Coordinates: 50°40′48″N 3°14′20″W / 50.680°N 3.239°W / 50.680; -3.239

Sidmouth is located in Devon

 Sidmouth shown within Devon
Population 14,400 
OS grid reference SY124874
District East Devon
Shire county Devon
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Sidmouth
Postcode district EX10
Dialling code 01395
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament East Devon
List of places: UK • England • Devon

Sidmouth (play /ˈsɪdməθ/) is a small town on the English Channel coast in Devon, South West England. The town lies at the mouth of the River Sid in the East Devon district, 15 miles (24 km) south east of Exeter. It has a population of about 15,000, of whom 40% are over 65.[1] The town is a tourist resort and a gateway town on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. A large part of the town has been designated as a conservation area.



Sidmouth appeared in the Domesday Book as Sedemuda. Like many towns on the south coast, it was a small fishing village. Though attempts have been made to construct a harbour here, none have succeeded, and a lack of shelter in the bay prevented the town growing as a port.[2]

Sidmouth remained a small village until the fashion for coastal resorts grew in the Georgian and Victorian periods of the 18th and 19th centuries. The town's numerous fine Georgian and Regency villas and mansions are now mostly hotels.

In 1819, George III's son Edward, Duke of Kent, his wife and baby daughter (the future Queen Victoria) came to stay at Woolbrook Glen for a few weeks. In less than a month he had died after a brief illness. The house later became the Royal Glen Hotel, and a plaque on an exterior wall records the visit.

In 1874, Sidmouth was connected to the railway network by a branch line from Sidmouth Junction to Sidmouth railway station. The line was dismantled in 1967 as part of the Beeching Axe.

In 2008, Canadian millionaire, Keith Owen, who had vacationed in the town and planned to retire there, bequeathed the community's civic society, Sid Vale Association, about £1.5 million upon learning that he had only weeks to live due to lung cancer. The bequest is to be used as a capital fund which would generate an annual interest dividend of around £60,000 annually for community projects. Daily Mail.


Sidmouth from Salcombe Hill

Sidmouth, as its name suggests, lies at the mouth of the River Sid in a valley between Peak Hill to the west and Salcombe Hill to the east. The town is surrounded by the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is on the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, and the South West Coast Path. Sidmouth's rocks contain fossils and so this stretch of coast is part of the Jurassic coast world heritage site. The red-coloured rocks indicate the arid conditions of the Triassic.

Erosion remains a serious concern east of the mouth of the River Sid. The cliffs have been heavily eroded, threatening clifftop homes and the coastal footpath.[3][4]

A wide esplanade has been a seafront feature since Regency times. A series of southwesterly storms in the early 1990s washed away much of the shingle beach protecting the masonry, and a series of artificial rock islands was constructed to protect the sea front and tons of pebbles were trucked in to replace the beach.[5]


The Sidmouth seafront. The red cliff is Salcombe Hill exposing Jurassic rocks.

The Manor Pavilion houses a small arts centre and a theatre that plays host to both amateur and professional productions.[6] The town has one cinema, the Radway Cinema.[7]

Sidmouth has been a frequent winner of the Britain in Bloom awards. Most recently it won the Small Town category in 2001 and the Coastal Resort category in 2005.

The parish church is St Giles & St Nicholas. Sidmouth Museum, next door to the church, has local memorabilia, historical artefacts, and geological samples.[8]

Sidmouth is home to the Norman Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium, located on a hilltop site at Salcombe. The observatory, completed in 1912, fell into disuse and ruin but was saved from demolition by the appeals of local enthusiasts to East Devon District Council. The observatory now operates as a science education project and is open to the public.[9]

The Sidmouth Herald is the local newspaper.

Folk Week

Sidmouth Folk Week is a famous annual folk festival in early August attracting musicians and visitors from around the world. Due to the increased cost of public liability insurance, it became less financially viable over the years and in 2005 the last of the commercial sponsors, essential for its existence, pulled out. To continue the tradition, individuals grouped together to form Sidmouth FolkWeek Productions, a limited company. Since the change of format, the event has been held on a smaller scale, with no arena at the Knowle, though marquees are still erected in the Blackmore Gardens and The Ham, which is at the eastern end of the town.

Literary references

Sidmouth has featured in literary works, including as "Stymouth" in Beatrix Potter's children's story The Tale of Little Pig Robinson (1930). The author includes views of the beach and other parts of the Devon countryside in the work. In Thomas Hardy's Wessex, the town is the inspiration for "Idmouth" in West Wessex. "Baymouth" in William Makepeace Thackeray's Pendennis, and "Spudmouth" in the The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, are both based on the town.

Sidmouth has also been the setting for television shows; most recently in an ITV adaptation of Agatha Christie's Marple in Summer 2005.

