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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Lifton is a parish and village and head of a petty sessional division, pleasantlty situated near the Cornish border, in the valley of the river Lyd, about a mile of its confluence with the Tamar, and on the road from Okehampton to Launceston, with a station on the Launceston and Tavistock branch of the Great Western Railway, and is 4 miles east from Launceston, with a station on the Launceston and Tavistock branch of the Great Western Railway, and is 4 miles east from Launceston, 11 from Tavistock, and 275 from London, in the Western Division of the county, Lifton Hundred, Tavistock Union, Launceston County Court district, rural deanery of Tavistock, archdeaconry of Totnes and diocese of Exeter.


The church of St Mary is an ancient structure in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, separated from the nave and chancel by an arcade of 6 arches, north porch with parvise and an embattled western tower, with crocketed pinnacles, containing a clock and 8 bells, all recast by Taylor of Oxford in 1827. The tower and bells were renovated in 1881 at a cost of  £259; the clock was presented by the Rev. A H Simms and his mother in 1883 at a cost of about £110, and in 1885 the pinnacles of the tower were repaired at an expense of £34. In the church are several monuments to the Harris and Dynham families, one of which on the north side of the chancel, has three life-sized kneeling effigies in the costume of the period, representing members of the Harris family, with the dates 1590, 1618 and 1631: this monument was restored in 1871.


The life-size effigies in St Mary's Church

The Harris Family effigies (presumably all wearing their best clothes) in St Mary's Church

© Richard J Brine


In the south chapel is a richly illuminated mural monument to John Dynham, dated 1649 and there is an interesting Norman font. The north window in the chancel is a memorial to the Tucker family. Two of the windows in the nave are also stained. The chancel contains a piscina and there is another in the south chapel, which also contains a brass to John Harris, ob.1657. In 1871, the church was thoroughly restored and reseated and in 1888 an organ chamber was erected at a cost of £133. There are 350 sittings. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1653, marriages from 1654. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £322, exclusive of 20 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of Frank Bradsgaw Esq.,JP, and held since 1900 by the Rev.Richard Witherstone Buller MA of New College, Oxford.


The Rectory House, formerly the manor house, is a substantial mansion, with walls of extraordinary thickness. Kingt Charles slept here on the night of the 31st of July 1644. The Rectory House was anciently situated at Cross Town, about 1½ miles distant from the church but on the purchase of the manor of Lifton by William Harris Esq. of Hayne in 1555, it is probable that the present house was assigned as a residence for the rector; it was certainly so described in a terrier* of the living in 1613.

( from the Latin "terra" meaning land. A terrier often appears attached to a Deed and is a detailed survey of all lands included in the the title to the property.)


There is a Baptist chapel in the village, a Bible Christian chapel at Tinhay, built in 1876, and a Weslyan chapel at Lifton Down. In the village is a literary institute and reading room. A fair is held here on the 13th of February. In the parish are two lime quarries and a manganese mine, but none of these are at present being worked.


Lifton park, the seat of Frank Bradshaw Esq., JP, is a large modern mansion in the Tudor style, situated in the valley of the river Tamar and commanding delightful views; the estate covers 7000 acres about 5000 are in Lifton parish and 2000 in the neighbouring parishes. Frank Bradshaw Esq., JP who is lord of the manor, the Hon. Mrs. Tremayne of Sydenham House, Lew Down and the Rev. Maitland Kelly MS of Kelly, are the chief landowners. The soil is various; subsoil, limestone and clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats; some land is in pasture. The parish comprises 5330 acre of land and 46 of water; rateable value £6464. The population in 1891 was 1195 in the civil and 1264 in the ecclesiastical parish.


West Week was amalgamated with Broadwood Widger in the Launceston Union for civil purposes in 1884.


POSTMASTER: Henry Teague.


Byng, Col, the Hon.Charles Cavendish George, Edymead House, Launceston

Baring-Gould, Rev, Sabine, MA, the Rectory, Lew Trenchard

Bradshaw, Frank, Esq. Lifton Park

Bradshaw, James Buller, Esq., Lifton Park

Coode, Richard Carlyon, Esq.,DLit, Polapit, Tamar, Launceston

Macbeth, Alexander, Esq. Fernhill, Broadwood Widger, Lifton

Oag, James Esq., Thorndon, Ashwater, Beaworthy.

Spear, John Ward Esq, MP, Eastcott. Dunterton, Tavistock

Spry, Tredenham Hugh, Esq., Witherdon, Lew Down.

Petty Sessions are held at Lifton on the first Thursday of every month at 11.0am

The following places are included in the petty sessional division:

Bradstone, Bratton Clovelly, Bridestowe, Broadwood Widger, Coryton, Dunterton, Germansweek, Kelly, Lew Trenchard, Lifton, Marystowe, North Petherwin, St Giles-in-the-heath, Soourton, Stowford, Thrushelton, Virginstowe and Werrington.

