Webpage created: September 16, 2018
Webpage revised: August 26, 2019
The Ancient Parish of Eggbuckland, otherwise Egg Buckland, was a separate Devonshire parish outside the boundary of Plymouth until Monday November 9th 1896, when the Local Government Confirmation (Number 15) Act, which confirmed Local Government Board Order Number P1257, permitted parts of the Civil Parish to be added to the Civil Parish of Charles, Plymouth, and thus brought it within the Borough of Plymouth. The extra-parochial Civil Parish of Laira Green was also brought within the Borough on the same date, as were the southern part of the Urban District of Compton and part of the Civil Parish of Weston Peverell.
Prior to the important date the affairs of the Parish had been organised by the Parish Vestry at the Ancient Parish Church of Saint Edward, King and Martyr. Local government was the responsibility of the County Quarter Sessions in Exeter, which levied a rate to pay for their expenses. Under them came the Parish Vestry, composed of members of the Parish, who in addition to being responsible for the fabric of the Parish Church also looked after the maintenance of local roads until the Highways Act 1862 passed responsibility to Highway Boards, and the control of vermin. They collected the Parish Rate from local residents to pay for the maintenance of roads and bridges, before the coming of the Turnpike Trusts, for the Parish Constables, and towards the costs of a Coroner, the militia, and the county's Lord Lieutenant's office. The Vestry also levied a separate Poor Rate for the care of the poor people in the Parish. There was a Chantry or Charity School run in connection with the Parish Church.
Originally a part of the Hundred of Roborough, it was in the Midland Roborough Petty Sessional Division, the Plympton Saint Mary Union for poor house matters, the East Stonehouse County Court District, the rural deanery of Plympton, the archdeaconry of Totnes and the diocese of Exeter.
A popular point of debate is whether the parish is Eggbuckland or Egg Buckland. In 1905 the then vicar of Saint Edward's Church, the Reverend A F Baker, pronounced that: 'It is more correct and best preserves the history of the name to write it now as one word - Eggbuckland.'
At the time of the census taken on Sunday March 31st 1851, there were 1,468 people living in the Parish of Eggbuckland. This was made up of 708 males and 760 females. There were 273 inhabited properties in the Parish along with six uninhabited and one under construction. The population of the Parish had grown by 172 people since 1841.
There were two post offices in the Parish, one at Crownhill, of which Mr Thomas Coombe was the sub-postmaster, and one at Laira, of which Mrs Emily Haythorne was in charge. The population of the parish was 1,833 in 1891. The parish was said at that time to comprise 3,204 acres of land and 51 acres of water and foreshore. In addition, Laira Green, which was formerly extra-parochial but by 1893 was a parish in itself for poor law purposes, comprised 129 acres of land, 101 acres of tidal water and foreshore and had a population of 481 in 1891. The land was described as being loamy over a clay subsoil. The chief crops were wheat, oats, barley and green crops. Slate was quarried and copper ore was found within the Parish.
All of the following houses, farms and public houses/inns had been within the Ancient Parish of Eggbuckland: Austin Farm; Bloomballs Farm; Bowden Farm; Buckland Down/Buckland Wood Farm; Castle Farm Inn; Coleridge Farm; Colwell Farm; Common Wood Farm; Crabtree; Crabtree Inn; Creaza Mill; Cressbrook Farm; Deer Park Farm; Derriford Barton; Doidge's Farm; East Widey Farm; Efford Manor; Efford Mill or Gullett's Mill; Estover Farm; Fancy Farm; Frogmore Farm; Fursdon House; Goosewell Farm; Higher Efford Farm; Higher Efford House; King's Arms Public House; Knackersnowle (part was in Saint Budeaux parish); Laira House; Laira Inn; Leigham Farm; Leigham House; Leigham Mill; Little Efford Farm; Longbridge; Lower Leigham; Mainstone Farm; Marsh House; New Inn; Pool Farm; Rising Sun Inn; Riverford Farm; Rock House (later Briarleigh); Shallaford; Smallack Farm; Stone Farm; Vicarage; Volunteer Inn; Widey Cottage; Widey Court; Widey Farm; Widey Mills.
Later developments saw the formation of the Egg Buckland and Laira Green School Board (sic) in 1890, which took over the running of the Eggbuckland National School, adjacent to the Ancient Parish Church of Saint Edward, King and Martyr, that had been started in 1778 as the Eggbuckland Chantry or Charity School. They subsequently erected the Eggbucklanmd and Laira Green Board School to replace the National School and also the Laira and Crabtree School.
The Parish Council, which had been formed on Monday March 5th 1894 under the Local Government Act of that year, met for the last time on Thursday March 30th 1939 and on and as from Friday March 31st 1939 the remainder of the Parish was absorbed in to the City of Plymouth under authority of the Plymouth Extension Act 1938.