A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
BEER-FERRIS, a parish in the hundred of ROBOROUGH, county of DEVON, 7½ miles (S. by W.) from Tavistock, containing, with the borough of Beer-Alston, 2198 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Bath and Wells, rated in the king's books at £24. 1. 0½., and in the patronage of Viscount Valletort. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew. The parish is bounded on the west by the navigable river Tamar, and on the east by the Tavey, which unite at its southern extremity, and fall into the English channel on the western side of Devonport.
BEER-ALSTON, a borough in the parish of BEER-FERRIS, hundred of ROBOROUGH, county of DEVON 14 miles (N.) from Plymouth, and 211 (W. S. W.) from London. The population is returned with the parish. This place, about the year 1295, received the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair, which have been for a considerable time discontinued. It is pleasantly situated within a mile of the navigable river Tamar but consists only of a few mean houses. Some lead mines, opened here in the reign of Edward I., produced abundance of ore, from which a great quantity of silver was separated; after a long period of disuse they were again worked, but their produce had greatly diminished. A portreeve and other officers are annually chosen at the court leet of the lord of the manor, which is held under a large tree, where also the election of the parliamentary representatives for the borough takes place. The elective franchise was conferred in the 27th of Elizabeth, since which time the borough has returned two members to parliament: the right of election is vested by burgage tenure in those who have land in the borough, and pay an acknowledgment to the lord of the manor, upon whose will their number is entirely dependent: the portreeve is the returning officer. Here was formerly a chapel of ease to the rectory of Beer- Ferris. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists.