Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 17, 2018
Webpage updated: July 19, 2022




The Church of Saint Edward, King and Martyr, the Ancient Parish Church of Eggbuckland, is situated at Church Hill, Eggbuckland, Plymouth.

Saint Edward's Church, Eggbuckland, Plymouth.

Saint Edward's Church, Eggbuckland, Plymouth.
  Tom Molland Ltd
Courtesy Plymouth Library Service.

In the Beginning

A Saxon church is assumed to have stood on this site, within the control of the Augustinian Prior of Plympton.  There was certainly a church here when Pope Nicholas IV completed his survey in 1291.  The only other churches in the area at that time were at Tamerton Foliot, Stoke Damerel and Plymouth Saint Andrew's.  When King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1539, the Priory surrendered the tithes of Eggbuckland to the King.

It is thought that the present church dates from around 1420/30.

The parish registers date from 1653.  A notable baptism took place in 1772 of a Negro slave to a Mr Sutherland.

The Bells

The church is a stone building in the Perpendicular style consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing six bells.  The original single bell was apparently cast by Mr Robert Norton in 1422 and was inscribed "Voce mea viva depello cunta nocciva" ('With my living voice I drive away all harmful things').  By 1553 there were three bells in the peel, the two newest being replaced in 1682 and 1768 respectively.   In 1882 the peel was inspected by Mr William Aggett of Chagford, who found that one was "crazed", as he described it, and the other two were in bad tone.

Mr Aggett recommended that the bells be melted down, recast and increased to a peel of six.  The contract was given to Messrs John Taylor & Company of Loughborough.  The new bells were dedicated on November 29th 1882.  They were re-hung in 1925 by the local blacksmith and a new stock was made by the local joiner.

Church Enlargement

The Church was considerably enlarged in 1864 when the north aisle and chancel were added.

In 1901 a clock was installed in the memory of the Reverend Charles Edgar Turner, who had been vicar here for 40 years.

There are memorial windows to the Briggs, Radcliffe and Elliot families.

Crabtree Mission Church

In November 1874 a Mission Church was opened at Crabtree, within the parish, and this remained as the place of worship for the Laira area until the Anglican Church of Saint Mary the Virgin was consecrated in 1914.  This remained within the parish of Egg Buckland until 1939 when the City boundary was redrawn to absorb much of the area.

New Vestry

A new two-storey vestry was added at the north-east corner in 1907, to the designs of Mr T R Kitsell, who was responsible for the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin at Laira.

Local villagers were able to view the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday June 2nd 1953 on two television screens placed in the Church.  To receive the signals from Wenvie Transmitting Station, Cardiff, a 35-feet high television mast has been added to the 65-feet high church tower.  Early reports said that: 'The results are most promising'.

The parish hall was opened in 1971.

The parish records are held at the Plymouth & West Devon Records Office in Clare Place, Sutton Road, Plymouth.


  Coronation Day research courtesy of Debbie Watson.