IPPLEPEN is a medium size village built on a limestone plateau south west of Newton Abbot. It has been development from an ancient core around the church of St.Andrews, surrounded by farms. The village is close to the A381 from Totnes to Newton Abbot in the District of Teignbridge. Many winding lanes approach the village from south, west and north, from unspoilt countryside.
The name IPPLEPEN is thought to be Celtic and has been spelled in many different ways Ippelanpanna, Iplanpen (AD952), Ipplepena (Domesday Book),Ypplepen (1172), and even Hypelepenn and Uppelpen.
There are a few relics of Ipplepen from the centuries before written records. A copper axe-head from about 1500bc was found and was deposited in Torquay Natural History Museum. Other artefacts have been found over the years by archaeologists when excavations have taken place.
The Bounds of Ipplepen
The bounds of the parish of Ipplepen enclose an area nearly three miles across and approximately 16 miles around. The tradition of beating the bounds is still carried out every 7-8 years, the last time being on the 5th May 2008, when over 400 parishioners walked the boundary and a great community day was had by all who took part.
To the north of the church of St.Andrews, a large 19th century house in extensive grounds known as The Priory. It has been suggested that this was the site of a mediaeval priory. Some parts of Ipplepen seem to preserve evidence of a planned settlement of the mediaeval period. The Old Grange is interesting: a grange was a farm attached to a monastery. If there was a priory in Ipplepen, this could have been its farm. A few grand houses still stand in Fore Street and East Street and Ipplepen is an area where thatch and slate are still the predominant roofing in the conservation area.
The Parish Church
The present building of St.Andrews Church dates originally from the early 14th century although there is also evidence that there was a church long before that possibly in Norman times.