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Holsworthy

Holsworthy is located within Torridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Black Torrington Hundred. It falls within Holswdorthy Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 1045 in 1801 2076 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In the valuation of 1334 it was assessed at £02/03/04. The lay subsidy of 1524 valued the community at £17/01/04. In 1641/2 238 adult males signed the Protestation returns. It is recorded as a borough from 1309. A market is recorded from 14c.-1985.

A parish history file is held in Holsworthy Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.

Holsworthy area on Donn's map of 1765 (ss30don)Maps: The image here is of the Holsworthy area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.

On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 50/14 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 50SW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SS343038. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SS30SW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 112, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 190. Geological sheet 323 also covers the area.

Illustrations: The image below is of Holsworthy as included in the Library's illustrations collection. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.

Kingswood Lodge, the seat of Gideon Bickersdyke, Esqr, as it appeared in 1802. (SC1177)         SC1177. Kingswood Lodge, the seat of Gideon Bickersdyke, Esqr, as it appeared in 1802.

A fair is known from: 14c.-1935. [It is intended to include the local section from The glove is up! Devon's historic fairs, by Tricia Gerrish, by kind permission of the author].

Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:

HOLSWORTHY is a small market town and a large parish in the bleak "yellow-clay" country of West Devon. Its market and fair were granted between 1155 and 1185, and St. Peter's Fair is still held on 9, 10 and II July. (Lesson Day, Holsworthy, 8-9.) It became a regional borough some time in the 13th century, governed by a portreeve, an office which still survives. Like many of the inland towns of Devon, Holsworthy reached its maximum population in 1841 (1,857 people) and has declined slowly ever since. It is now the dullest town in Devon to look at, having scarcely a single building of the slightest architectural merit. The church (St. Peter and St. Paul) has a noble W. tower of granite, built c.1500,but the rest of the church has been so restored that it is of little interest,except for the handsome organ,built by Renatus Harris.Thorne,now a farmhouse,was a Domesday manor,and has some remains of a medieval chapel. Chilsworthy was a Domesday manor.Arscott (now called South Arscott) was the original home of the Arscotts,who began here in Henry III's time,and rose rapidly in the 16th.,partly on a fortune made in the law. Soldon was a manor house of the Prideaux in the 17th cent. and contains a considerable amount of work of that date.