A friendly and busy market town on the banks of a beautiful estuary in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Kingsbridge is first mentioned as 'Cinges bricge' in a charter dated 962AD. The bridge connected the two royal estates of Alvington to the west and Chillington to the east of the estuary.
Modern day Kingsbridge is actually made up of the medieval towns of Kingsbridge and Dodbrooke, originally a quarter of a mile apart. After the Norman Conquest, its surrounds passed into the possession of the Abbots of Buckfast. In 1219 the Abbot of Buckfast was granted the right to hold a market in Kingsbridge where his monks sold their offerings such as honey, fruit, vegetables and thick cream. Today Kingsbridge proudly supports independent retailers selling similar local delicious produce.
Unlike many town centres, Kingsbridge has kept many of its historic buildings. Keep an eye out for the Old Shambles which was rebuilt in 1796 but still retains its 16th century granite piers.
Peek into Kingsbridge's past with a visit to the Cookworthy Museum where you can see a fascinating collection of photographs from the 1870s to the present (see advert on page 20). It was formerly a grammar school built by Thomas Crispin in 1670. Children can experience what the old school was like, and see the names of past students carved into the classroom window frames.
A young children's play space with state-of-the-art play equipment can be found in Duncombe Park and the Kingsbridge Recreation Ground where there are also tennis courts and a boules area for adults.
Among Kingsbridge's proudest achievements are the flowers and sustainable plantings that can be found around the town. In 2016 Kingsbridge in Bloom won a Gold Award in The Champion of Champions category at the South West in Bloom Awards, the RHS Serco cup for 'Community Initiative' and seven Outstandings for 'It's Your Neighbourhood' including Britton's Field and the Cookworthy Museum. Don't miss a chance to visit the Community Garden tucked away behind the houses at the top of Fore Street. The garden is selfsustaining run exclusively by volunteers and features on the town's Tranquility Trail.
The Kingsbridge branch line, or Primrose Line, was a single track railway that opened in 1893. Despite local opposition it was closed in 1963. Recently, the Old Railway Bridge has been uncovered and turned into a feature by Kingsbridge in Bloom. You can walk the old Primrose Line from Loddiswell.
THE IDEAL PICNIC SPOT
Grab your picnic basket and head to Britton's Field - blessed with wild flowers and an unequalled view of the estuary.