Harberton History


This section is a first attempt at presenting some of the available historical material about the village of Harberton in South Devon on the village website in an easily accessible form. Some method may eventually come into the madness!

NEW Kelly's Directory of Devonshire 1919 (downloadable full PDF, 157 MB, University of Leicester Special Collections Online)

NEW Kelly's Directory of Devon & Cornwall 1914 (downloadable full PDF, 122 MB, University of Leicester Special Collections Online)

NEW Kelly's Directory 1902 full text (OCR'ed?) https://archive.org/stream/kellysdirectoryo00londuoft/kellysdirectoryo00londuoft_djvu.txt
or view original https://archive.org/details/kellysdirectoryo00londuoft.

NEW Kelly's Directory of Devon & Cornwall 1893 (downloadable full PDF, 100 MB, University of Leicester Special Collections Online)

Links between the Ballad of Widecombe / Widdicombe Fair and Harberton village
Click here to read about the links between the ballad of Widecombe / Widdicombe Fair and Harberton village. [17/8/23]

A Windmill Site in Harberton?
Click here to read an article about a possible former windmill in Harberton. [26/7/23]

Harberton's (former) Wesleyan Chapel
Click here to see a 5-page booklet about the former chapel, founded in around 1878, and converted into a private residence in 1974. [29/3/23]

Margaret Damerell
I've been looking at your website this evening with my mum, Margaret Damerell. Margaret was born in Wesley Place, moved to Victoria Cottages and when married lived in Tristford Lodge [West Lodge] where my dad's family (Blackman) had lived. Looking at the photos brought back many happy memories for mum. Mum remembers Doreen Frost: mum recalled a story of how she was playing with her brother Bill Damerell and Doreen's brother Bill, outside a house in the village (mum wondered whether Doreen was there as well) when the spinster (Miss Bartlett) emptied her chamber pot over the children playing outside (mum thinks they were probably being noisy), I gather most of it ended up on Doreen's brother. Mum says that she remembers the incendiary bombs being dropped around the village - she says the fires were so bright that they thought that Dundridge House was on fire.
Seeing the pictures of the ford to the end of Victoria Cottages made mum laugh as she remembered her dad on his way home one evening from the pub, being unsteady on his feet and falling in the water.
Hope to pass on more of mum's memories as and when they are recalled."

Harberton Auxiliary Unit Patrol (WW2)
or www.staybehinds.com/patrol/harberton-patrol

Bench Mark Database Entries for Harberton
Cut Mark: Harberton, St. Andrews Cottages: www.bench-marks.org.uk/bm106984
Cut Mark: Harberton, St Andrew's Church: www.bench-marks.org.uk/bm106198
Cut Mark: Harberton, Tristford Road: www.bench-marks.org.uk/https://www.bench-marks.org.uk/bm106985bm106985

1902 The Life of Robert Godefroy Harvey - The First Harvey Book
by His Father (1896)

1887 Harberton 1887 Jubilee Reminiscences - The Trist Book
Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee on 21st June 1887. Great celebrations organised by Major John Fincher Trist of Tristford took place in Harberton on that day. The Major wrote a book, including an ode which was sent to the Queen, which captures the events of the day and names many of the individuals involved. An original copy of this book was kindly lent to this website.

1871 1871 Census page for Tristford (JPG file, opens in new window)
Logically, No.1 'Tristford Lodge' is assumed to be today's West Lodge, and No.3 'Tristford Lodge' today's East Lodge. Also includes Cholwell, Dorsley and Winsland.

1856/1866/1870/1889 Transcribed entries from various Kelly's Directories:
Kelly's Directory of Devonshire 1856
Kelly's Directory of Devonshire 1866
Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer 1870
Kelly's Directory of Devonshire 1889
( thanks to those researchers who have previously made this material available elsewhere)

Village postal history from the 1850s to about 1971
Including Harberton's former post offices;
Historical postal rates for postcards (an aid to dating old village postcards);
Other postcard dating information.

1841 Harberton Census
Click here to view the full 1841 Harberton Census information. Transcribed by Ray Osborn.
(Copied with thanks from www.our4bears.net/parishes/Harberton/Harberton_1841.htm, part of "South Hams, Devon - A Genealogical Information Resource" - www.our4bears.net/index.htm.

1840 Harberton Tithe Map and Tithe Apportionments
The full Harberton Parish Tithe Map can be viewed in excellent zoomable detail at www.devon.gov.uk/historicenvironment/tithe-map/harberton, and a full detailed listing of the transcribed apportionments can also be downloaded as a PDF file. The apportionments show landowner, occupier, plot no. (as shown on tithe map), estate, plot name, cultivation, size.
Or click here to download the PDF directly.

Henry Wyse Almshouses 1680-196?

Harberton 'Church Ale' 1606
Quote from "The Rise and Fall of Merry England - the ritual year 1400 - 1700" by Ronald Hutton ISBN 0-19-285327-9
"At times figures of authority actively abetted village festivities. . . . . . .The South Devon gentleman Walter Wooton appeared before Star Chamber in 1606, where it was said that he had told the villagers of Harberton that he would get them a Church Ale and Whitsun Lord and Lady again, plus a ‘fool and his horns’.
Church Ales seem to have become more popular in 15th century . . . .there seems to have been a tendency for the Ales to become a regular means of raising Parish funds."
Quote from "Revel, Riot & Rebellion" by David Underdown ISBN 0-19-285193-4
"There were no rates for the poor even in my grandfather’s days; but for Kington St Michael (no small parish) the church ale at Whitsuntide did their business. In every parish is, or was, a church house to which belonged spits, crocks etc,, utensils for dressing provision. Here the housekeepers met, and were merry and gave their charity: the young people came there too, and had dancing, bowling, shooting at butts etc., the ancients sitting gravely by, looking on.
“Such joy and merriment was every holiday” John Aubrey (17th century) and he is echoed by many other admirers of the country feasts."


