HistoryofIvybridge
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The History of Ivybridge

Ivybridge is found at the southern-most point of Dartmoor in the beautiful South Hams. The town sits on the catchment area of the River Erme, known for its salmon and brown trout, whose source is eight miles up in Dartmoor National Park at an elevation of 434 metres. It is this dramatic drop from the moor to the town that makes this the second fastest river in Britain, after the Spey in Scotland.

 

The remains of stone-age hut circles can be found on Harford Moor, above Ivybridge, but the ivy-covered bridge, after which the town was later named, was first recorded in 1250; it is possible that it existed as a river crossing prior to the Doomsday Book of 1086. An early ‘King’s Highway’ from Exeter to Trematon Castle near Saltash, the 12th Century crossing may have been constructed by the monks of Plympton Priory (founded in 1121) to give them access to their lands at Wrangaton, Dean Prior and Buckfastleigh.

 

In 1280 a deed from John Peverel of Ermington Manor granted rights to the property along the river as far as the ‘Ponte Ederosa’ to his daughter Iseult and in 1332 there was further reference to one Alfred de Ponte Hedera as a taxpayer in Ermington and Harford. The Peverels had been landowners in the area since the reign of Henry 1 (1100-1135) and it is likely that they built the first substantial bridge around 1200.

 

At some period it was agreed that the river crossing should be the common boundary for the four parishes of Cornwood, Ugborough, Ermington and Harford (with Stowford). Convenient to all, it was only two or three miles from all the parish churches and it became a recognised focal point for the area.

 

The present packhorse bridge dates from 1400, becoming a county bridge in 1531 and the C-stones (County stones)’ which indicate the bridges importance as a river crossing, can be seen 300 feet to the south of the bridge on both sides. The Parish stones of Ugborough and Ermington can still be seen near the bridge. By now it was an important route between Exeter and Plymouth but not much was expected of this rough route, described in 1558 as ‘painful for man and horse’!

 

Records in 1588 state that Ivybridge consisted of corn mill (1523), an edge full mill, a manor house and two houses.

 

At this time the village of Stowford – a local name for a ford crossing – on the east bank of the crossing in Harford Parish, was more important than the surrounding manors and depended for its prosperity on the highway and the mills along the River Erme.

 

Stowford House was a royal demesne until 1566, holding the stannary courts for the Erme valley whilst the surrounding areas depended on tin and wool for their livelihoods. In 1550 there was a ‘tynne’ mill in Ivybridge (on land which later became part of Stowford Paper Mill) owned by John Bury, a leader of the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549.  He, and other principles of the movement, were hung, drawn and quartered in Tyburn in 1550 and his property and lands granted to William Gybbes. In 1555 Gybbes sold the fulling and tin mills he owned to an Exeter merchant.

Ivybridge

is found at the southern-most point of Dartmoor in the beautiful South Hams. The town sits on the catchment area of the River Erme, known for its salmon and brown trout, whose source is eight miles up in Dartmoor National Park at an elevation of 434 metres. It is this dramatic drop from the moor to the town that makes this the second fastest river in Britain, after the Spey in Scotland.

 

The remains of stone-age hut circles can be found on Harford Moor, above Ivybridge, but the ivy-covered bridge, after which the town was later named, was first recorded in 1250; it is possible that it existed as a river crossing prior to the Doomsday Book of 1086. An early ‘King’s Highway’ from Exeter to Trematon Castle near Saltash, the 12th Century crossing may have been constructed by the monks of Plympton Priory (founded in 1121) to give them access to their lands at Wrangaton, Dean Prior and Buckfastleigh.

 

In 1280 a deed from John Peverel of Ermington Manor granted rights to the property along the river as far as the ‘Ponte Ederosa’ to his daughter Iseult and in 1332 there was further reference to one Alfred de Ponte Hedera as a taxpayer in Ermington and Harford. The Peverels had been landowners in the area since the reign of Henry 1 (1100-1135) and it is likely that they built the first substantial bridge around 1200.

 

At some period it was agreed that the river crossing should be the common boundary for the four parishes of Cornwood, Ugborough, Ermington and Harford (with Stowford). Convenient to all, it was only two or three miles from all the parish churches and it became a recognised focal point for the area.

