Meeth lies above a bend in the River Torridge near the confluence with the Ockment. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book, so there was an established community before the Normans came. It is likely that Meeth was one of the early Christian communities in North Devon. Ancient records mention landowners by the names of Giffard and Fryes whose names live on in two farms within the parish. There are still six working farms within Meeth, but no longer the diversity of businesses mentioned in 1890 when there were 9 farmers; a shoemaker; 2 shopkeepers; blacksmith; a carpenter, wheelwright and machine maker; a victualer (the landlord of the New Inn) and a tailor. Some of the censuses around that time also mention glove makers, presumably homeworkers, associated with the businesses in Great Torrington. Today the inn is the Bull and Dragon, the name having been changed recently, presumably not for the first time in its history, as many New Inns were formerly the King or Queen's Head which it was diplomatic to change during the time of the Commonwealth under Cromwell. The building however is very old and decorative with its thatched roof. The other businesses in the village are the the headquarters of a coach firm, a small nursery and 2 homes offering bed and breakfast. The clay works which extracted ball clay from extensive pits in the village sadly closed a few years ago. They had been started at the beginning of the twentieth century by local residents and became very successful, exporting the quite rare ball clay as far as America. For a time, the clay was mined, but then open cast works were used. The railway made transport much easier and the link continued for some years after the passenger service ceased. Today, Meeth Halt is the start of an attractive part of the Tarka Trail heading north towards Great Torrington and Bideford. The trail for walkers and bike riders goes through the woods and fields of the beautiful north Devon countryside, eventually going along the River Torridge made famous in the book Tarka the Otter.
The church is in the centre of this village which straggles along the A386, 3 miles north of Hatherleigh. A cobbled path, made in 1818 from Torridge river pebbles by the French prisoners from Dartmoor prison at the time of the Napoleonic wars, leads past old lime trees to the early Norman porch. The church too changed its name and patron saint at some time from St. John to St. Michael and All Angels. The porch has a remarkable roof with molded ribs and carved bosses, and the door too is old, probably twelfth century. The church has been altered over time, the roof with its interesting bosses is fifteenth century, the altar rails and pulpit and font cover are probably Jacobean, and a huge and clearly very necessary restoration was undertaken at the end of the nineteenth century, when the sanctuary and vestry were added and the floor tiled. The tower has needed considerable repairs over the years - in 1692 it was apparently in danger of falling down. Most recently in the 1990s the tower was re-pointed and the four bells restored. The second and third are from the Exeter foundry about 1400 and are inscribed Ave Maria and Ave Maria Gracia. The treble and tenor are both dated 1714 cast by Stadler. The treble has the inscription "ring me round, I'll sweetly sound." They are rung regularly for services and practices are at 7.30 pm on a Friday evening to which anyone is welcome. The most remarkable treasure in the church is the large plaster Coat of Arms dated 1704 from the reign of Queen Anne, created it is thought by John Abbot of Frithelstock and recently restored so that the fine workmanship can be appreciated. What may become a treasure of the future is the Millennium Plaque: a needlework picture showing many of the houses and special places in the village surrounded by tiles of local clay. These were decorated by Meeth children with illustrations of what they thought important to remember at the millennium and fired by a local potter. The needlework was done by Meeth ladies and the frame by a resident craftsman. The churchyard has many fine gravestones, some of them listed.
Meeth Guild meets every third Tuesday of the month at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall for talks and demonstrations to which anyone is welcome. The trustees of the Village Hall organize events during the year such as skittles evenings, quiz nights, car treasure hunt and barbecue and these are advertised in the Parish Pump and the Post Office. The harvest supper is also held in the Village Hall, usually the last Friday in September following harvest evensong in the church. Other events in the village are organized from time to time, an annual one being the fete and dog show in aid of the church and with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity .
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Concert in Exbourne -
July 25 - July 26
A Concert Celebration
The Exbourne Choir will be holding their summer concert on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July. The exciting programme Directed by Pauline Savage will include well known medleys of songs from the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Numbers will include The Sound of Music – Oh, What a Beautiful Morning – Oklahoma – I Whistle a Happy Tune, Do-Re-Me – You’ll Never Walk Alone from Rodgers & Hammerstein and Phantom of The Opera – Music of The Night – Don’t Cry for Me Argentina& Superstar from Lloyd Webber. Other sing-along numbers are from Gilbert & Sullivan, Leonard Cohen and Karl Jenkins.
The two night show starting at 7.30 pm will be held in the Exbourne Village Hall and all proceeds will go the Village Hall restoration fund and St. Mary’s Church.
This is a great opportunity to support the village, meet old and new friends, listen to some lovely music and have a great night out. Tickets at just £8 will include interval refreshments and are available for Friday or Saturday nights from any Choir member or telephone Adrian Williams 01837 851320 or Pauline Savage on 01837 851461.
Summer Exhibition -
July 25 - July 26
The Free Range Art group's
Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of July
Viewing from 5pm Friday
Art for sale
Old Schools Hatherleigh
Carnival Disco -
Carnival Disco in the Market 7:30pm
Fun Day -
Saturday 26th July
3.00 pm Methodist Chapel Fun Day
Brook Cottage, Northlew
Stalls and teas for all to enjoy!
