Introduction

Moretonhampstead is an ancient small town on the north-eastern edge of Dartmoor in the county of Devon, about six miles from the open moor and about thirteen from the city of Exeter. It first appears mentioned in Domesday Book (1086), when it was a royal manor, but clearly had by then been in existence for many years. It developed as a small market town in the first years of the thirteenth century, and in subsequent centuries grew in size until it reached its peak population as a cloth manufacturing town in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the nineteenth century the cloth industry gave way to tourism and beef farming, and in the twentieth century it prospered, both as a local community and as a base from which to explore the beautiful valleys, hills and villages in and around the moor.

This site is freely provided by the Moretonhampstead History Society in order to illustrate the history of the town and to encourage the exploration of its past by both residents and non-residents. The Society acknowledges the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the compilation of this resource, and its wider dissemination on the Web.

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