 

The present packhorse bridge dates from 1400, becoming a county bridge in 1531 and the C-stones (County stones)’ which indicate the bridges importance as a river crossing, can be seen 300 feet to the south of the bridge on both sides. The Parish stones of Ugborough and Ermington can still be seen near the bridge. By now it was an important route between Exeter and Plymouth but not much was expected of this rough route, described in 1558 as ‘painful for man and horse’!

 

Records in 1588 state that Ivybridge consisted of corn mill (1523), an edge full mill, a manor house and two houses.

 

At this time the village of Stowford – a local name for a ford crossing – on the east bank of the crossing in Harford Parish, was more important than the surrounding manors and depended for its prosperity on the highway and the mills along the River Erme.

 

Stowford House was a royal demesne until 1566, holding the stannary courts for the Erme valley whilst the surrounding areas depended on tin and wool for their livelihoods. In 1550 there was a ‘tynne’ mill in Ivybridge (on land which later became part of Stowford Paper Mill) owned by John Bury, a leader of the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549.  He, and other principles of the movement, were hung, drawn and quartered in Tyburn in 1550 and his property and lands granted to William Gybbes. In 1555 Gybbes sold the fulling and tin mills he owned to an Exeter merchant.

Thomas Williams (1513 – 1566) spent his early years at Stowford. At twenty-four he travelled to London and was admitted to the Inner Temple. His career in law expanded into politics. His first political position was as Burgess for Bodmin (1555), after which he represented Saltash (1558), Tavistock (1559) and Exeter (1563). In 1563 he became Speaker of the English House of Commons and, during his tenure Speaker Williams gave an oration which the Lord Keeper declared to be worthy of a place in history ‘for the rarity of its style’.

Thomas Williams died in Devon in 1566 and has a memorial brass in Harford Church.

Thomas Williams (1513 – 1566) spent his early years at Stowford. At twenty-four he travelled to London and was admitted to the Inner Temple. His career in law expanded into politics. His first political position was as Burgess for Bodmin (1555), after which he represented Saltash (1558), Tavistock (1559) and Exeter (1563). In 1563 he became Speaker of the English House of Commons and, during his tenure Speaker Williams gave an oration which the Lord Keeper declared to be worthy of a place in history ‘for the rarity of its style’.

Thomas Williams died in Devon in 1566 and has a memorial brass in Harford Church.

The 17th century was a relatively quiet time in Ivybridge. The Manor of Ivybridge, first referred to as a manor at the end of the 14th century, was a thriving estate in the 16th and 17th centuries, consisting of 180 acres of arable land and a further 200 acres of pasture, woodland and moorland. Ivybridge Manor House is believed to have been situated to the west of Pound Farm and the later Highland House (1790) was built on part of the Manor lands long after the original manor house disappeared at the end of the 17th Century.

 

In 1756 the road from Plymouth through Ivybridge to Ashburton was ‘turnpiked’. The bridge was widened to its present width in the 1750s, enabling stagecoaches to cross the river. The London Inn, in Harford Road, and The Rogers Arms in Western Road became staging posts on the principle coach road between London, Exeter and Plymouth. The London Inn soon became one of the most highly regarded inns in the south west, attracting well known artists on professional commissions. The rocks in the river were a favoured viewpoint and JMW Turner’s landscapes of the Ivy Bridge (1813) and surroundings, including his original drawings, are now held at the Tate in London.

The 17th century was a relatively quiet time in Ivybridge. The Manor of Ivybridge, first referred to as a manor at the end of the 14th century, was a thriving estate in the 16th and 17th centuries, consisting of 180 acres of arable land and a further 200 acres of pasture, woodland and moorland. Ivybridge Manor House is believed to have been situated to the west of Pound Farm and the later Highland House (1790) was built on part of the Manor lands long after the original manor house disappeared at the end of the 17th Century.

