Harberton Ch Harbertonford ch

Harberton & Harbertonford 

History Society

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The Harberton and Harbertonford History Society encourages the study of the local history of Harberton Parish and the surrounding County.


There are approximately 5 meetings with speakers each year and at least one field excursion.  Meetings take place in Harberton or Harbertonford on alternative dates, details of which can be found in the Programme.


Members of the Society have gathered information on the past history of the villages, personalities and the Parish including the preparation of historic walks around both Harberton and Harbertonford.  The Society is making collections of photographs and some artefacts and have embarked on an oral history project to build an archive of first hand histories in both villages.


Subjects covered in previous meetings have included:-

        The History of Harbertonford Mill                  Pilotage on the River Dart    

        The Construction of the Avon Dam                Victorian Crime in Totnes

        Tuckenhay Paper Mill                                     Church Houses in Devon

        Vagrants and Travellers in 17 Century Harberton

        The Trist Family of Harberton


Field Trips have included visits to:

        Finch's Foundry at Sticklepath

        Grimspound and Bellever Neolithic Sites, both accompanied by an

             Archaeologist from Dartmoor National Park


Membership is open to anybody interested in local history and is £10 per year with talks free to Members.  Non members are wecome to meetings at the cost of £3 per meeting.


The Society is keen to receive photographs/articles/family records for the archives which can also be added to our website.

Please contact our secretary Jill Powell  -  [email protected]


We are affilliated to   The Devon History Society - see links page



          Derek Robinson       in Harbertonford       01803 732442

          Stanley Oldfield       in Harberton             01803 864654


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We are not able to continue with physical meetings during the COVID 19 pandemic, but we plan to host ZOOM meetings whilst the situation persists.


Please sign up for our newsletters to keep you up to date on all future online talks using the link.

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 ZOOM Meeting :  Tuesday November 16th 7.30.pm


      Sue Knox:- 'General Lawrence and his Tower ' - The History of Haldon Belvedere


Sue is a retired doctor and has also been a Red Coat Guide for the City of Exeter for 15 years.  She has lived in the Teign Valley for 30 years and is now a Trustee of the Stringer Lawence Memorial Trust which owns the Haldon Belvedere.

Sue's illustrated talk tells the story of General Stringer Lawrence, who became known as the father of the Indian Army, and his friendship with Robert Palk.  The two men met in India while working for the East India Company. On retirement, Palk moved back to Devon (he was born in Ashburton) and spent his enormous fortune establishing a huge estate which included most of Torquay, the Teign Valley and the Haldon Hills.  Lawrence spent much of his retirement staying with the Palk family in their mansion at Dunchideock.  When the General died, Palk built the Belvedere as a memorial to his friend,  The tower is now owned by the Stringer Memorial Trust and is open to the Public on Sundays during the summer