In 1961 a group of villagers realised that it was 1250 years since the West Saxons had defeated the Britons of Dumnonia in a battle supposed to have taken place on Haldon. It had long been realised by historians such as W G Hoskins that Kingsteignton was one of the early settlements of the Saxon conquest, so a committee was set up to celebrate the event which may have marked the foundation of the village ( note: the site of the battle between the Saxons and the Britions is quite vague and the village may well have been founded a few years earlier). 

A programme of  talks on village history were arranged throughout the summer of 1961 and the celebrations culminated in September with a week of events comprising  a  service beside the Rydon Wellhead followed by a procession of Witness from the Wellhead to the parish church. Further events including a treasure hunt for children around historical landmarks of the village, a fashion show at Kingsteignton Secondary School, a decorated pram competition, a talk on the history of Kingsteignton, a military band display, a carnival celebrating themes from village history, an organ recital in the parish church, and an evening barbecue and firework display in Berry Meadow under the  light of an illuminated church tower. The celebrations culminated on Sunday 24th September with a service of thanksgiving at the parish church.





(left The Rev Donald Ford leads a service in Rydon Meadow which was followed by a procession of witness to the parish church)





Left: Band of the Junior Leaders Regiment based at Denbury Camp giving a display on the sports field of Kingsteignton County Secondary Modern School (now Teign School) as part of the 1250 celebrations in 1961.







Kingsteignton 1250 Celebrations


Ann Rendell and Rosemary Bray (PC Bray's daughter)

on the float "Looking to the Future", dressed up as

space women.


This photo shows a float prepared by the members of Kingsteignton Congregational Church  depicting the evolution of the old Junior School in Sandpath Road.

Children who can be identified as riding on the float are Angela Terry, Lynette Webb, Sheila Pepperell, and Janet Retallick, who all attended the church Sunday school.

The old Junior School in Sandpath Road had long associations with the Congregational Church, its founding body. It was preceded by a Dame school run by the church from a house in Church Street. Fears that the requirements of the 1870 Education Act would force it to close  which would have

meant that the education of the children would have passed into the hands of the National School where children were specifically  taught the tenets of the Anglican Church. Thus, under the leadership of Mr Savery Pinsent, land was purchased at Cottey Meadow in Sandpath Road where a new school was built.








The float shown on the left depicted the Viking raid on Kingsteignton in 1001. It was in that year, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, that Vikings sailed up the Teign and “burned Tegntun and several other good hams”. The Viking crew on this float were not Scandinavian but drawn from the pupils at Kingsteignton County Primary School. Former parish council chairman Malcolm Vallance can be seen in the prow of the boat.


The above two photos are from the collection of the late Miss Barbara Laws and were kindly donated to the KHS by Graham Lucas.



This float was prepared by Watts, Blake, Bearne & Co and shows the progress in underground mining techniques.

On the left is Ern Willcocks (essential cider keg in hand) depicting the old shaft method showing pit props and wooden wheel barrows, whilst on the right is Charlie Bunclarke in a mock up of an adit tunnel with metal arches and railed wagons.

Today underground mining has ceased altogether and the clay is extracted in vast open cast quarries.



The forecourt of the Congrgational Church Lecture Hall was the venue for a decorated bicycle and decorated pram competition. Faces that can be recognised here are:- adults, Mrs E Holland, her son Jim, Joyce Morecombe, Jill Morris, Mrs E Beer, Mrs Cattanach Mrs Titt. Children:- Sandra Dore, Janet Carter, Julia Shinn, Paul Tozer, Linda Jones, Jean Howard, Sue Morecombe, Susan Hall, Paula Mutton.


Souvenir pencils were presented to all the village schoolchildren to mark the occasion.

This pencil was presented to the KHS by Mrs Elaine Dowd