The Galmpton and Churston Ferrers Timeline
Creating our roots
From 416 to 359 million years ago the rocks (Devonian Limestone) that largely make up our area, stretching from Churston Cove to the River Dart, were laid down whilst we were still south of the Equator!
Circa 6,000 years ago, rising sea levels filled the basin we now call Torbay and drowned the valley of the Dart up as far as today’s Totnes. Our two watery boundaries had been created.
Oldest evidence of life and death
Broadsands’ Neolithic Tomb, constructed between 6,000 and 5,000 years ago, overlooking the new bay. Post war archaeological finds can be read at Broadsands Library.
Cryric tun (The original name of Churston meaning a farm settlement by the Cross)
The Christian origins of the village of Churston, created in Saxon times, over 1,000 years ago.
One mile due west, another community, another feudal manor came into being, meaning a farming community of ‘rent paying peasantry’, the present day village of Galmpton.
The Manor of Churston, together with Brixham, becomes the property of the Norman Lord Judhael, briefly! The Manor of Galmpton was given to Ralph de Feugeres.
Another marriage and a new name
During 1303, Alice Bozun, daughter of the Lord of Churston, married Sir Hugh Ferrers and so Churston soon became known as Churcheton de Ferrers. This event was soon followed by the arrival of the dreaded Black Death in 1348. There is no record of how many local people died but three priests came and went in quick succession!
Church bells first ring out
During 1405 Joan Ferrers married Richard Yarde of Bradley Manor, Their son, Gilbert, became Lord of Churston Ferrers. For the first time four bells were hung in the extended tower of the chapel. Churston’s first peel of bells rang out!
For Queen & Country
July 1588 saw Sir John Gilbert of Greenway, armed and astride his white charger, at the head of a force of 3,000 local militia drawn up on Galmpton Warborough, ready to repulse a possible landing from the Spanish Armada.
5th November 1688
The amazing sight of the fleet of Prince William of Orange moored off Brixham and Broadsands and the landing of his army to encamp on Furzeham Common. The next day the gradual advance on London began, the Prince leading his army past the gates of Churston Ferrers Church. The Glorious Revolution had begun!
Change of Residence
During 1778, having married Susanna Yarde of Churston Ferrers in 1763 at the age of 17, Judge Francis Yarde Buller, now Lord of the Manor of Churston Ferrers, was appointed to the King’s Bench, England’s youngest judge. To reflect his growing status within the country, Lord Churston, during 1788, took up residence at Lupton House.
God’s Wonderful Railway
On 14th March 1861 the railway arrived at Churston, and Galmpton, initially called Brixham Road Station. The Industrial Revolution had well and truly arrived, changing the lives of local people for ever, in all walks of life.
A welcome flush
By 1939 the majority of Churston Ferrers and Galmpton residents had mains water and sewage. The days of the privy and the galvanised bath hanging behind the door, were over. The village taps, once your only source of fresh water, were now just an attractive piece of local architecture.
After nearly 400 years, on Sunday 22nd September 2002 Churston Ferrers had its original Christian identity restored, in the form of the village cross. Not quite in the same position but literally within a stone’s throw.