 

In 1756 the road from Plymouth through Ivybridge to Ashburton was ‘turnpiked’. The bridge was widened to its present width in the 1750s, enabling stagecoaches to cross the river. The London Inn, in Harford Road, and The Rogers Arms in Western Road became staging posts on the principle coach road between London, Exeter and Plymouth. The London Inn soon became one of the most highly regarded inns in the south west, attracting well known artists on professional commissions. The rocks in the river were a favoured viewpoint and JMW Turner’s landscapes of the Ivy Bridge (1813) and surroundings, including his original drawings, are now held at the Tate in London.

William Cotton III MA FSA (1795-1864).  When he was 22 years old he inherited an art collection from relatives. He lived in the London area but in 1839, he visited relatives in Devon and fell in love with the area. He purchased the lease of Highlands House and his Cottonian Collection found its home in Ivybridge. Whilst in Devon, William became friendly with the heirs to Sir Joshua Reynolds and bought some of his paintings to add to his collection. He bequeathed his collection to Plymouth Library and it can be viewed in a dedicated gallery.

 

William took an active part in Ivybridge and the surrounding area and he arranged the care of the needy, cleaning of drains and read prayers to the sick and dying when there was no vicar. Letters exist of his concerns of a cholera epidemic in the village in 1849.

William Cotton III MA FSA (1795-1864).  When he was 22 years old he inherited an art collection from relatives. He lived in the London area but in 1839, he visited relatives in Devon and fell in love with the area. He purchased the lease of Highlands House and his Cottonian Collection found its home in Ivybridge. Whilst in Devon, William became friendly with the heirs to Sir Joshua Reynolds and bought some of his paintings to add to his collection. He bequeathed his collection to Plymouth Library and it can be viewed in a dedicated gallery.

 

William took an active part in Ivybridge and the surrounding area and he arranged the care of the needy, cleaning of drains and read prayers to the sick and dying when there was no vicar. Letters exist of his concerns of a cholera epidemic in the village in 1849.

The extractive industries are an integral part of Ivybridge’s history. Early tin extraction above the Town has heavily influenced the landscape of the river course on the moor and, to the south of the Town in Filham, silver-lead and arsenic were mined from 1838 to 1856 until the mine, with a shaft sunk to 60 fathoms, ceased to be viable.

 

In 1910 the newly formed China Clay Corporation Ltd, with headquarters in Ivybridge, built a single track, three-foot gauge, railway running eight miles from the drying sheds at Cantrell to the pits at Redlake, with a rise of over a thousand feet. The ‘puffing billy’ track opened on 11th September 1911 but it was not until the end of 1913 that the works were completed and ready to commence production. Sadly, the colour and the quality of the clay was poor and the lower financial returns eventually led to the winding up, in 1932 – the worst year of the depression, of the renamed Ivybridge China Clay Company Ltd. The depression may be why, in the 1930s, peat was cut, dried, taken off the moor and used as a fuel by local families.

The extractive industries are an integral part of Ivybridge’s history. Early tin extraction above the Town has heavily influenced the landscape of the river course on the moor and, to the south of the Town in Filham, silver-lead and arsenic were mined from 1838 to 1856 until the mine, with a shaft sunk to 60 fathoms, ceased to be viable.

 

In 1910 the newly formed China Clay Corporation Ltd, with headquarters in Ivybridge, built a single track, three-foot gauge, railway running eight miles from the drying sheds at Cantrell to the pits at Redlake, with a rise of over a thousand feet. The ‘puffing billy’ track opened on 11th September 1911 but it was not until the end of 1913 that the works were completed and ready to commence production. Sadly, the colour and the quality of the clay was poor and the lower financial returns eventually led to the winding up, in 1932 – the worst year of the depression, of the renamed Ivybridge China Clay Company Ltd. The depression may be why, in the 1930s, peat was cut, dried, taken off the moor and used as a fuel by local families.

William Mudge (1762 – 1820), born in Plympton, was the effective leader of the Ordnance Survey (OS) from 1791, its principal surveyor 1791-1820, and its official leader from 1798.

The natural topography around Ivybridge formed part of the original Ordnance mapping of the United Kingdom in 1795, using a process known as triangulation. The triangulation of southern England and Wales was principally Mudge’s work; the whole country was triangulated between 1791 and 1841. In October 1795, Mudge determining six angles between Butterton (Butterdon) Hill, north of Western Beacon, Bolt Head and Rippin (now Rippon) Tor. In 1796, he took further observations to Butterton from Kit Hill, Maker Heights, Bolt Head, Rippin Tor and Carraton (now Caradon) Hill.

