Ivybridge is a small town and civil parish in the South Hams, in Devon, England. It lies about 9 miles (14.5 km) east of Plymouth. It is at the southern extremity of Dartmoor, a National Park of England and Wales and lies along the A38 “Devon Expressway” road. There are two electoral wards in Ivybridge East and Ivybridge West with a total population of 11,851.
Mentioned in documents as early as the 13th century, Ivybridge’s early history is marked by its status as an important crossing-point over the River Erme on the Exeter-to-Plymouth route. In the 16th century mills were built using the River Erme’s power. The parish of Saint John was formed in 1836. Ivybridge became a civil parish in 1894 and a town in 1977.
The early urbanisation and development of Ivybridge largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution. Stowford Paper Mill was built in 1787 and rebuilt again in the 1860s with extensive investment. In 1848 the railway arrived on the northern edge of the village [South Devon Railway Company]. The paper mill closed in 2013 after 226 years in Ivybridge and the buildings are being converted to homes and shops. Ivybridge is often referred to as a commuter town, although a small proportion of people work in the town itself, and agriculture continues to play an economic role for the surrounding area. The area surrounding Ivybridge is varied and complex, including river valleys, farmland and dense woodland.