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Extracts from an 1857 trades directory, for WEAR GIFFORD

Transcribed by John BISHOP <100041.1516[at]compuserve[dot]com>
and made available with his kind permission.

Wear Gifford is about 3 miles N.N.W. from Great Torrington, 3 miles S.E. from Bideford, and is most romantically situated by the side of the river Torridge. The parish is scattered, and contains several hansome villa residences. In the village is a small woollen manufactory, carried on by Mr. John Williams, of Torrington. The parish contains 1587 acres of land, and a population in 1851 of 551. The number of voters in 1857 was 11; the polling place is in Torrington.

The course of the river is thwarted by a dam, which is called a Wear,and thereof the place took its name (Risdon). The manor was formally held by the Gifford family, who flourished here for many generations, and Sir William Gifford lived here in the reign of Henry III. The house contains many curious and richly-carved wainscots, said to have been brought from various parts of the kingdom; it is now occupied by C.A. Huchinson, Esq. The Right Honourable Mark Rolls and other have estates here.

The Church (Holy Trinity) is a plain structure, containing nave, chancel, and aisles; the tower has five bells. The interior contains several monuments to the Fortescue and Rolle families. The Rev. C. W. Sillifant, Rector; Mr. William Short, Clerk.

There are Methodist Chapels at Cranford's Covert, Gammerton Moor, and in the village, supplied by Circuit Preachers. There are Sunday Schools attached to each.

There is a School on the British and Foreign system, endowed in part by Lovering's Charity, and supported also by the Earl of Fortescue. Number of scholars, about 50 of both sexes. Mr. W. B. Caple, Master; Louisa Caple, Mistress. The Sunday School is also well attended.

Charities. - The charities of the parish are but few, and are dispensed in accordance witht the trust deeds.

Alphabetical List of Clergy, Gentry, Etc.

Balsdon Mrs. Betsy, Wear Barton
Edgeworth Mr. Thomas E., South Cottage
Hole Mrs., Southcott Cottage
Hutchinson C. A., Esq., Wear Hall
Jones Mr. Henry, Road Cliff Cottage
Sillifant Rev. C.W., Rector, Parsonage
West Mrs. Ann, Wear Quay

Alphabetical List of Professions Trades, Etc.

Alford William, sen., farmer, Lower Netherdowns and Benson's
Alford William, jun., farmer, Higher Netherdowns
Ashton John, farmer, Lower and Higher Huxwell, North, Higher and Little Wear.
Balsdon John, farmer, Wear Barton, and part of Benson's
Bates John, butcher and coal merchant, Road Cliff
Caple Louisa, schoolmistress
Caple William Bennett, schoolmaster, Wear Dock
Chamings Daniel, farmer, Little Wear Barton and Rolland
Cole James, boot and shoe maker
Davey George, farmer and builder, Prospect Place and Lower Park
Downing Betty, farmer, Middle Little Wear
Downing George, carpenter, Wear Quay
Fry Susan, miller and farmer, Wear Mill Farm
Fry William, engraver and miller, Wear Mill
Harris William, farmer, South Barton
Hospill Lime Kiln; William Alford, jun., proprietor
Kidwill Ann, farmer, Venton's and Crossdowns
Lamerton Richard, carpenter, Chope's Bridge
Newcombe William, farmer, Little Southcroft
Parr John, Sub-Postmaster
Parr John, boot and shoe maker, Corner
Sanders Sarah, shopkeeper, Chope's Bridge
Short Thos., victualler, tailor, and draper, Fortescue Arms
Short William, tailor and Parish Clerk, Wear Quay
Tout Edmund, farmer, Great Huxwell and Polkinhorne
Tucker David, blacksmith
Turner John, weaver Chope's Bridge
Williams John, woollen manufacturer, and at Great Torrington
Wilson Thomas, farmer, Lower Little Wear
Wilson William, farmer, Cleave