Transcribed from - Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer. 1870
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Transcribed by Val HENDERSON
Checked by Jack STEER
Pages 880 - 881
THURLSTONE is a village and parish in Kingsbridge union, containing, by the census of 1861, 437 inhabitants, and 1898 acres; in the deanery of Woodleigh, archdeaconry of Totnes, diocese of Exeter, hundred of Stanborough, East Devonshire; 4 miles west from Kingsbridge, and 13 south fron Kingsbridge Road Station, on the coast of the English Channel, near the junction of the river Avon with Bigbury Bay. This parish is named Torlestan in Domesday Survey, and is there described as having "two "meadows and two pasture lands," and seems to have been about the time of Edward the Confessor the property of Ordgar or Algar, the Saxon Earl of Devon. About the 13th or 14th century it appears to have again passed into the possession of the Earl of Devon, but now of Norman extraction (Courtenay) from whose family it has but recently passed away. Thurlestone ( or Torlestan, Saxon ) takes its name from a curiously arched rock of conglomerate of so hard a character, that while all the other rocks around being of clay-slate ( this is a small isolated spot of the Devonian or old red formation ) have been washed away by the violence of the waves, this arch, standing erect, has given rise to the well-known saying of the neighbourhood--
" Brave every shock
Like Thurlestone Rock."
An eminent geological authority considers that the sea, in the course of many centuries, has effected strange changes here, and that there are manifest proofs that there was a forest once where Thurlestone Sands are now. There is perhaps no healthier locality in the kingdom than this, owing to its enjoyment of the full, pure, bracing, though comparatively warm breeze that from the Atlantic accompanies the course of the gulf stream, a portion of which appears, from the character of the shells and debris frequently cast into the little bays, to flow straight in here more particularly than elsewhere, before making its bend more directly eastward. At the mouth of the beautiful river Avon, which bounds this parish westward, stands Burrough Island, where the waves in a storm appear so grandly wild that it is reported to have been the spot chosen by the celebrated marine artist, Turner, as the best he could select for the study of such a scene. Doubtless when modern facilities of approaching it will render this neighbourhood, with its picturesque valley of Buckland, fine sands and cliffs, beautiful coast scenery, with its bathing and other advantages more known, it will be far more appreciated than it is at present. The rectory, in the incumbency of the Rev. Peregrine Arthur Ilbert, M.A., had the tithes commuted at £328 10s. per annum, and has residence with 35 ½ acres of glebe land; it is in the patronage of Lord Churston. The church is an ancient edifice (dedication unknown), consisting of nave, chancel, and south aisle, with tower and five bells. The church and tower have lately been restored at a considerable expence the chancel with oak, marble, and encaustic tiles, a new carved stone and marble reredos, and eastern window, and two eagle lecterns, at the expense of the present incumbent. There is a good school for children of both sexes, which was erected about thirty years ago by the present incumbent, and lately placed under Government inspection. Stephen Brunskill, Esq., is lord of the manor, and chief owner of the soil.
BANTHAM and BUCKLAND, a half-mile north, and AVENMOUTH (or OVEMOUTH), 1 ½ mile north, are hamlets of this parish.