HARBERTON, a small village of 353 inhabitants, on high ground, in a pleasant valley, 2½ miles S. S. W. of Totnes, has in its parish 1496 souls, and 5755 acres of land, including six hamlets, of which the following are the names and population :- Harbertonford, 468 ; Luscombe, 55 ; East Leigh, 171 ; West Leigh, 45 ; Belsford, 55 ; and Englebourne, 49. The soil is generally light and fertile, and in the parish is a remarkable rock of trap stone, so hard as to resist the mason’s chisel, and surrounded by dunstone and slate. The manor, anciently held by the Valletorts, was dismembered many years ago, and now belongs to many freeholders, some of whom have neat and pleasant seats here, as named below. J. Parott, Richard and John Brown, C. Webber, E. W. W. Pendarves, and John Bidlake, Esqrs., and the Rev. W. B. Bennett, are the principal owners. At Harbertonford, on the banks of the small river Harbourn, is an old wollen factory, now occupied as a corn mill and starch manufactory; and in the same valley is the large shovel and reaping hook manufactory, called Hill Mills. The Church (St. Andrew,) is one of the finest specimens of the decorated style in the county, and has a lofty tower and six bells. The stone pulpit is richly carved, gilt, and coloured, and has statues of the apostles on its octagonal sides. The screen and parclose are in the same rich style, and the clustered columns have foliated capitals. The font is Anglo-Norman; and in the chancel are three richly canopied stalls, and a fine altar screen. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £49. 2s. 1d., and in 1831 at £752, with the curacy of Halwell annexed to it, is in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, and incumbency of the Rev. George Martin, B.D., chancellor of the diocese, and canon of Exeter. The glebe (74A.,) and parsonage are occupied by a farmer. The tithes were commuted in 1847, the vicarial for £535, and the rectorial for £400 per annum. The latter belong to the patrons, but are leased to W. H. Hellyar, Esq. There are National Schools at Harberton and Harbertonford. The latter was built in 1849, in the Tudor style, and Richard Browne, Esq., has given a house for the use of the master. The Baptists have a small chapel here. The Parish Lands, &c., which have been vested in trust from an early period, comprise eleven houses and cottages, with gardens, &c., and 18A. of land, called Cockwell, and let for about £48 per annum, subject to fines on the renewal of the leases. The clear rent and tithes are applied in the aid of the church rates, except what is necessary for repairing Harberton school-house. A blacksmith’s shop, house, orchard, and garden, let for £5, were left for the benefit of the poor, by Wm. Huxham, about 1630. Here is an Almshouse of ten small rooms, for as many poor people, built pursuant to the will of Henry Wyse, about 1680. Two closes of land, at Bridgewater, are charged with the repairs of this almshouse; and the inmates have a yearly rent-charge of 50s., out of an estate called Symon’s Borough, at Hemyock. The founder also charged the same estate with an annuity of 40s., for the poor parishioners of Harberton, who have also the following yearly doles: viz., 5s., left in 1608, by Wm. Wotton; £4, out of Higher Langaford estate, left in the sixteenth of Charles I., by Thos. Risdon; £2, out of Higher and Lower Hele, left by John and Richard Norris; £1, out of Nield’s Tenement, left by Henry Shillbeer; and 13s. 4d., left by John Sparke, out of Dorseley estate.
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