Kingskerswell village, Devon
Kingskerswell is a village and civil parish in South Devon. The village grew up where an ancient track took the narrowest point across a marshy valley and it is of ancient foundation, being mentioned in the Domesday Book. It has a church dating back to the 14th century and the ruins of a manor house of similar date. The coming of the railway in the 1840s had a large effect on the village, starting its conversion into a commuter town.
Today it is situated on a busy main road, part of the A380, between Torquay and Newton Abbot, and has all but become a suburb of Newton Abbot. There had been proposals to reroute this road to relieve the traffic bottleneck since 1951.
There are several prehistoric sites on the high ground surrounding Kingskerswell, such as the Iron Age sites of Milber Down, Berry's Wood and Dainton.
Kerswell Down, just to the west of the village, is the site of a late Bronze Age/early Iron Age field system and a hoard of over 2,000 (small copper or brass) Roman coins was found here, near the church, some time between 1838 and 1840.
The exact details of how and where the coins were found is not known, and their present whereabouts is unknown too, but in 1878 they were said to bear inscriptions of Gallienus, Tacitus, Probus and others.
In 1992 during survey work for a bypass, evidence of a Roman settlement was found at Aller Cross, just north of the village. It may have an early military origin, and if it does it 'would be of regional importance'.
The Aller Brook and its tributaries lie in a shallow, wide and marshy valley that drains roughly north-westerly from the outskirts of Torquay to the estuary of the River Teign at Newton Abbot. There is one point in this valley where two spurs of land form a narrow crossing point, and it was here that an ancient track from St Marychurch and Coffinswell crossed the valley on its way west towards Ipplepen and Totnes. A bridge, known as Dacca Bridge or Daccabridge, was constructed here and this is where the village developed, on the western bank.
The first written record of Kingskerswell is in the Domesday Book where it is called Carsewelle. Before the Norman Conquest it was held by Edward the Confessor as part of the royal demesne; afterwards it continued in royal ownership under William the Conqueror and his descendants (in contrast to the nearby village of Abbotskerswell).
The first part of the village's name represents this royal ownership. The Saxon word carse probably means watercress, a plant that still grows freely in the local streams; and the last part of the name most likely refers to the wells and springs in the vicinity, though an alternative theory proposes that it derives from the Latin villa, indicating a Roman origin.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: