Fremington (St. Peter)

FREMINGTON (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Barnstaple, hundred of Fremington, Braunton and N. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (W. by S.) from Barnstaple; containing 1326 inhabitants. This place, which formerly was a borough, and sent members to parliament in the reign of Edward III., is situated on the shore of Barnstaple bay, at the estuary of the river Taw, called Fremington Pill, where coal-barges deliver their cargoes, and merchant-vessels frequently wait for the spring tides. The parish comprises 6810 acres, of which 999 are waste land or common; the soil is generally a stiff close earth, very rich within a mile of the river, but coarse on part of the high ground. The valleys in some places are finely wooded; the scenery is enlivened by numerous handsome villas, and the views are interesting and extensive. There are several weirs for salmon and other fish, which are found in great quantities. In the neighbourhood are veins of limestone, imbedded in strata of stone of a blue colour, adapted for building: pipe-clay and potter's-clay are also obtained, and the latter has been an article of considerable exportation for more than a century. In 1838 an act was passed for making a railway from Penhill, in the parish, to the town of Barnstaple, and for constructing a dock here. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20. 0. 5., and in the patronage of Lady Francis Trail; impropriator, G. A. Barbor, Esq.: the great tithes have been commuted for £416, and the vicarial for £355; the glebe comprises 84 acres, with a house. The church, a plain ancient edifice, contains memorials of the Barbor family. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Methodists. John Doddridge, in 1650, bequeathed a rent-charge of £50 for a lecture in the church, and £10 per annum for a scholar in either of the universities.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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