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MARKET TOWNS OF DEVON (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Colyton in 1836

Colyton or Culliton is in the hundred of Colyton, and on the little river Coly, a feeder of the Axe, about twenty-two miles east of Exeter. The town is pleasantly situated, but small ; the houses, many of which are ancient, are principally built of flint and covered with thatch. In 1831, there were in the parish, which comprises 5,430 acres, 436 inhabited houses and 2,182 inhabitants : about two-fifths of the adult males were engaged in agriculture. The church is a fine cruciform structure, in the perpendicular English style : it has been enlarged by subscription in the course of the present century. There is a fine stone screen across the south transept, and an altar tomb of a young lady of the Courtenay family, granddaughter of Edward IV. An adjoining chapel is the burial-place of the family of De la Pole. The upper part of the tower of the church is octagonal. The vicarage house is an ancient structure. There were formerly chapels at Colcombe, Colyford, Whitford, Gatcombe, and Leigh, in this parish. There are some valuable lands at Colyton, left for charitable purposes, from which a school for 20 or 25 boys is supported. There are meeting-houses for Independents and Unitarian Presbvterians. The markets are on Thursday and Saturday, and there are two fairs in the year for cattle.

The living of Colyton is a vicarage with the chapelries of Monkton and Shute annexed, worth £403 per annum with a glebe-house, in the gift of the dean and chapter of Exeter, in whose peculiar jurisdiction it is. According to the return for 1833, there were in Colyton parish eight day schools (including the endowed school), with 198 children; and two Sunday-schools (one partly endowed), with 235 scholars.

In the parish of Colyton is Colyford, a considerable village, which is incorporated and governed by a mayor, who receives the profit arising from the tolls of a large cattle fair held annually. Near the town also are Colcombe castle, once the seat of the Courtenays, earls of Devonshire, and of the De la Poles ; and Yardbury, the seat of a branch of the Drakes : both are now converted into farm-houses.