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Belstone (St. Mary)

BELSTONE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Oakhampton, hundred of Black Torrington, Black Torrington and Shebbear, and N. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Oakhampton; containing 208 inhabitants. This place, the name of which in the Saxon language signifies "the town of Belus, or the Sun," is situated on the great Falmouth road, by which it is divided from the parish of Sampford-Courtney; it is bounded on the east by the river Taw, which separates it from South Tawton, and on the west by the river Okemont, which separates it from the parish of Oakhampton. According to computation it comprises about 1500 acres, of which 800 are inclosed, and with the exception of a small portion of woodland, are arable, and in good cultivation. Copper-ore is found among the mineral strata, and was formerly wrought: granite is raised in great quantities. The manufacture of blankets is carried on to a considerable extent, affording employment to the poor of several adjoining parishes. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 0. 1.: net income, £154; patron, the Rev. John Hole: the glebe comprises 76 acres, with a substantial house erected in 1836. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style. There are some remains of a Druidical circle.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.