Butterton was also used for a local meridian (this being a North/South line, which in theory extends to the poles), and a perpendicular to this. The latitude of the point was determined (Mudge, 1801) as 50° 24’ 46.3” North of the Equator, and the longitude as 3° 52’ 47.5” West of Greenwich. Being both a geographical latitude and longitude and an orientation, they were used in the drawing of detail on the individual map sheets.

William Mudge (1762 – 1820), born in Plympton, was the effective leader of the Ordnance Survey (OS) from 1791, its principal surveyor 1791-1820, and its official leader from 1798.

The natural topography around Ivybridge formed part of the original Ordnance mapping of the United Kingdom in 1795, using a process known as triangulation. The triangulation of southern England and Wales was principally Mudge’s work; the whole country was triangulated between 1791 and 1841. In October 1795, Mudge determining six angles between Butterton (Butterdon) Hill, north of Western Beacon, Bolt Head and Rippin (now Rippon) Tor. In 1796, he took further observations to Butterton from Kit Hill, Maker Heights, Bolt Head, Rippin Tor and Carraton (now Caradon) Hill.

Butterton was also used for a local meridian (this being a North/South line, which in theory extends to the poles), and a perpendicular to this. The latitude of the point was determined (Mudge, 1801) as 50° 24’ 46.3” North of the Equator, and the longitude as 3° 52’ 47.5” West of Greenwich. Being both a geographical latitude and longitude and an orientation, they were used in the drawing of detail on the individual map sheets.

The River Erme has always been hugely influential in the development of Ivybridge. Its pure waters and power proved ideal for papermaking and in 1787 William Dunsterville built Stowford Paper Mill close to an earlier grist mill of 1713. The site of the mill is one of the oldest industrial sites in Devon with a corn mill recorded in 1523. By the turn of the nineteenth century Ivybridge was thriving with various mills all harnessing the power of the river, later joined by a tannery and worsted mill. The population slowly began to expand with the additional employment.

 

In the early 1800s, houses were built along Erme Road, Highland Street, Green Street (no longer in existence), Church Street and Fore Street with the latter having most of the shops. Water was obtained by a series of leats and the village recorded a population of 1,507 in 1821. By now there were regular stagecoaches passing through the village from London although the journey could take up to 4 days. The coaches were finding the tight turns over the Ivy Bridge increasingly difficult and in 1833 a new bridge linking Exeter Road with Fore Street was constructed. The Kings Arms at the top of Fore St was built next to the bridge and rebuilt in 1891.

 

Further pubs and houses were built in the 1840s and 1850s. The Sportsman’s Inn on Exeter Rd, then in Ugborough parish, was originally called the Grocers Arms as it was sponsored by the Guild of Grocers in London. At the Bridge Inn (now the Trehill Arms) Solomon Northmore was the innkeeper from 1840 to 1890.

The River Erme has always been hugely influential in the development of Ivybridge. Its pure waters and power proved ideal for papermaking and in 1787 William Dunsterville built Stowford Paper Mill close to an earlier grist mill of 1713. The site of the mill is one of the oldest industrial sites in Devon with a corn mill recorded in 1523. By the turn of the nineteenth century Ivybridge was thriving with various mills all harnessing the power of the river, later joined by a tannery and worsted mill. The population slowly began to expand with the additional employment.

 

In the early 1800s, houses were built along Erme Road, Highland Street, Green Street (no longer in existence), Church Street and Fore Street with the latter having most of the shops. Water was obtained by a series of leats and the village recorded a population of 1,507 in 1821. By now there were regular stagecoaches passing through the village from London although the journey could take up to 4 days. The coaches were finding the tight turns over the Ivy Bridge increasingly difficult and in 1833 a new bridge linking Exeter Road with Fore Street was constructed. The Kings Arms at the top of Fore St was built next to the bridge and rebuilt in 1891.

