1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sidmouth

SIDMOUTH, a market town and watering-place in the Honiton parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, on the river Sid and the English Channel, 1673/4 m. W. by S. of London, by the London & South-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 4201. Lying in a hollow, the town is shut in by hills which terminate in the forelands of Salcombe and High Peak, two sheer cliffs of a deep red colour. The shore line curves away, beyond these, westward to the Start and eastward to Portland—both visible from Sidmouth beach. The restored church of St Nicholas, dating from the 13th century, though much altered in the 15th, contains a window given by Queen Victoria in 1866 in memory of her father, the duke of Kent, who lived at Woolbrook Glen, close by, and died there in 1820. An esplanade is built along the sea-wall, and the town possesses golf links and other recreation grounds. The bathing is good, the climate warm. Formerly of some importance, the harbour can no longer be entered by large vessels, and goods are transhipped into flat-bottomed lighters for conveyance ashore. Fishing is extensively carried on and cattle fairs are held. In the 13th century Sidmouth was a borough governed by a port-reeve. Tradition tells of an older town buried under the sea; and Roman coins and other remains have been washed up on the beach. Traces of an ancient camp exist on High Peak.