Hartland (St. Nectan)
HARTLAND (St. Nectan), a parish and sea-port, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Bideford, hundred of Hartland, Great Torrington and N. divisions of Devon, 13 miles (W. by S.) from Bideford, 53 (W. N. W.) from Exeter, and 215¾ (W. by S.) from London; containing 2223 inhabitants. This place probably owed its origin to a convent said to have been founded by Githa, wife of Earl Godwin, in the reign of Edward the Confessor; and re-founded for Canons regular of the order of St. Augustine, by Geoffrey Dinant, in the reign of Henry II.: the revenue, at the Dissolution, was £306. 13. 2¼. A modern residence now occupies the site of the conventual edifice, some portions of which, however, are retained, particularly the cloisters, forming the basement story of the eastern and western fronts of the mansion. The town is bleakly situated on a cape that terminates in the promontory of Hartland Point about three miles to the north-west, and on the south are some marshy heights: the government is vested in a portreeve. An act of parliament was passed in the reign of Elizabeth for completing the port, which is subject to that of Bideford. On the coast, two miles westward from the town, is a pier or quay, the descent to which is very steep; coasting-vessels here discharge cargoes of coal and limestone, and receive export ladings of corn, &c. There is a market-house; but the market has been discontinued for many years: fairs for cattle, however, are held on the Wednesday in Easter-week, and Sept. 25th; and a great market for cattle on the second Saturday in March. The parish comprises about 15,000 acres, of which one-third is arable, 1800 acres moor and waste, and 300 wood: the soil of about twothirds of the land is marshy and clayey, and that of the remaining portion sandy and rocky. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £97; patrons and impropriators, the Governors of the Charter-House, London. The church is situated on a lofty eminence between the town and quay, about half a mile from the latter, serving as a landmark for mariners: it is a large and handsome structure in the decorated style, with a screen between the nave and the chancel, and contains about 600 sittings. A chapel of ease was lately erected, capable of holding 200 persons. There were anciently eleven chapels in the parish, namely, St. Anthony's, at Harton; St. Leonard's, near Harton; St. Wenn's, at Cheristow; St. John's, at Long Furlong; St. Martin's, at Meddon; St. Mary's, at Firebeacon; St. Heligan's at South Hole; St. James's, at Millford; St. Clare's, at Philham; one at Velley; and another at Gawlish. The Independents have a place of worship. Paul Orchard, Esq., who died in 1812, bequeathed property producing £31 per annum, for the poor.