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Brideford (St. Thomas Becket)

BRIDEFORD (ST. Thomas à Becket), a parish, in the union of St. Thomas, hundred of Wonford, Crockernwell and S. divisions of Devon, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Moreton-Hampstead; containing 560 inhabitants. The rectory-house of Brideford was occupied by a detachment of parliamentarian forces, previously to their encounter with the royalists at Bovey-Heathfield, in the vicinity. The parish is bounded on the north and east by the river Teign, and intersected in the northern part by the main road from Exeter to Moreton; the number of acres is 4100, by computation. The soil is various, though generally fertile, and the substratum is interspersed with mineral produce: some shafts have been sunk for lead and for manganese, with every reasonable prospect of success; and there are quarries of good granite, which is wrought for various purposes. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 15., and in the patronage of Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £375, and the glebe consists of 238 acres, with a house. The church, a handsome edifice in the decorated and later English styles, was greatly enlarged and embellished in the reign of Henry VIII., and has an elegant rood-loft, a fine screen, and a richly carved pulpit; the chancel is of much earlier date. In the granite rocks, to the north-west of the parish, are some singular caverns; and various celts and ancient coins have been found.

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