A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
HOLSWORTHY, a market-town and parish in the hundred of BLACK-TORRINGTON, county of DEVON, 42 miles (W. by N.) from Exeter, and 214 (W. by S.) from London, containing 1440 inhabitants. The situation of this place is dreary, and it is of little importance, except on account of its fairs and markets. A branch of the Bude and Launceston canal passes at a short distance to the north of the town. The market is on Wednesday; and there are three fairs: "St. Peter's fair," mentioned in a record of the reign of Edward I, is still a large mart for cattle and various commodities, continuing several days, and commencing on St. Peter's day (July 10th), unless that day falls later in the week than Thursday, in which case the fair begins on the Tuesday following; the other fairs are, April 27th and Oct. 2nd; there is also a great market for cattle on the second Wednesday in February. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £32. 0. 5. The Rev. R. Kingdon was patron in 1819. The church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is an ancient building with a Norman doorway, and some other portions in the same style. Here are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. A National school is supported by voluntary contributions.