BRA2816 Wakefield Collection  
BRA2816/10 Pendarves family  
RefNo BRA2816/10/1
Pre-nuptial settlement, lands in Devon
4 Jul 1804
1 piece
Parties: 1) Tryphena Trist, one of the co-heiresses of The Reverend Browse Trist of Totnes in Devon 2) John Stackhouse of Pendarves,esquire, second son of the Reverend William Stackhouse, late of Trehane in Cornwall 3) Edward William Stackhouse of All Fellows College, Oxford, son and heir apparent of the said John Stackhouse 4) George Furlong Wise of Woolston in the parish of Loddiswell in Devon, esquire and William Stackhouse of Modbury in Devon 5) Robert Lovell Gwatkin of Killiow in Cornwall, esquire and Edmund Bastard of Sharpham in Devon, esquire Prior to marriage of Tryphena Trist to Edward William Stackhouse, esquire it has been agreed that she release lands and rents amounting to £1500 to Edward William Stackhouse. Lands named in Devon are: Lambside or Lambshead in Holberton, Noss Mayo in Revelstoke, Dorsley alias Thursley, Duresley Durant in Harberton, Curriers Barn and Cholwell field and Brook in Harberton, Hele Payne alias Higher Hele or Burd Hele in Harberton, Stoney Stiles in Totnes, Babbages Garden in Totnes, Combeshead in Colebrook, Wood Farm and Tapps in Colebrook.

References to Stentaford/Stentiford family in Harberton Parish Registers 1675 - 1743


Burd Hele / Burdhele / Burdeshele
Reference to place names in Harberton in 1804

(including "Hele Payne alias Higher Hele or Burd Hele in Harberton" = Hele was where Tristford is now)

Entries in www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk  under search for  ‘harberton’:

See www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/fines/abstracts/CP_25_1_289_53.shtml.


An example follows, but difficult to copy / separate out from everything else in the folio

CP 25/1/289/53, number 80.


Image of document at AALT


Cornwall. Devon.




Two weeks from Holy Trinity, 6 Richard [II] [31 May 1383].


Robert, bishop of LondonThomas, bishop of ExeterThomas Cammoys, knight, John Strecch', knight, William Asthorp', knight, and John Prideaux, knight, querents, and Edward Courtenayearl of Devon, deforciant.


The manor of Sheuyok', 10 messuages, 4 mills, 18 carucates of land, 1000 acres of moor and 24 pounds of rent in PortlooWestanton'TreluganTregamurTreuerbianPorpighanLegh'Northull'Trelowia and Landhilp' in the county of Cornwall and the manor of Cornwode, 2 messuages, 2 carucates of land and 9 pounds of rent in Knyghteton'Radeston'Baillesford'BurdesheleWodehayHurberneford',Thoureslegh'LoppedethorneLegh' and Waissheborne in the county of Devon.


Plea of covenant.


The earl has granted to the bishop, the bishop, Thomas, John, William and John the manors and tenements and has rendered them to them in the court, to hold to the bishop, the bishop, Thomas, John, William and John and the heirs of the bishop of London, of the earl and his heirs for the life of Maud, the wife of the earl, rendering yearly 1 rose at the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, and doing to the chief lords all other services. And after the decease of Maud the manors and tenements shall revert to the earl and his heirs, quit of the heirs of Maud, to hold of the chief lords for ever.



For this:

The bishop, the bishop, Thomas, John, William and John have given him 1000 pounds sterling.

Standardised forms of names. (These are tentative suggestions, intended only as a finding aid.)


Robert, bishop of London, Thomas, bishop of Exeter, Thomas Camoys, John Stretch, William Aisthorpe, John Prideaux, Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon, Maud Courtenay


Sheviock, Portlooe (in Talland), Stanton (in St Cleer), Treluggan (in St Erney), Tregamere (in St Columb Major), Treverbyn (in St Austell), Portbyan (in Talland), Leigh Durant (in Pillaton), Northill, Trelowia (in St Martin by Looe, Morval), Landulph, Cornwood, Knighton (in Bovey Tracey), Ritson (in Halwell), Belsford (in Harberton), 'Burdeshele', Woodcourt(in Harberton), North Harbourneford (in South Brent), Dorseley (in Harberton), Lapthorne (in Dittisham), Leigh (in Harberton or South Brent), Washbourne (in Halwell and Ashprington)

1658 - Hele / Heles Paine / Burdshele (present-day Tristford area)


Catalogue descriptionLease & Release   1. Richard Norris of Hele, gent., son and heir of Henry Norris, gent.,...

  2779 M/2/73

Lease & Release

1. Richard Norris of Hele, gent., son and heir of Henry Norris, gent., deceased

2. Humphrey Steare of Lyons Inn, Middlesdex, gent.


Premises: the capital messuage of Hele or Heles Paine, a messuage called Burdshele, and 5 parts of 12 parts of a messuage called Viccaridge

Date: 1658
Held by: Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust), not available at The National Archives


1692/1693 - Hele / Heles Paine / Burdshele (present-day Tristford area)


Catalogue descriptionFinal Concord   1. John Taylor, gent., quer.   2. Richard Norris, gent., and Susanna his...

Reference: 2779 M/2/75

Final Concord

1. John Taylor, gent., quer.

2. Richard Norris, gent., and Susanna his wife, deforc.

Premises: One messuage called Hele or Heles Paine, a messuage called Birdshele, and 5 parts of 12 parts of a messuage called Viccaridge

Consideration: £180

Date: 1692-3
Held by: Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust), not available at The National Archives