History

The History of Eggbuckland stretches back many centuries, well past medieval times into the mysterious world of the dark ages and perhaps before. There is no doubt that in the years shortly before the Norman invasion of 1066, this area of land was held by a Saxon lord, Heche, and it is from him that Eggbuckland gained its curious, smile provoking name. The word ‘Buckland’ is derived from the old English ‘boc’ (book) land, that is land granted by Royal Charter. So we can trace the name from ‘Hech’s bocheland’ in 1086 to ‘Eckebokeland’ in 1221 and finally to Eggbuckland today. This present form was first used in the Parish Register in 1685.

The Building of the Church

Whilst we can be certain that a church existed in Eggbuckland as far back as Norman times and probably before, the building of the present church took place in the early 15th century, about 1420/1430. At this time, Eggbuckland was a prosperous rural district, fortunate in not having to share Plymouth’s defence expenses. The reign of Henry VI was a time of great religious enthusiasm. Old churches all over the country were being replaced by magnificent new ones, usually in the perpendicular style. Today the bulk of the west tower, the nave, south aisle and porch, date from this time. These were built of local stone, and Dartmoor granite, with surface granite from Dartmoor for traceries, quoins and weatherings. The pinnacles on the tower are unusually tall and help to give St Edward’s its own character.

Renovation of the church took place in 1775 when it was “beautified”. This involved the stripping of anything that was old which, it is said, “people of the time hated”.

Text copyright from  'Guide to the Church of St Edward: King & Martyr, Eggbuckland'                         (P. Whatty et al)