 

Further pubs and houses were built in the 1840s and 1850s. The Sportsman’s Inn on Exeter Rd, then in Ugborough parish, was originally called the Grocers Arms as it was sponsored by the Guild of Grocers in London. At the Bridge Inn (now the Trehill Arms) Solomon Northmore was the innkeeper from 1840 to 1890.

Edmund Baron Hartley VC, CMG (1847-1919) was born 6th May at Ivybridge, Devon to Edmund HARTLEY and Sophia BARON. Aged 32 years old, and a Surgeon Major in the Cape Mounted Riflemen, South African Forces during the Basuto War, on 5th June 1879 in South Africa, Surgeon Major Hartley attended the wounded under fire at the unsuccessful attack at Morosi’s Mountain. From an exposed position, on open ground, he carried in his arms a wounded corporal of the Cape Mounted Riflemen. The surgeon major then returned under severe enemy fire in order to dress the wounds of the other men of the storming party. He was awarded the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be given to British and Commonwealth forces and was presented with his VC in 1881.

On 19 April 1901 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Edmund died 20th March 1919 at Ash, Hampshire and is buried at Brookwood Cemetery. 

Edmund Baron Hartley VC, CMG (1847-1919) was born 6th May at Ivybridge, Devon to Edmund HARTLEY and Sophia BARON. Aged 32 years old, and a Surgeon Major in the Cape Mounted Riflemen, South African Forces during the Basuto War, on 5th June 1879 in South Africa, Surgeon Major Hartley attended the wounded under fire at the unsuccessful attack at Morosi’s Mountain. From an exposed position, on open ground, he carried in his arms a wounded corporal of the Cape Mounted Riflemen. The surgeon major then returned under severe enemy fire in order to dress the wounds of the other men of the storming party. He was awarded the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be given to British and Commonwealth forces and was presented with his VC in 1881.

On 19 April 1901 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Edmund died 20th March 1919 at Ash, Hampshire and is buried at Brookwood Cemetery. 

In 1848, the most significant change in the village came with the arrival of the broad-gauge railway on its northern edge. The huge viaduct across the Erme Valley was a remarkable feat of construction, with eleven bays, engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The original wooden viaduct was replaced and double tracked in 1893 under the ownership of the Great Western Railway but the original supporting pillars are still visible in Longtimber Woods. The station remained in use until its final closure to passengers in 1959 and to goods in the mid-1960s. The new station to the east of Ivybridge was opened in 1994.

 

This new access for visitors and small industry saw another population rise and Stowford Paper Mill had a new owner – John Allen, a Plymouth entrepreneur and director of Delabole Slate Quarry in Cornwall – in 1849. Over the next 15 years the mill was rebuilt and further mechanised, with massive investment offering increased employment, especially to women. People from the surrounding villages moved to Ivybridge and more shops, businesses and houses were built along the Western Road area.

In 1848, the most significant change in the village came with the arrival of the broad-gauge railway on its northern edge. The huge viaduct across the Erme Valley was a remarkable feat of construction, with eleven bays, engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The original wooden viaduct was replaced and double tracked in 1893 under the ownership of the Great Western Railway but the original supporting pillars are still visible in Longtimber Woods. The station remained in use until its final closure to passengers in 1959 and to goods in the mid-1960s. The new station to the east of Ivybridge was opened in 1994.

 

This new access for visitors and small industry saw another population rise and Stowford Paper Mill had a new owner – John Allen, a Plymouth entrepreneur and director of Delabole Slate Quarry in Cornwall – in 1849. Over the next 15 years the mill was rebuilt and further mechanised, with massive investment offering increased employment, especially to women. People from the surrounding villages moved to Ivybridge and more shops, businesses and houses were built along the Western Road area.

John Allen (1801 – 1877) was a generous benefactor to Ivybridge during the years he lived in the village. He invested and rebuilt the paper mill after purchasing the site in 1849. He added two new paper machines, had a new rag loft built (inscribed Stowford Paper Mills A.D. 1862) and purchased new rag boilers, breakers and beaters.  With his investment the mill thrived.

After 1848 the railway facilitated the speedy transport of both raw materials and completed orders. As the route to the station involved sharp bends and a steep climb, Allen built a new bridge from the Mill to avoid using the Ivy Bridge. This bridge, close to the entrance of Longtimber Woods, bears the inscription ‘J.A. 1859’.

Allen built Stowford Lodge, the family home above the Mill and, in 1851, also acquired Lower Mill to process rags into partially made paper, known as ‘half-stuff’, for production at the main paper mill into finished paper.

John Allen gave generously to the welfare of the people and churches of Ivybridge, building ten employees houses in Fore St in the 1850s and was the benefactor of Methodist Church, built in 1874, at a cost of £6,000. He was a local councillor and a JP as well as holding other community posts.

John Allen (1801 – 1877) was a generous benefactor to Ivybridge during the years he lived in the village. He invested and rebuilt the paper mill after purchasing the site in 1849. He added two new paper machines, had a new rag loft built (inscribed Stowford Paper Mills A.D. 1862) and purchased new rag boilers, breakers and beaters.  With his investment the mill thrived.

After 1848 the railway facilitated the speedy transport of both raw materials and completed orders. As the route to the station involved sharp bends and a steep climb, Allen built a new bridge from the Mill to avoid using the Ivy Bridge. This bridge, close to the entrance of Longtimber Woods, bears the inscription ‘J.A. 1859’.

Allen built Stowford Lodge, the family home above the Mill and, in 1851, also acquired Lower Mill to process rags into partially made paper, known as ‘half-stuff’, for production at the main paper mill into finished paper.

John Allen gave generously to the welfare of the people and churches of Ivybridge, building ten employees houses in Fore St in the 1850s and was the benefactor of Methodist Church, built in 1874, at a cost of £6,000. He was a local councillor and a JP as well as holding other community posts.

The first infants’ school in Ivybridge was founded in 1849. The National School for both boys and girls was opening in December 1856. Before and after this date the village had several private schools with Sunnyside in Blachford Road in use from the 1930s to 1950s with Mrs Harris as head. The National School was later modernised and renamed Station Road School and it is now known as Erme Primary, one of three schools of the recently created Moorsway Federation.

 

The Congregational Church was built in 1864 on land given by John Allen on Exeter Road. A schoolroom was added in 1888. The first St John’s Church, on Blachford Rd, was built in 1789 as a chapel of ease and it was replaced by the present church in 1881. The new church was extended in the 1880s to provide seating for the 40 girls from the Dame Hannah School paid for by the Rogers family. It was 1925 before permission was given to demolish the original church at a cost of £5.

 

After extensive rebuilding in the 1850 and 1860s, the paper mill employed over 300 people with agriculture, commercial businesses and retail shops providing other opportunities for work. John Allen, in association with the Ivybridge Gas and Coke Company, supplied gas to local inhabitants as well as the mill, and it was his sons who later became involved in providing lighting from a generator at Lees Mill, now known as Glanville’s Mill. Early water supplies for houses were provided by the lords of the Manor of Ivybridge, the Rogers family. Later supplies for the town came from the reservoir constructed in the 1870s in Longtimber Woods but in 1914/16 a new, larger, reservoir was built on Harford Moor with a capacity of four million gallons to cope with the expanding needs of the population. The reservoir in Longtimber Woods was used as a swimming pool from 1914 until the late 1960s. and in the second World War was a training facility for the American troops stationed at Uphill Camp on Exeter Rd.

The first infants’ school in Ivybridge was founded in 1849. The National School for both boys and girls was opening in December 1856. Before and after this date the village had several private schools with Sunnyside in Blachford Road in use from the 1930s to 1950s with Mrs Harris as head. The National School was later modernised and renamed Station Road School and it is now known as Erme Primary, one of three schools of the recently created Moorsway Federation.

 

The Congregational Church was built in 1864 on land given by John Allen on Exeter Road. A schoolroom was added in 1888. The first St John’s Church, on Blachford Rd, was built in 1789 as a chapel of ease and it was replaced by the present church in 1881. The new church was extended in the 1880s to provide seating for the 40 girls from the Dame Hannah School paid for by the Rogers family. It was 1925 before permission was given to demolish the original church at a cost of £5.

