St. Leonard was the Patron Saint of Prisoners and this is probably why churches in the area were so named, in gratitude for the release of King Richard I following payment of the ransom, and subsequent release of the rest of the hostages. St. Leonard’s Tower is all that remains of St. Leonard’s Church in Newton Abbot and is a listed building. Church of St Leonard, Newton Abbot Details.
Newton Abbot had three main streets, Bridge Street, Wolborough Street, and East Street. Courtenay Street and Queen Street grew later leading down to the marshes. Following the arrival of the railway in 1846, access to the station became a priority. Poverty and squalor was commonplace with lack of sanitation and open-range fires until the planners had their way and in Victorian times the market square was reputed to be a place of Victorian elegance. Today the town centre retains some remnants of its past glories such as St. Leonard’s Tower at the junctions of Wolborough Street, Bank Street and East Street.
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