Pronounced by some as ‘Awton Jifford’, the first part of the name relates to the River ‘Avon’ whilst the second is derived from the family who owned vast tracts of land here long ago. Walter Giffard was William the Conqueror’s Standard Bearer; as a reward for his services, he was presented with the manor of Aveton Gifford in 1100.
St Andrews Church in the village was completed in 1250. In 1943 the church received a direct hit in a bombing raid by German planes so was restored in 1957 and is well worth a visit. Kingsbridge Jazz Club meet on the first Tuesday evening of every month at the Fisherman’s Rest and the performers are always of international calibre from swing through to blues and raw New Orleans Jazz.
A short walk from the village and on the banks of the River Avon, is South Efford nature reserve and bird hide, cared for by the Devon Wildlife Trust. A patchwork of saltmarsh and grazing fields, life at the reserve is governed by a tidal gate which allows sea water to flow in at high tide. From here you can spot Ibis, Greenshank, Kingfishers and if you’re lucky, otters.