 

After extensive rebuilding in the 1850 and 1860s, the paper mill employed over 300 people with agriculture, commercial businesses and retail shops providing other opportunities for work. John Allen, in association with the Ivybridge Gas and Coke Company, supplied gas to local inhabitants as well as the mill, and it was his sons who later became involved in providing lighting from a generator at Lees Mill, now known as Glanville’s Mill. Early water supplies for houses were provided by the lords of the Manor of Ivybridge, the Rogers family. Later supplies for the town came from the reservoir constructed in the 1870s in Longtimber Woods but in 1914/16 a new, larger, reservoir was built on Harford Moor with a capacity of four million gallons to cope with the expanding needs of the population. The reservoir in Longtimber Woods was used as a swimming pool from 1914 until the late 1960s. and in the second World War was a training facility for the American troops stationed at Uphill Camp on Exeter Rd.

Mary Patricia Willcocks (1869 – 1952) was born at Cleeve, near Ivybridge.  Well educated, she attended Plymouth High School for Girls before qualifying as a schoolmistress. Her first novel, Widdicombe, was published in 1905 and she would go on to write 24 more books, biographies, translations, short stories and essays throughout her life.

After the success of her second novel she gave up teaching and moved to Exeter although she also travelled widely throughout Europe.

Mary’s was a feminist, socialist and pacifist and a formidable lecturer and debater. She was interested in child health, the treatment of widows and orphans and industrial protectionism of women and was a supporter of education in prisons. She was a founder member of both the Exeter NUWSS and Exeter’s Worker’s Educational Association (WEA) and a regular speaker on the suffrage circuit.  In June 1913 she joined hundreds of West Country women in the suffragist march from Penzance to London, later describing how they were ‘stoned in Totnes’. In 1918 she stood for the Labour Party in the Exeter City Council Elections.

Mary Patricia Willcocks (1869 – 1952) was born at Cleeve, near Ivybridge.  Well educated, she attended Plymouth High School for Girls before qualifying as a schoolmistress. Her first novel, Widdicombe, was published in 1905 and she would go on to write 24 more books, biographies, translations, short stories and essays throughout her life.

After the success of her second novel she gave up teaching and moved to Exeter although she also travelled widely throughout Europe.

Mary’s was a feminist, socialist and pacifist and a formidable lecturer and debater. She was interested in child health, the treatment of widows and orphans and industrial protectionism of women and was a supporter of education in prisons. She was a founder member of both the Exeter NUWSS and Exeter’s Worker’s Educational Association (WEA) and a regular speaker on the suffrage circuit.  In June 1913 she joined hundreds of West Country women in the suffragist march from Penzance to London, later describing how they were ‘stoned in Totnes’. In 1918 she stood for the Labour Party in the Exeter City Council Elections.

In 1942 MacAndrews Fields saw the erection of many Nissen huts which were to become home to the American troops of the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia, USA. Here the four companies trained until just before D-Day. They were the first troops to land on Omaha beach and suffered huge losses. One company, from Bedford, VA, proportionally suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses. In recognition of this sacrifice their village was subsequently chosen as the location for the American National D-Day Memorial. A local memorial to the Americans in Ivybridge is in Harford Road Car Park.

 

In the 1960s Ivybridge slowly expanded and by 1971 the population of Ivybridge had risen to 3074. By then the Town had been earmarked as a dormitory town and new housing estates appeared both east and west of the original village centre. In the mid-1980s, Ivybridge was described as the ‘fastest growing town in Europe’.

 

The Ivybridge Bypass, part of the A38 Devon Express Way between the M5 and the Tamar Bridge, was completed in 1973/4, taking the increasing volume of through traffic away from narrow Fore St.

 

In 1977 the parish council changed its name to Ivybridge Town Council and John Congdon, a local shopkeeper became the first Town Mayor.

 

In the 21st century the Town’s population is estimated at around 14,000. The Town has four junior schools and a senior Community College serving a large hinterland. Stowford Paper Mill closed in 2013 after 226 years of specialist paper production.

