BRENT, (SOUTH) a large irregularly built village, in the valley of the small river Avon, has a station on the South Devon Railway, five miles N.E. of Ivybridge, 6 miles W. of Totnes, and 7 miles S.S.W. of Ashburton. Its parish contains 1237 souls, and about 10,100 acres of land of which 6312 acres are cultivated, and the rest open common, &c., in the south-east angle of Dartmoor Forest, where the hills rise boldly from the valleys of the Avon and Erme. The parishe includes the small hamlets of Aish, Charford, Harbournford, Lutton, Wonton, Brent Mill, and many scattered farm-houses. South Brent was formerly a market town, and has still two annual fairs, on the last Tuesdays in April and September, the former called the lamb, and the latter the goose fair, but both are extensive marts for sheep, cattle, and horses, held “under the glove,” a glove being suspended on a pole during the fairs. The manor belonged to Buckfastleigh Abbey, and was purchased by Sir Wm. Petre after the dissolution. Mr. John Elliott holds the manor of Lord Petre, but most of the land was sold in parcels many years ago, and now belongs to Sir W. P. Carew, Dr. Butter and many smaller owners. The Church (St. Patrick,) is a large ancient fabric, in the decorated style, with a low tower and six bells. The Rev. Nathnl. Cole, M.A., is appropriator of the great tithes, and patron and incumbent of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £29. 15s. 4½d., and in 1831 at £906. The glebe is 31A. 3R. 37P., and the tithes were commuted in 1839, for £975. 10s. per annum. The Vicarage House is a good residence near the church. The Independents and Weslyans have small chapels here, and on Brent hill are the ruins of an ancient building, supposed to have been a chapel. The Parish Lands, &c., comprise 64A. and five houses, which have been long vested for the relief of the poor, and are let for about £110 per annum. The poor have also 40s. a year, left by John Peter, in 1570. The Free School is endowed with about 4A. of land, left by John Wilcocks and Thomas Acland. To buy bibles for four poor children, the Rev. Robert Bradford left yearly rent charge of 20s., in 1800.
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