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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Kingsbridge Top End

A post Covid revisit for the top end of Kingsbridge. Back during the partial lockdowns I was posting to my blog with whatever interesting sights I could get to and photograph.


The bizarre Covid rules being what they were, the only business in town, at a time when we all had to socially distance and keep two metres apart from each other, that was naturally disposed to only allow entry to one person , was actually locked. The best place to go for an evening's entertainment on one's own, was The World's Smallest Nightclub with only enough room for one, under it's glitter ball. For more details you can see my original post here, where I promised to return to photograph the inside when it was open again.

This phone box was a little different as it was the 5000th phone box repurposed and adopted under a BT scheme. As a result BT themselves helped fund and install the nightclub. Because yes, it is a fully functioning nightclub.



This beautiful old house is Knowle House and to the right hand side of the doorway you can just about make out a blue plaque.


George Montagu (1753 – 20 June 1815) was an English army officer and naturalist. He was known for his pioneering Ornithological Dictionary of 1802, which for the first time accurately defined the status of Britain's birds. He is remembered today for species such as the Montagu's harrier, named for him. He was also involved in the first British records of cirl bunting, whose breeding range in England is around his home in Devon.


He died of tetanus after stepping on a nail at Knowle House. He was buried at Kingsbridge Parish Church.


The Knowle House is a Grade 2* listed property.


Official listing. Good late C17 or early C18 detached house of local ashlar masonry. 2 storey, 4 windows to street, 1st floor band. Sash windows in wide frames, ground floor with glazing bars removed. Slate roof, hipped, fairly massive chimney. Later C18 doorway and interior. George Montague, local naturalist died here 1815.


Ashlar- I have finally looked up the meaning of Ashlar, as up to this point I had assumed it was the type of stone. In fact Ashlar refers to the preparation of the stone and the stone type is irrelevant. Ashlar masonry is fine cut so that the blocks of stone fit very tightly together and is a sign of quality. In this case the Ashlar is coursed which means it is laid in horizontal layers of equal height stones with continuous mortar lines. It can also be random, where there are no continuous horizontal lines because the blocks are of different size and height and fit randomly together.


This dainty little infill is 105 Fore Street or Pig Finca. It is a Grade 2 listed building. It would be nice to know how it came to be here, squashed in between two larger, grander Georgian buildings either side.


The official listing describes it as C18 or early C19, 3 storey 1 window flush frame sash, with glazing bars, at 2nd floor, canted splay bay at 1st floor with centre glazing-bars. Upper floors with hung slates. Slightly bowed front with wood eaves cornices Ground floor front with wood case partly remaining, entrance, right, with panelled reveals with sunk upper panels and lozenged fanlight, formerly with 6-panel door. Centre ground floor window now with sheet glass. Plinth. . Basement window.


The shop doorway is itself so narrow that I had to shuffle in sideways. Having enough stock on display to fill a shop twice it's size, like every good emporium, means I also had to manoeuvre my way around inside quite carefully.


"Most things in the shop are completely useful and others completely useless but everything is beautiful and will make your home distinctive and individual, just like you."


Finally there is the Old Grammar School which is now the town museum. It is Grade 2* listed and was founded in 1670.


Official listing- 1670 founded and built by Thomas Crispin, local stone 2 storey 3 windows to Fore Street. Original entrance arch with tablet over. 3 5-light 1st floor mullion casements. 1st floor schoolroom has pine panelling, Master's desk canopy and Royal Arms above. 4 storey gabled stone annexe, probably early C19, in Tudor style, goes well with the older building which was probably restored at same time.


The tablet above the coach entrance reads-


This Grammar School was built and endowed 1670 by Thomas Crispin of the city of Exeter. Fuller, who was born in this town the 6th January 1607/8. Lord what I have t'was thou that gavest me, and of thine own, this I return to thee.


A fuller carried out the job of fulling, the process of cleaning, shrinking, and felting cloth by heat, pressure, and moisture."weaving and fulling were all formerly part of the normal domestic scene"


The Cookworthy Museum was opened in 1972 in the old Kingsbridge Grammar School buildings. Mrs Evelyn Northcott persuaded English China Clays Ltd to rescue the derelict building and found a museum to collect and record the social history of the area.


The Museum was named after William Cookworthy (1705 – 1780), who was born in Kingsbridge and who developed the first true hard-paste porcelain (“china”).


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4 comentarios


Miembro desconocido
04 ene 2023

A nice revisit. That discotheque is quite unique. Don't you wish they repurposed those old phone booths even more ( like your book exchange one). They are so unique and to me a synbol of UK and yet they all seem to have disaopeared.

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Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
04 ene 2023
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There are still a lot of them left but probably more so in rural areas as I think, being more obvious, people have campaigned to save them. In cities it has been relatively easy to remove them wholesale with nobody really noticing until it is too late.

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John Durham
John Durham
03 ene 2023

I had missed the "world's smallest nightclub" - fabulous!

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Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
04 ene 2023
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Thanks John.

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