Princetown  Devon


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Princetown like this:

PRINCETOWN, a village and a chapelry in Lidford parish, Devon. The village stands in Dartmoor-Forest Quarter, 6 miles N E of Horrabridge r. station, and 7½ E by S of Tavistock; and has a post-office, designated Princetown, Devon, and an inn. The chapelry contains also a great convict prison; and its limits, in some sense, are conterminate with those of Dartmoor Forest Quarter, which comprise 54, 241 acres. ...

The pop. of that quarter, in 1851, was 1, 697, in 1861, 2, 599; and, in the latteryear, 1,089 were in the convict prison. The prison was erected in 1808-9, at a cost of £127,000, for French prisoners of war; was leased, for some time, to a companymanufacturing naphtha from peat; was converted in 1850 into a convict prison; stands on a wild part of Dartmoor, at an elevation of about 1, 400 feet above sea-level; occupies an area of about 30 acres, inclosed by adouble line of lofty walls; and includes a governor'shouse, officers' residences, an hospital, and five buildings, each 300 feet long and 50 feet wide, for prisoners. Greatgeorgic improvement has been made on much of the land near the village and the prison; and extensive granite quarries are on the W side of North Hessary tor, about 2 miles from the village. The living is a p. cu.racy in the diocese of Exeter. Value, not reported. Patron, the Prince of Wales.

Princetown through time

Princetown is now part of West Devon district. Click here for graphs and data of how West Devon has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Princetown itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Princetown in West Devon | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 17th September 2019

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