Newton Abbot - Encyclopedia

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NEWTON ABBOT, a market town and seaport in the Ashburton parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, 20 m. S. by W. of Exeter by the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 12,517. Beautifully situated at the head of the Teign estuary, the town grew rapidly in the 19th century. The two parish churches, St Mary's in Wolborough, and All Saints' in Highweek, are Perpendicular in style. St Mary's contains a Norman font, an ancient brass lectern, buried during the Civil Wars, and some interesting heraldic ornaments which date from the 15th century. Of the 14th century chapel of St Leonard, only a tower survives. A large nunnery, called St Augustine's Priory, was erected near the town in 1861; while eastward is the Jacobean Forde House, belonging to the earl of Devon, and visited by Charles I. and William of Orange, who first read his declaration to the people of England at Newton Abbot market-cross. The establishment of large engine works by the Great Western railway has aided the development of local industries, and there is a considerable shipping trade, fine china clay and pipeclay being worked near the towns and exported to the Potteries. Large fairs are held for the sale of agricultural produce and livestock. The portion of Newton Abbot in the parish of Highweek was formerly a separate town, known as Newton Bushel.

Probably both Newton Abbot and Newton Bushel were originally included under the name of Newton. Newton Abbot was given to the abbot of Tor by William Lord Brewer, founder of the monastery (1196). Newton Bushel was so called from Robert Bussell or Bushel, foster-child and kinsman of Theobald de Englishville, who was made lord of the manor by Henry III. in 1246.

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