COUNTY POLICE STATION, Lifton sub-division. Thomas Hill, Sergeant and 8 constables.

NATIONAL SCHOOL (boys, girls and i nfants). Erected in 1871 by Henry Bradshaw Esq for 330 children. Average attendance: 63 boys, 60 girls and 51 infants.  Henry Buckingham, master; Miss Ellen Cuddy, mistress; Miss Mary Ann Richards, infant's mistress.

RAILWAY STATION: John Bowden, station master.

CARRIER: Henry Yole. To Tavistock Fridays; to Launceston Saturdays.



Bradshaw, Frank, JP, Lifton Park and Abshot, Titchfield, Hants

Bradshaw, James Buller JP, Lifton Park

Buller, Rev. Richard Witherstone MA. the Rectory

Bullock, Captain Pelham, Home Park

Harris-Arundell, William Reinfred,Arundell, Lifton Cottage

Hurchings, Bethuel, St Mary's

Little, Rev. Richard (Bible Christian), Tinhay

Maddever, Miss, Tyne Owne, Tinhay

Oates, Mrs. Silverton Cottage

Olver, the Misses, Little Beare

Sandercock, Samson

Taylor, William Kennedy

Toulson, Arthur, Rock Villa

Westcott, Mrs. Little Beare

Wilson, Harold Lancaster BA, Beechwood


Bailey, Thomas, farmer, Carley

Benoy, John, farmer, Riscombe

Berriball, William, farmer, Higher Cookworthy

Bevan, Jane (Mrs) and Henry Bevan, builders, Leat

Blatchford, Frederick William, farmer, Ashley

Blatchford Alfred, farmer, Ashley

Bowden, Annie (Miss), dress maker, Tinhay

Bradshaw, James, boot maker

Bradshaw, John, shoe maker

Braund, Samuel, farmer, Coombe

Chapman, George, farmer, Smallcombe

Clatworthy, Henry, farmer, Stone and Beara

Clifton, John, carpenter and farmer, Lifton Down

Colwill, William, farmer, Willtown

Cole, Samuel Sobey, corn merchant and miller (water), Spry Mill

Colwill, John Casey, farmer, Lower Wollaton

Cory, William, butcher

Crase & Co, grocers and drapers

Dennis Bros, farmers, Harts

Dyer, William,. farmer

Eastcott, Thomas seed & corn merchant

Eggins, Charles Henry, farmer, Polson

Fox, John, farmer

Gale, Charlotte (Mrs) grocer & draper

Ham, William, Fox and Grapes Public House, Tinhay

Hanns, George Lillington & Sons, farmers, Markstone

Harris, George, farmer, Lower Cookworthy

Hearle, Joseph, land agent to F. Bradshaw Esq, Underwood

Heyward, William Thomas, general agent corn, coal etc & Fire Insurance

Hill, John, cowkeeper, Tinhay Down

Kellaway, Amelia (Miss) & Charlotte (Miss), shopkeepers, Tinhay

Labbett, William, Arundel Arms

Lane, Samuel Thomas, saddler, Tinhay

Literary Institute & Reading Room, Bethuel Hutchings, Hon Sec.

Major, John, baker

Mason, Elizabeth (Mrs) and Richard Fitze, farmers, Gatherley

Miller, Ernest, dairyman & farmer

Miller & Sons, monumental masons & stone carvers

Mounce, Valentine, threshing machine proprietor

Mounsden, George, nurseryman,

Northey, John, farmer, Lake

Northey, William, farmer, Yest

Oke, Tom, tailor Lifton Down

Oliver, John, builder & farmer, Tinhay

Palmer, James, farmer, Hele

Palmer, John, Registrar, Attendance Officer etc., Tinhay

Pethick, Edward, farmer, Higher Cookworthy

Pitts, Son & King Ltd, manure merchants

Rich, george, blacksmith, Lifton Down

Rich, Harry, builder, Lifton Down

Rich, John, builder, Tinhay Down

Soby, John, builder, Tinhay

Soby, Thomas, saddler

Stacey, John, farmer, Tinhay Down

Stacey, William, blacksmith & farmer, Tinhay

Stapleton Bros. farmers, Wortham

Stick, Joseph, Temperence House

Taylor, William Kennedy, LRCSI, surgeon, local medical officer etc.

Teague, William Henry, shopkeeper, assistant Overseer . Post office

Trewin, Thomas, farmer, Carley

Voaden, Stephen, dairyman, Hernamans

Westlake & Son, tailors

Westlake, Samuel, farmer, Colemans

Westlake, Thomas, farmer, Whitley

Williams, William, farmer, Leat

Wilson, Harold Lancaster BS, boys' school, Beechwood

Wise, John, farmer, Ashley

Yole, Henry, farmer & carrier, Tinhay


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