Beesands derived from ‘Bay Sands’ was first inhabited in the late 18th century when the threat from seaward pirates had diminished; When the first ordnance survey was published in 1805 there were 6 dwellings at the southern end of the village and by the first national census of 1841, 104 men women and children were living here in 17 houses, with the majority of families being supported by the sea. The first public house was ‘The Kings Arms’ (which closed in 1910) was opened in 1823 by Susan Crocker and at the turn of the last century Beesands boasted 2 pubs, 2 shops and a bakery, believe it or not we also had a petrol station.
Fishing continued to be the main source of employment until the early 1970’s when the introduction of wire crab pots, large trawlers and mechanical winches saw the decline of the beach launched boats, we still have three skippers who own trawlers operating from Dartmouth living in Beesands who are descendants of those original families, and yes some of their catch ends up at The Cricket Inn. Today there are approximately 50 houses with a permanent population of about 100, some of the old fishermen’s cottages have been refurbished and become holiday lets, but the village still retains its charm and is almost unique with rolling hillsides to the rear and its close proximity to the sea.
Who'd of thought it?
Keith Richards' family spent regular holidays at Beesands during the 1950s. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger's first public performance was at The Cricket Inn.
An extract from his book 'Life'
Doris: We had Keith and Mick down in Beesands in Devon for the weekend one summer when they were sixteen, seventeen. They used to run coaches from Dartford. Keith had his guitar with him. And Mick was bored to tears down there. "No women, " he said. "No women. " There was nobody down there. Beautiful place. We rented a cottage on the beach. The old boys used to go out and catch mackerel right outside the front door. They used to sell them for sixpence each. Not much for them to do. Swim... They went to the local pub because Keith brought his guitar down. They were quite amazed how he could play then.