[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)]
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003
"LYDFORD, a parish in the hundred of Lifton, county Devon, 7½ miles N.E. of Tavistock, its post town, and 14 from Launceston. The village, which is small, is situated on the river Lyd, here crossed by a bridge of rude construction. Near it is a fall of the Lyd, which rushes over a chasm of 80 feet in depth. In a valley to the E. of the village is a cascade called Kitt's Hole, and another to the S.W. The parish includes the chapelry of Dartmoor Forest, which comprises an area of 53,900 acres. Lydford, although now an inconsiderable village, was formerly a market and chief stannary town returning two members to parliament in the reign of Edward I. At the time of the Norman conquest it was considered of such importance as to be taxed on an equality with London. In 1238 the forest of Dartmoor and the castle of Lydford were granted by the king to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and the manor still belongs to the duchy. In the neighbourhood are several tin and copper mines. The stannary courts were held here till the close of the last century, and offenders against the stannary laws were tried and imprisoned in the castle, of which some remains still exist. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter, value £160, in the patronage of the Prince of Wales, who is lord of the manor. The church is dedicated to St. Petrock. There is a place of worship for the Wesleyans. At Prince's Town, in Dartmoor Forest, is also a chapel, with a minister appointed by the crown. This chapel was originally attached to the prison built here in 1808 for the reception of the numerous French prisoners. This latter building was an immense structure capable of holding near 10,000 men, with hospital, governor's house, and barracks adjoining."
"COSSON TOR, the highest peak in Dartmoor Forest in the parish of Lydford, in the county of Devon, rising 2,090 feet above the level of the sea."
"CROCKERN TOR, a wild moor in the forest of Dartmoor in the parish of Lydford, in the S. division of the county of Devon, where the ceremony of opening the stannary courts takes place, after which they are adjourned to a town."
"DARTMOOR FOREST, a quarter in the parish of Lydford, hundred of Lifton, in the county of Devon, 5½ miles N.E. of Tavistock. It comprises 53,900 acres, and is part of the Great Moor between Oakhampton, Tavistock, and Moreton Hampstead, belonging to the duchy of Cornwall. It consists of high rugged peaks, in height from 1,200 to 2,050 feet, on some of which are Druidical circles, and on others beacons. Copper, iron, tin, and other minerals are found and worked here. A few dwarf trees, the only remains of King John's Forest, may be seen. The stannary parliament is held at Crockerne. At the top of Brent Tor is an old church. The railway goes to Plymouth. The living is a curacy in the diocese of Exeter. Mr. Morgan's hounds meet here; also Mr. Newton's, and the Forest harriers. A fair is held at Two Bridges on the first Wednesday after the 16th August."
"ERNE, a small river rising in Dartmoor Forest, in the parish of Lydford, county Devon, and falling into Bigbury Bay. It is a hunt for the Lyneham otter-hounds."
"HARBURN, a stream rising in Dartmoor in the parish of Lydford, county Devon, near Skerrit, and falling into the Dart below Harberton."
"PRINCETOWN, a hamlet in the parish of Lydford, county Devon, 7 miles N.E. of Tavistock. It is situated in Dartmoor Forest, and is the site of a convict prison and barracks. Some years past works were established here for extracting naphtha from peat."
"TAW, a river, county Devon, rises under Okemont Hill, in Dartmoor Forest in the parish of Lydford, and after receiving the tributary streams of the Little Dart and Yeo, falls into Barnstable Bay."