roman Catholic) with its high steeple.
  • Furrough Cross United Reformed Church, originally a Free Church built by parishioners who objected to "Popish doctrines" (i.e. High Church ritual) at the parish church. The church was built 1852 under first minister Rev. Hugh Kelly, whose diocesan was the Bishop of Michigan, USA. It later severed all contact with the Anglican Church and later still became a Congregational church.

Tourist attractions include Babbacombe Cliff Railway,[2] Babbacombe Downs with its fine views across Lyme Bay, Bygones Victorian Museum[3] and the Model Village[4] at Babbacombe.

The main shopping street (Fore Street) consists of a small market and has two public houses, a photo lab and photo shop, a post office, a fishmonger, butcher, baker, greengrocer, bookshop, pet shop, banks, two supermarkets and a health food shop, as well as a number of cafés, estate agents and hairdressers.

Chairmen of St Marychurch Urban District Council
January - April, 1895 G. T. Keppel
1895 - 1899 F. R. Evans
1899 - 1900 W. H. Grant

External links[edit]

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