 

Leisure activities have increased with the construction of a leisure centre and, in 2008, a community hub and library – The Watermark. Ivybridge is the start of the Two Moors Way which spans 102 miles from Ivybridge on the southern boundary of Dartmoor National Park to Lynmouth on the North Devon Coast in Exmoor National Park as well as the coast to coast walk.

In 1942 MacAndrews Fields saw the erection of many Nissen huts which were to become home to the American troops of the 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia, USA. Here the four companies trained until just before D-Day. They were the first troops to land on Omaha beach and suffered huge losses. One company, from Bedford, VA, proportionally suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses. In recognition of this sacrifice their village was subsequently chosen as the location for the American National D-Day Memorial. A local memorial to the Americans in Ivybridge is in Harford Road Car Park.

 

In the 1960s Ivybridge slowly expanded and by 1971 the population of Ivybridge had risen to 3074. By then the Town had been earmarked as a dormitory town and new housing estates appeared both east and west of the original village centre. In the mid-1980s, Ivybridge was described as the ‘fastest growing town in Europe’.

 

The Ivybridge Bypass, part of the A38 Devon Express Way between the M5 and the Tamar Bridge, was completed in 1973/4, taking the increasing volume of through traffic away from narrow Fore St.

 

In 1977 the parish council changed its name to Ivybridge Town Council and John Congdon, a local shopkeeper became the first Town Mayor.

 

In the 21st century the Town’s population is estimated at around 14,000. The Town has four junior schools and a senior Community College serving a large hinterland. Stowford Paper Mill closed in 2013 after 226 years of specialist paper production.

 

Leisure activities have increased with the construction of a leisure centre and, in 2008, a community hub and library – The Watermark. Ivybridge is the start of the Two Moors Way which spans 102 miles from Ivybridge on the southern boundary of Dartmoor National Park to Lynmouth on the North Devon Coast in Exmoor National Park as well as the coast to coast walk.

Sir Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (1931 – 2010) was born on 6 June at Highlands in Ivybridge. He was the younger son of Captain Alexander Henry Maxwell-Hyslop, a naval officer and later commander of HMS Cumberland, and Cecilia Joan, née Bayly (Lady of the Manor of Sheepstor).

Robin Maxwell-Hyslop was educated at Stowe and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He was a committee member of the Oxford Union and president of the University Conservative Association. In 1954, he joined Rolls-Royce as a graduate apprentice and later worked in export sales.

In 1959, he contested Derby North before winning Tiverton at a by-election in November 1960. He remained a Conservative MP for Tiverton until 1992.  He was described as an “independent-minded and idiosyncratic specialist on parliamentary procedure”. His greatest triumph was in 1976, which earned him the nickname ‘Hybridity Hyslop’. Using his in-depth knowledge of the parliamentary rule book he was able to force the Labour government to withdraw and then redraft their plans for nationalisation of the aircraft and shipbuilding industries. He went on to become the longest-ever member of the Commons Select Committee on Trade and Industry, serving from 1971 until 1992.

Robin Maxwell-Hyslop was knighted in the 1992 New Year’s Honours List.

Sir Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (1931 – 2010) was born on 6 June at Highlands in Ivybridge. He was the younger son of Captain Alexander Henry Maxwell-Hyslop, a naval officer and later commander of HMS Cumberland, and Cecilia Joan, née Bayly (Lady of the Manor of Sheepstor).

Robin Maxwell-Hyslop was educated at Stowe and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He was a committee member of the Oxford Union and president of the University Conservative Association. In 1954, he joined Rolls-Royce as a graduate apprentice and later worked in export sales.

In 1959, he contested Derby North before winning Tiverton at a by-election in November 1960. He remained a Conservative MP for Tiverton until 1992.  He was described as an “independent-minded and idiosyncratic specialist on parliamentary procedure”. His greatest triumph was in 1976, which earned him the nickname ‘Hybridity Hyslop’. Using his in-depth knowledge of the parliamentary rule book he was able to force the Labour government to withdraw and then redraft their plans for nationalisation of the aircraft and shipbuilding industries. He went on to become the longest-ever member of the Commons Select Committee on Trade and Industry, serving from 1971 until 1992.

Robin Maxwell-Hyslop was knighted in the 1992 New Year’s Honours List.