1850 Gazetteer of Staverton England

STAVERTON is a small village at the south-eastern extremity of its large parish, on the south side of the river Dart, 3 miles N.N.W. of Totnes. Its parish comprises 1069 souls, and 5356A. 2R. 5P. of land, rising boldly from the Dart valley, and including the hamlets of Woolstone Green, Sparkwell, and Strechford, many scattered farm-houses, and about 700 acres of orchard grounds, celebrated for excellent cider. In the northern part of the parish, about two miles S. of Ashburton, are the Penn Recca Slate Quarries, which have been worked for centuries, but only on a small scale till the last eight years, during which the present spirited company of proprietors have expended about £30,000, chiefly in tunnelling and open cuttings, which dispense with machinery for lifting, and afford facilities for economical working, possessed by no other quarries in the west of England. About 100 hands are now employed in getting the slate and preparing it for roofing purposes. It is found in immense blocks, and is of a beautiful sage-green colour. Graet quantities of this durable slate are now sent to various parts of the kingdom, and many of the farm-houses, &c., in this neighbourhood, have been roofed with it since the time of Charles I. and James I. Ashburton Church was roofed in the former reign with slates from these quarries, and they remained till about ten years ago. At Pridhamsleigh is large and curious Limestone Cavern. The Dean and Chapter of Exeter are lords of the manor of Staverton, and the owners of six-tenths of the parish. Mr. John Maye is lord of the small manor of Barkington; and Lord Cranstoun is owner of Pridhamsleigh. There are also a few smaller owners, and the Dean and Chapter lands are held on leases renewable every 21 years. The Church (St. George,) is a large venerable structure, with a tower and six bells. It is mostly in the decorated style, and the living is a vicarage, valued in K.B. at £32. 14s. 9½d. and in 1831 at £394. The Rev. Wm. Martin is the incumbent, and has a neat residence and 3A. 31P. of glebe. The Dean and Chapter are patrons, and also appropriators of the great tithes, now leased to Mrs. Kitson. The tithes were commuted in 1842, the vicarial for £385, and the rectorial for £460 per annum. A handsome New Church is now building at Landscove, near Wooston Green, in the centre of the parish, at the cost of about £3000, subscribed by Miss Champernoune and several smaller contributors. It will be endowed by the Dean and Chapter, and near it is a Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1841. The poor parishioners have 15A. of land, and £100 Navy five per cents., derived from £200, left by Edward Bovey in 1709. They have also 13A. of land, purchased with £200, left by Edward Gould, together with 20s. a year out of Bottom Park. For schooling and relieving the poor, the Rev. Thos. Baker left £200, which was invested in 1802 in £349. 15s. 4d. three per cent. consols. Of the income, £8 is applied in schooling poor children, together with the dividends of £66. 13s. 4d. of the same stock, left by Thos. Bradridge in 1815. The poor have also an annuity of 32s., left by Wm. Gould.

Gazetteer, History,

White, William. History, gazetteer, and directory of Devonshire. William White Publisher, 1850.

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