Ipplepen Area Guide
Ipplepen is a medium size village built on a limestone plateau south west of Newton Abbot. Located within the Teignbridge district of Devon approx 3.7 miles to the southwest of the market town of Newton Abbot, 5.6 miles from the southern edge of Dartmoor and about 6.8 miles northwest of Torquay.
This large working village has a strong community and is situated on the edge of attractive countryside, just off the Newton to Totnes road and about midway between these two towns. The village is surrounded by a network of lanes and bridleways originally intended for packhorses and pedestrians, and now frequented by cyclists, riders and walkers all enjoying the striking south hams.
The name Ipplepen is thought to be Celtic and a copper axe-head from about 1500bc was found and deposited in Torquay Natural History Museum. Other artefacts have also been found over the years by archaeologists when excavations have taken place. The bounds of the parish of Ipplepen enclose an area nearly three miles across and approximately 16 miles around. The tradition of beating the bounds is still occasionally carried out, the last time being on the 5th May 2008, when over 400 parishioners walked the boundary and a great community day was apparently had by all!
St.Andrews Church is a prominent feature of the village, and the present building dates in parts from the early 14th century although there is also evidence that there was a church long before that possibly in Norman times. To the north of the church of St.Andrews, there is a large 19th century house in extensive grounds known as The Priory. It has been suggested that this was the site of a mediaeval priory. Some parts of Ipplepen seem to preserve evidence of a planned settlement of the mediaeval period. The Old Grange is also interesting: a grange was a farm attached to a monastery. If there was a priory in Ipplepen, this could have been its farm. A few grand houses still stand in Fore Street and East Street so the housing stock is good and quite varied.
The village has a popular primary and pre-school, and feeds into a choice of secondary schools from the Torquay Grammars to KEVICC in Totnes, Newton Abbot College and Stover school. It benefits from a church hall and village hall, both of which are much used by the many and very active clubs and societies which range from fitness to history, and cottage gardening to carnival planning. There is also the Wellington Inn in the heart of the village which is close to the shops and Post Office. In addition there is the Health Centre looking after all the locals health care needs.
Interesting Fact: The famous story The Hound of the Baskervilles originated in Ipplepen. The author, Sir Conan Doyle, was a frequent visitor to see his friend who lived at Parkhill House. He was then always driven in a horse and carriage to Dartmoor to gather material for his book by the groom (Harry Baskerville), hence the title of the book!
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