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MARKET TOWNS OF DEVON (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Cullompton in 1836

Collumpton, Columpton, or Columbton, otherwise Cullompton or Cullumpton, is in Hayridge hundred, on the right or west bank of the Culm, a tributary of the Ex, and on the road from Taunton to Exeter, twelve miles north-east of Exeter. Collumpton is a town of tolerable size, having its main street along the Exeter and Taunton road, nearly a mile in length ; other shorter streets branch off from this. The streets are ill-paved ; but the houses are tolerably well built, some thatched and some covered with slate.

The whole number of inhabited houses in the parish, which comprehends 5,790 acres, was, in 1831, 787 : the number of inhabitants was 3,813. About one-third of the adult males were engaged in agriculture, and about one-fourth in manufactures. There are several bridges over the Culm or the brooks which flow into it. The church, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is very ancient and handsome ; it is in the perpendicular English style, and has an elegantly carved and gilt roof. A Gothic chapel was added by John Lane, a clothier of the town, who died in the reign of Henry VIII, and is buried in the chapel : it is a specimen of the gorgeous richness of that time. The tower of the church is 100 feet high.

There are the remains of a chapel at Langford. There are meeting-houses for Independents, Baptists, Quakers, Wesleyan and Bryanite Methodists, and Presbyterians who have embraced Unitarianism.

The principal manufacture is of woollen goods, as serges, kerseymeres, and a few broadcloths. The market is on Saturday for butchers’ meat and other provisions, and occasionally for corn : there are two fairs in the year for cattle, cloth, &c. Petty sessions are held here : the town and the adjoining parish of Kentisbere are governed by a high constable chosen yearly, and alternately by Collumpton and Kentisbere.

The living is a vicarage of the yearly value of £351 with a glebe-house, in the gift of R. B. de Beauvoir, Esq.: the church was formerly collegiate. In 1833 there were, at Columpton, a national school, supported by subscriptions, with 221 scholars (116 boys and 105 girls), and seven other day schools, with 99 boys and 96 girls; and five Sunday-schools, with 545 scholars : to one of the Sunday-schools a lending library is attached.