The History of Bishopsteignton
From W. D. Cleland and A. C. Ellis – M. Laithwaite
The name of Bishopsteignton is composed of Celtic and Anglo Saxon words, Teign or Tain is a Celtic word of river and Ton is Anglo Saxon for enclosure. The prefix Bishops was added later to signify the owners.
The Celts took possession of Devon and Cornwall from early times until after the Roman occupation ended. The Anglo Saxons then invaded and pushed the Celts down into Cornwall and South Devon. They lived peacefully with one another until the Reign of King Athelstan in 925 AD when strife and discord arose between them. King Athelstan 925 AD formed a Monastery on the site of the Bishop’s Palace, as a thanksgiving, for winning the battle against the Celts.
Edward the Confessor 1042 made Leofric Bishop of Exeter in 1050 and from then on until about 1501 Bishops of Exeter resided there from time to time.
From the 8th Century onwards the Danes were a great danger and gave much trouble to our land, by their frequent invasions and many times Devon suffered severely. In 1001 AD during the reign of Ethelred 11 the Danes according to the Anglo Saxon Chronical, did great damage to the country. They burned Teignton and also many other good towns and afterwards peace was made with them.
The Celts rebelled against the King, who promptly drove them out of Exeter. King Athelstan on his way south, met a northward advancing army of Celts led by King Howel and after a sharp conflict on Haldon (Castle Dyke) the Celts were defeated. King Athelston continued to push south until he had driven all the Celts over the Tamar River into Cornwall. As a thanks to God for all his victories he built and set up many monasteries and had portions of the Bible translated into Anglo Saxon for the easier use of his subjects. In Devon he endowed 26 villages and built many monasteries and filled them with Benedictine Monks and Teignton or Taintona was one of them. So now we have an early religious settlement within our village of “Old Walls”
Possibly the field across from the monastery called Peace Park is where the peace treaty was signed The monks probably drew up the documents. It is still known today as Peace Park.
In 1042 AD Edward the Confessor became King and Crediton was the seat of the Bishops of Devon and Cornwall. He appointed Leofric, who was his chaplain, Chancellor and Privy Counsellor to the Bishop in the same year. In 1050 AD the seat was moved to Exeter, because it was a walled town and Leofric was installed as the first Bishop of Exeter. Several charters were bestowed on him by the King and Teignton or Taintona was one of them. This is how Bishops came to be put in front of Teignton…. Hence Bishopsteignton….. (Bishops Town on the Teign)