ALL ABOUT THE PARISH

HISTORY, ARCHIVE AND LANDMARKS

 

About

About Stoke Climsland

Stoke Climsland is a village and large parish in the centre of Cornwall. Situated in the Tamar Valley, it forms part of the Tamar Valley AONB. Stoke Climsland (Kernewek name Eglosstock) translates as ‘Stoke’ meaning 'outlying farm'; and Climsland being the name of the manor. This suffix was added to the name distinguish it from other Stoke place names in Devon.

It is bounded on the north by the river Inny, which separates it from Lezant, and by the River Tamar which separates it from Milton Abbot, South Sydenham and Lamerton in Devon, (these days just Sydenham Damerell adjoins, Lamerton doesn't quite come down to the river), and Calstock, on the south by Calstock and Callington, and on the west by Southill and Linkinhorne.

As well as Stoke village and Luckett, the parish contains many hamlets, including Beals Mill, part of Bray Shop, Downgate, Higherland, Monks Cross, Tutwell, Lidwell, Pempwell, Goosewell and Venterdon. If you scroll down to the bottom of any page on this site you can see demographic details for Stoke Climsland parish.

The Post Office, opened in 1839, is the oldest sub-Post Office in the UK. It forms the hub of the village and is a vibrant community asset.

History

The manor of Climsland was one of the seventeen Antiqua maneria of the Duchy of Cornwall. The manor was recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Climson; there were 5 hides of land and land for 24 ploughs. One hide was held by the lord (with 3 ploughs and 9 serfs) and 30 villeins and 30 smallholders had 17 ploughs and 4 hides of land. There were also 3 acres of meadow, 16 square leagues of pasture and 3 square leagues of woodland. The income from the manor was £6 sterling. In the 12th century, Climsland became part of a 250 hectares (620 acres) Royal Deer Park called Kerrybullock, until it was disparked by Henry VIII in the 16th century.

The parish has for many centuries been predominantly Duchy land and the Duchy Home Farm is situated near Stoke village. This has now become the Duchy College. To the south of the parish is Kit Hill, a significant landscape feature and for many years the source of stone and minerals.

At one time there were seven mines employing over a thousand men, but these went into decline at the end of the 19th century, although the Luckett mines were reopened for a period of just over five years in 1947. Notable landowners include The Duke of Bedford and the Duchy of Cornwall.

There is a local history group with an active programme of meetings. For details please see the Old School News

The village archive

The Stoke Climsland village archive contains a wealth of information about the parish. Based at the Old School Community Centre, the Archive contains thousands of document, photos, maps and plans from the tenth century to present day. It is possible to browse through this archive in person, and by joining the Local History Group. Please contact Caroline Vulliamy at the Old School, Stoke Climsland.

Kresen Kernow and Devon Heritage Centre also contain a lot of information about the hostory of Stoke Climsland, including genealogical records

After months of research on the life of Canon Martin Andrews, Rector of Stokeclimsland from 1922 - 1968. The members of the History Club acquired a manuscript of his second autobiography, which he had been writing in his 100th year, but was never published. It was felt that after reading these, anyone that knew the Canon would also enjoy his story. With support the members were able to get the manuscript titled "Honey and Other Sweet Things" published, and sold by his friend Sarah Foot, who typed the original manuscript for the Canon, at a Celebration of his life at Stoke Climsland, which included films of the Rectory farm and an interview with Canon in 1974 at Downderry, where he had retired.

Landmarks

Stoke Climsland Parish Church is in the centre of the village. The church was originally founded by King John in c.1215 and was dedicated in 1321, although the identity of the relevant saint has since been lost, so it is sometimes referred to as ‘All Saints’.

The Church has a nave of six bays, north and south aisles, a south porch and an embattled western tower of granite, and inside medieval wagon roofs which boast a beautiful selection of medieval roof bosses, including at least one Green Man, a witches mark and the head of Eleanor of Aquitaine. The church was restored in 1860  and most of the windows date from this time.

The Church Clock, which still keeps good time, was designed and installed by Josiah Wadge of Callington in 1767. The bells were orignally cast and installed by the John Pennington & Co, Bellcasters of Lezant and Stoke Climsland in 1771 and were recast in 1953 by Taylor of Loughborough, at which time an eighth bell was added to the peel.

At Horse Bridge on the road to Tavistock is a fine bridge of seven arches (built in 1437). The Royal Inn sits just over the border on the Devon side and is famous for accommodating Charles II during the Civil War.

At Whiteford Sir John Call built a Georgian mansion in 1775 but it no longer exists: the stables and a garden temple remain and a few fragments have been reused in a house nearby. 

The War Memorial in the village lists the names of those killed in both World Wars. Two projects have been initiated researching the stories of those listed.

Kit Hill is nearby and falls partially within Stoke Climsland parish boundary. At 334 metres high, it dominates the area between Callington and the River Tamar and is now a Country Park, having been gifted to the people of Cornwall by Charles, Duke of Cornwall in 1985. The word 'Kit' comes from Old English for kite, a reference to birds of prey (and not specifically the red kite). Buzzards and sparrowhawks can still be seen on the hill. It is one of five Marilyn hills in Cornwall, the four others are Watch Croft, Brown Willy, Carnmenellis and Hensbarrow Beacon.

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