HARTLAND, a small decayed market town, is situated near a rivulet, 13 miles W. by S. of Bideford, and 2 miles from, the sea, about the middle of that north-west corner of Devon which juts out into the Bristol Channel, at Bideford Bay, opposite Lundy Island. Its parish is in Bideford union, county court district, and petty sessional division, Northern division of the county, Barnstaple archdeaconry, Hartland hundred, and rural deanery. It had 1871 inhabitants (929 males, 942 females) in 1871, living in 894 houses, on 16,700 acres. Hartland parish includes the hamlets of Millford, Meddon, Cheristow, Elmscott, Eddystone, and Philham, and the village of Stoke, from 1 to 2 miles west of the town. In old documents a borough called Harton is said to have been within this parish. There is a quay at Stoke, on the western coast, where corn, &c. is exported, And coal, limestone, &c. are imported. Hartland had a grant for a market every Tuesday, in 1280, but it has been obsolete more than sixty years. It has still two annual fairs, on the Wednesday in Easter Week, and September 25. This high and bleak parish is bounded on the south by some boggy heights, where the rivers Torridge and Tamar have their sources; and on the west by Hartland Point, called by Ptolemy the Promontory of Hercules, and by Camden, Harty Point. There is a small pier at the Point, near which fishing vessels find good shelter from south-westerly winds, under the rocky eminences which skirt the shore. Sir George Stucley, Bart., is lord of the manor, and at the court leet and baron a portreeve and other officers are appointed. Daniel Dennis Carter, Esq., William Chope, Esq., Richard Chope, Esq., James and John Haynes, Esqrs., and others, have estates in the parish. HARTLAND ABBEY, the seat of Colonel William Lewis Stucley, stands near Stoke village, and the church, in the narrow.vale, whose sloping sides are richly mantled with hanging woods and form a spacious deer park, through which a rivulet winds westward to the sea, about a mile below. This abbey, called in ancient writings the Monastery of St. Nectan, was founded by Githa, wife of Earl Godwin, for canons secular; but in the reign of Henry II., Geoffrey de Dinant, then lord of the manor, consented that they should be changed into canons regular, and gave them the church of Stoke Nectan, now the parish church. At the dissolution of the abbey, its revenues were valued at £326 13s. 21/2d. per annum. Its site was granted, with the manor in 1545, to William Abbott,and afterwards passed, by heiresses to the Lutterrells and Orchards. The mansion was nearly all rebuilt about the year 1800 by the late Paul Orchard, Esq., and includes the site and some portions of the ancient abbey, the cloister's now forming the basement story of the east and west fronts. When making these improvements, several fragments of richly ornamented mouldings, and a monument of a crusader were dug up. The CHURCH (St. Nectan) stands more than a mile west of the town, on a lofty eminence near the sea, Stoke village, and the Abbey. It is a large and handsome building, consisting of a tower, a nave, two aisles, and a chancel; the latter of which is divided from the nave by a richly ornamented screen. The church contains several stained glaas windows, which have been added by the Stucley family. It was repaired and beautified in 1849-50, at the cost of about £800. The Registers date from 1558. The advowson and the great tithes-of the parish were purchased in 1615, by the founder of the Charter House, London, and settled as part of the endowment of that excellent institution. The advowson was purchased from the Charter House about thirty years ago by the late Thomas Chope, Esq., and given to his son, the Rev. T. H. Chope, B.A., who is now the patron and incumbent. The great tithes were commuted in 1842 for £560 per annum. The vicarage was valued in 1831 at only £97 per annum, and now at £220 a year, with £32 of Q.A.B., and 31/2 acres of glebe.
The CHAPEL OF EASE (St. John) in Hartland Town, is a small structure, formerly the market house, but converted to its present use in 1839, at a cost of £400, raised by subscription. The INDEPENDENT CHAPEL was built in 1818, and reseated and refitted in 1871. In 1868 a cottage was altered into a schoolroom. at an outlay of £60. Mr. Carter left by will, in 1837, a cottage, the rent of which was to augment the minister's salary, but the then tenant was to remain in possession for life ; his life interest has, however, recently been purchased by the trustees of the chapel for £20. The BIBLE CHRISTIANS have a chapel in the village, erected in 1873, at an expense of £250; one at Eddystone ; and a third on the turnpike road near the boundary of the parishes of Hartland and Clovelly. The WESLEYANS have a chapel in the village, and one at Millford. The SCHOOL BOARD was formed on August 26, 1874, and consists of Mr. D. H. Congdon (chairman), Mr. Rd. Prust (vice-chairman), and Messrs. Littlejohns, Blackmore, Haynes, Hogg, and Cleverdon. Mr. T. Braund is clerk. A new School was built in 1877, at a total cost, including furniture, &c., of £1300, and has accommodation for 126 boys and girls (mixed), and 80 infants.
The Church Lands, which have been vested in trust from an early period for the use of the church, comprise a farm of 54A. 3R. 36p. at West Staddon, and a farm of 16A. 2R. 39p., and a house and garden at Hartland, let for about £44 per annum, which is carried to the churchwarden's account. Four small dwellings for paupers have been partitioned off from the two church houses. An almshouse for three poor widows was founded by William Mill, in 1618, and is supposed to have been endowed with 1A. 3R. 8p. of land let for £4, which is applied with the poor rates. Adjoining the almshouse is a building which was formerly the parish workhouse. In 1812 Paul Orchard left for the poor parishioners £700 Three per Cent. Consols, producing £21 a year, and £334 14s. 7d, Three per Cent. Reduced Annuities, producing £10 a year, and directed the dividends of the former to be distributed in coals or other fuel, and the dividends of the latter in bread.
Besides the above, the poor have the benefits of a lying-in charity, a clothing, and a blanket club, Col. Orchard's benefaction of coal and flour; and £3 a year, given in fuel, left by the Rev. Thomas Hooper Morrison in 1824. There is also a Parish Library of 200 volumes, and a Cottage and Garden Society, founded by the Rev. W. W. Martyn and the late W. Rowe, Esq., for the encouragement of industry among cottagers, and also of knitting and sewing. The show takes place on the last Thursday in July in every year. In the parish documents is an old paper, dated March 17,1634,' being a precept of Sir Thomas Drewe, Sheriff of Devon, to the constables of Hartland, and to William Atkinson, Charles Yen, and Lawrence Deyman, " collectors appoynted by me for his Majestie's service." The persons,'' he states, " named, do obstynately and rebelliously refuse to paye such reasonable sommes of Money as hath bene by me assessed on them for and towards the advancement of his Majesty's service, in getting foorth of shippinge for the better safeguard of his Majesty's subjects against robbers, and pyrates both of sea and land.... to the dishartinage of his Majesty's lovinge subjectes and evill example of others, who may thereby take encouragement to adventure the like rebellious and obstinate refusal."' Among the nine who thus took their stand against Unconstitutional measures, were Thomas Cooke, assessed for £3 6s. 8d., and John Lapthorne, 12s. Among the papers is also a printed proclamation of Charles II., dated August 10, 1670, for the collection of moneys to redeem Christian captives in Turkey.
POST, MONEY ORDER, and TELEGRAPH OFFICE at Mr. John Howard's. Letters are received at 10 a.m., and despatched at 4 p.m. week days, and 3 p.m. Sundays, viâ Bideford.