From William White's History, Gazetteer & Directory of Devon, 1850

Transcribed by Caroline <tilburycm <AT> netscape.net>

NORTH TAWTON, a small ancient town, pleasantly situated on the east side of Taw valley, 6½ miles N.E. of Okehampton, and 10 miles W. of Crediton, has in its parish 1728 inhabitants, and about 5350 acres of land, exclusive of Ilton Moor and Stone Moor, now being enclosed and cultivated. It was anciently a market and borough town, and is still governed by a portreeve elected annually, who has a small field during his year of office. From its ancient appellation of Cheping Tawton, it is evident that it had a market long before the grant of John Valletort in 1270, of a market on Wednesday and a fair for three days at the festival of St. Nicholas. The market which was afterwards held on Friday, was discontinued about 1720; but in 1849 a small Market House was erected in the town at the cost of £750, raised in £5 shares, and the market was re-established, to be held on Thursday. Here are three annual fairs, on the third Tuesdays in April and December, and the second Tuesday in October. In the town is a large tan yard and a woollen factory, the latter of which has been employed in the manufacture of serges, &c., from a very early period. Most of the modern brick and slated houses occupy the sites of old thatched cob buildings, which wereburnt down during the last 30 years. The manor was an ancient demesne of the Crown, and was held successively by the Valletort, Champernowne, St. Leger, and Fellowes families, the latter of whom purchased it in 1718. The Hon. Newton Fellowes is now lord of the manor and owner of a great part of the parish, and the rest belongs to the Trustees of the late Lord Rolle, and several smaller owners. Ashridge House is the seat of William ORCHARD, Esq.; Crook Burnell, alias Stone belongs to the STURT family; and Nicholls Nymet Barton belongs to John WREFORD, Esq. The Church (St. Peter) is an ancient structure, with a tower containing six bells, and crowned by a wooden spire. Near the church is a moated site, supposed to have been the ancient seat of the Valletorts. The rectory valued in K.B. at £32 4s. 7d., and in 1831 at £884, is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. G. Hole, B.C.L., of Chulmleigh, whose son officiates, and occupies the Rectory House, a good residence in the Elizabethan style. The glebe is 95A., and the tithes were commuted in 1844 for £797.15s.10d. per annum. The Independents & Bible Christians have small chapels here. The Church Lands and Cottages are let for about £28 a year. The Free School was endowed in 1746 by the Rev. Rd. Hole, with a house and 10 acres of land at West Newton. The Poor have about 26s. 8d. yearly from the gifts of Cphr. Kelland and Edmund Rowland.

BLIGHT Samuel, tailor & stationer
BUDD Christian M.D., surgeon
BULLEID Samuel, maltster
CHAPPLE John, land surveyor, & agent to the Sun Fire office
COLLIHOLE Wm. saddler, agent to West of England Insurance Co., &c.
DAY Wm. blacksmith
DURANT Captain John
DURANT Wm. draper
DURANT John, saddler
ELLIS John, schoolmaster
FULFORD Robert, solicitor
GILL John, watch & clock maker
GILLARD George, solicitor
GOWMAN Ts. & PYKE Jno., shoemakers
HOLE Rev. G. jnr., curate, Rectory
HO[__]ER John, blacksmith
LETHERN Wm. timber merchant
LETHERN John M;, auctionner, &c.
MORRIS John Wm. surgeon
ORCHARD Wm. gent., Ashridge House
PEDLER Wm. draper, &c.
PILLMAN Jonas, cooper
PONSFORD John, grocer
PYKE Hugh, assistant overseer
RODD Francis, schoolmaster
SKINNER John, gent., Westacott
STANTON Joseph H. R., druggist
STONEMAN Robert & John, butchers, &c.
SWEET Mr. Charles S.
TUCKER G., tailor
TAMLIN Thomas, ironmonger
TAYLOR Lancelot & Philip, shoemakers
VICARY Gilbert, serge & flannel manufacturer
VICARY William, tanner &c.
VILVEN Geo. & Richard, tailors
WESTERN James, currier, &c.
WHITE Robert, cabinet maker
WREFORD John, Esq., Nicholls Nymet
WILKEY Mary, grocer, &c.

Fountain, Wm. HAWKINS
George Inn, Wm. DURANT
Gostwyck Arms, John BICKHAM
Ring of Bells, Wm. FISHER

BORN Cphr.
DRAKE Fras. D.


CARRIERS to Crediton, Exeter, &c.

NYMET, (BROAD) on one of the tributary streams of the river Taw, 8½ miles W. of Crediton, is a small parish, which contains only 50 inhabitants, and 451 acres of land; and until lately, it claimed exemption from county and highway rates, but a recent decision in the Court of Exchequer declared it to be liable for both. It pays church and poor rates &c., to North Tawton, its small antique church having been long used as a lumber room. Its sinecure rectory, valued in K.B. at £2. 4s. 2d., and in 1821 at £48, is in the same patronage and incumbency as Bow, or Nymet-Tracy. The manor anciently belonged to the family of De Brode Nymet, and is now nealy all in one farm, belonging to Mr. Rd. Dunning, and occupied by Thos. Prickman.