Sidmouth was a favourite location for Sir John Betjeman. He chose it as the subject of the first programme of the television series John Betjeman In The West Country that he wrote and presented in 1962. The script takes the form of an extended poem and was republished in 2000 as a short book, illustrated with shots from the programme.[10]

Overall view of Sidmouth

Sidmouth Town Band

During the summer, the Sidmouth Town Band, a brass band, play a series of concerts in the Connaught Gardens each Sunday evening at 8pm. This tradition has been maintained since the band was formed in the early 1860s and runs from late May until early September.

In 2010, during competition, the band was crowned the West of England Champions in the third section. They went on that year to win third prize at the National Finals of Great Britain. In 2011, the band retained their West of England Champions title and are promoted to the second section from 2012. They will again be competing in the National Finals in September 2011.

Twin towns

Sidmouth is twinned with Le Locle in Switzerland.


The principal income of the town is from tourism. The town is also a retirement destination, so pensioner spending is another source of income.

Sidmouth has a large independent department store, Fields of Sidmouth, which has been on the same site for over 200 years. There are pubs, restaurants, coffee houses, and tea rooms. The town also has an indoor swimming pool, a sports hall at the leisure centre, a college, cinema, and golf course.

The Donkey Sanctuary, a charity devoted to the welfare of donkeys is nearby.


Pedestrian Zone

The state secondary school, Sidmouth College, is a comprehensive school which takes children aged 11–18 from as far away as Exmouth and Exeter. The school is a specialist Technology College status.[11] At the time of the last Ofsted inspection (mid 2010), there were 891 pupils on roll and the school was considered to be 'satisfactory'.[12] Previous ofsted report was in early 2005, 869 students on roll and the school was considered to be 'Satisfactory'.[13]

Sidmouth College is situated in an unrivalled position in the beautiful Sid Valley and is a Comprehensive Community College with specialist Technology status. The College is regularly over-subscribed and, because of its local popularity, admits students from a wide area in East Devon. A recent award which has been won by the college's English department was the Carnegie award, this was awarded to a group of year 9 pupils in 2011.

There is one state junior school in the town, which is part of sidmouth schools, which takes children from between the ages of 8 and 11. There are two state infant schools,which is part of sidmouth schools. There is also a private preparatory school in Sidmouth, St John's School, which takes children from 2 – 13 years old including many overseas boarders. In 2007, the school was taken over by International Education Systems (IES).[14]

The Sidmouth International School is an English Language school for foreign students.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sidmouth — Bucht (rotes Meereswasser) mit Blick zu Salcombe Hill …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sidmouth —   [ sɪdməθ], 1. Viscount, britischer Politiker, Addington, Henry, Lord, 1. Viscount Sidmouth.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth [1] — Sidmouth (spr. Siddmaßh), Stadt in der englischen Grafschaft Devon, am Kanal (La Manche) gelegen; Seebad; 2600 Ew …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth [2] — Sidmouth (spr. Siddmaßh), Henry Addington, Viscount S., geb. 1756 in London, Sohn eines Arztes, wurde mit Pitt erzogen u. dessen Freund, widmete sich der Jurisprudenz, trat 1782 ins Unterhaus u. unterstützte dort Pitt gegen Fox. 1789 wurde er… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth — Sidmouth, der zweite Viscount S., Sohn des 1844 verstorbenen Henry Addington, war geb. 1794, folgte seinem Vater in der Pairie u. st. 1864 auf seinem Landsitz in Surrey; diesem folgte als dritter Viscount sein ältester Sohn …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth [1] — Sidmouth (spr. ßiddmöth), Stadt in Devonshire (England), in einem Tal an der Mündung des Sid in den Kanal, mit alter, 1860 erneuerter gotischer Kirche. großer Esplanade, Seebädern und (1901) 4201 Einwohnern …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth [2] — Sidmouth (spr. ßiddmöth), Henry Addington, Viscount, brit. Staatsmann, geb. 30. Mai 1757 in London als Sohn eines Arztes, gest. 15. Febr. 1844, studierte in Oxford und knüpfte früh eine enge Freundschaft mit dem jüngern Pitt, durch dessen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth — (spr. ßíddmöth), Hafenstadt in der engl. Grafsch. Devon, an der Mündung des Sid in den Kanal, (1901) 4201 E.; Seebad …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth [2] — Sidmouth (spr. ßíddmöth), Henry Addington, Viscount, engl. Staatsmann, geb. 30. Mai 1757 in London, 1801 4 Ministerpräsident, 1812 22 Staatssekretär des Innern, gest. 15. Febr. 1844 …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sidmouth — (Siddmöhs), Henry Addington, Viscount, geb. 1755 zu London, Sohn eines Arztes, wurde Sachwalter, kam 1782 in das Unterhaus, Anhänger Pitts, 1789 Sprecher, 1801 für kurze Zeit erster Minister, später noch einigemal Mitglied des Toryministeriums,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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