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 About The Vicarage

The Victorian Vicarage is set within an acre of gardens, including the original croquet lawn. This is a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon tea and you are welcome to try a game of croquet. It is a lovely sunny garden and a beautiful place to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets on a summer’s evening. A kitchen garden complete with orchard, provides the Vicarage with fresh produce including soft fruits


The Victorian Vicarage was built in 1871 by Messrs Blatchford & Son of Tavistock for the sum of £880.00. The one-acre plot was purchased for £60 from the Rt. Hon Lord Fortescue with money raised from private subscriptions and grants from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The architects were Messrs. Ambrose and Snell of Plymouth and their charges were £7.8.9d.


In 1871 the first vicar of Horrabridge resided here, Rev F.H Tucker. Rev Tucker had the stables and coach house built in 1872 by Caleb William Chapple from Horrabridge using stone from Spry’s Quarry at Bedford Bridge.


Rev Tucker lived at the Vicarage along with his wife, two children, mother in law and two domestic servants until 1891 when the Rev E J Windsor became the new vicar.

Rev Windsor was instrumental in the building of the present church of St John the Baptist which was consecrated in 1893.


Late in 1894 the brother in law to the Bishop of Exeter, Rev Henry Startin was appointed, sadly he was taken ill and died aged 42, not long afterwards in March 1895, just three months after the birth of his only daughter. Little is known about the succeeding vicar, Stuart Hall, who proceeded the most charismatic Rev Benjamin Jones in 1897.  Rev Jones and his wife, Annie lived at the Vicarage with a domestic servant, until 1927 when a new vicarage was built adjacent to the church. They had two children, Gwendoline Mary Beatrice and Basil Douglas. Sadly, Gwendoline died in 1901 aged just 4 years old, her grave is in Whitchurch churchyard, not in Horrabridge with her parents as Horrabridge did not become a parish until 1950, and it depended on which side of the bridge you lived as to in which churchyard you were buried. Basil went on to have a very distinguished career as a Major General in the British army. Some of the smaller local children would come to the Vicarage to be taught by Rev Jones. Much is written about Rev Jones with great affection; he was held in high esteem by villagers as can be read in their personal accounts of village life whilst he served as the Vicar.  The Rev Jones died in 1942 and, along with his wife, is buried in Horrabridge churchyard.


A granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Lady May Cambridge stayed at the Vicarage for a weekend whilst attending a christening as a godparent.


When the church sold off the Vicarage it was renamed Upwalkham and a succession of naval officers from Plymouth resided here. The first was Commander Edward Aylmer and his wife Gwladys. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by the King in 1916. The next resident was Edward Leopold Dyke, son of the Ackland family of Killerton, Exeter. Edward was an Engineer Commander.


We know that sometime during the 1940’s it was used as a school before, in the late fifties, a retired bank manager bought it and renamed it Beggars Roost. The reason why he chose that name is uncertain – one story is that as a retired bank manager he did not want people assuming he had wealth. The other story relates to the stone building at the top of the garden. It is said that this simple cottage was once a retreat used by travelling mendaci as they walked between Buckfast Abbey and Tavistock or Buckland Abbey. In the Victorian times this cottage was the home of the gardener whilst the groom lived in the rooms above the coach house.


Unfortunately, over the last two decades the vicarage had fallen into a state of disrepair and was bought by Stan and Amanda in August 2016 after its last elderly occupier died. Since then they have been working to restore it back to its glory when it was built during Queen Victoria’s reign. With an artisan’s approach they have lovingly put back the period style and by sourcing original materials from reclamation yards and auctions and, by complimenting this with William Morris wallpaper, antique furniture and soft furnishings, they have successfully accomplished the task without losing the original character of the vicarage. Furnished with antiques and plenty of Victoriana bric-a-brac and artwork, step into a bygone era and marvel in your surroundings.

The Victorian Vicarage

Beggars Roost

Whitchurch Road



Devon. PL20 7TX.

History of the vicarage
History of the vicarage
History of the vicarage

History of the vicarage