Jacobstowe Fete -
Jacobstowe Community Group is arranging a Fete/Tea and cake afternoon in July, an exact date yet to be determined but Saturday 26th is aimed for. This is the first such event in the community for nearly 40 years so we need some help and ideas. We are holding a meeting in the church at 7.30pm on Tuesday 24th June. Please come along and lend your support and ideas to make this event a great success.
Winkleigh Morris -
8pm Red Lion Exbourne
Soup Lunch and Bring and Buy -
The poppies sown by Messy Meeth Monkeys have germinated well, and need thinning so we look forward to a good display by the church gate as we remember the sacrifices made in the First World War. Foxgloves and other plants are also flowering in the part of the churchyard set aside as a natural area. The next meeting is on 5th July and then on Wednesday 30th July we shall be having a Soup Lunch and Bring & Buy stall in Meeth Village Hall in aid of our outing. It is always a happy occasion to meet and chat and everyone is most welcome – 12.30 pm with home-made soup, crusty bread & butter, cheese & biscuits, fruit, tea & coffee - £4.50. There will also be a draw.
Hatherleigh WW1 Commemoration and Concert -
The 2nd August is looming fast and tickets are now available for the Concert which is to be held at the Community Centre starting at 7.30pm.
Animal Blessing -
This month will start with a regular special service: Animal Blessing on Sunday 3rd August. All pets (able to fit in the church) will be most welcome with their owners. It is so important to recognise the vital part the animal kingdom plays in everyone’s life, and while our pets, large and small, become part of the family and we cherish them as such, we also give thanks for farm and wild animals. Sadly we realise that there is still much cruelty, neglect and disregard for the welfare of animals and indeed the whole of the natural world and in our prayers we remember all this before God as well as thanking him for the beauty and variety of his creation.
Meeth Fete and Dog Show -
Old Rectory, more details to follow
History Society -
On Monday August 11th at 7pm we will be meeting in South Street at the entrance to Pound Meadow where a small plaque is to be unveiled by Mrs. Betty Willis marking the site of the old pound where stay animals were penned until redeemed by their owners.
Beer Festival -
August 15 - August 17
Iddesleigh Beer Festival, with Music at the Duke of York
Potty for Painting -
August 16 - August 17
On the weekend of 16th & 17th August,"Potty For Painting" will be offering weekend workshops at Badgers, Week, near Iddesleigh. Jilly Chandler will welcome all ages and abilities to come and paint some pottery - ranging from plates and mugs, to garden Gnomes, to wall tiles, to tea pots, to fairies, to figurines, to butter dishes etc! So come and try something new! View her website www.pottyforpainting.co.uk Bookings MUST be taken, by either e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 01837 811043, as numbers are limited - prices start at as little at £4.50 + £3.00 for studio fee - you can paint as many items as you like for one studio fee, this covers the cost of glazing the items and firing them in her kiln on the premises. Light lunch can be provided when booking at a cost of £5.00 per person which will include drinks.
Winkleigh Morris -
8pm Half Moon Sheepwash
NO CIDER AND PASTIES -
Cider and Pasties in the Town Square on 30th Augustr not to the 20th
Rotary Beer Festival -
23rd August 2014
This year the Rotary Beer Festival will be held on Saturday 23rd August at the Cricket Club. There will be at least 8 different beers and ciders to sample. Live music will be provided by two bands but look out for the details nearer the time.
This fund raising event is on behalf of the North Devon Hospice local Outreach Centre, to support at-home care.
Rotary Fun Day -
Sunday 24th August 2014
The event starts at 1.00pm. We hope to include even more local groups this year making it a real community event.
There will be plenty of refreshments. As usual there will be our top quality BBQ, also cream teas, ice cream, popcorn and a bar. We hope there will plenty of local dog owners entering their pooches in the Dog Show. Although the final programme has not yet been fixed we hope to have several new attractions, as well as our traditional entertainments such as children's races, skittles, archery, ferret racing, bouncy castle etc. There will be a demonstration provided by the local Fire and Rescue Service. The Hatherleigh Ukulele Bashers will be playing along with a steel band but look out for further details when the programme is finalised nearer the time.
The aims of the Rotary Club of Hatherleigh are to raise funds in order to support good causes both locally, nationally and internationally. This year the main beneficiaries of Fun Day will be Devon Air Ambulance and the Alzheimer Research UK.
Winkleigh Morris -
7:45pm New Inn Sampford Courtenay
Aquatic Arias and Sea Serenades -
An evening of music inspired by water and all things aquatic, with baritone, Barnaby Beer, sopranos Victoria Collier and Marianne Wight, with Gabriel Jones on the piano.
Lower Pulworthy, Highampton, Devon EX21 5LQ, Saturday 30th August, 7.30pm. Tickets: On the door, £10, £5 (students), or free for under 12s. Call 01837 810273 Adam & Jane, or 01837 810042 Steve & Sandra, if you would like to reserve tickets in advance.
Cider and Pasty Evening -
Cider and Paty evening is NOT 20th but the 30th
Winkleigh Morris -
7:30pm Tally Ho Hatherleigh
Hatherleigh Charity Ball -
Hatherleigh Charity Ball
Saturday 6 th September West Fishleigh Farm Black and white theme. With a sparkle. 1920 's Apply now for tickets Up to Tables of ten £50 per person 3 courses and cheese. Wine and port on the table Music. Silent auction and. draw In aid of cancer research ELF - Exeter leukaemia fund Epilepsy Hatherleigh Carnival. For tickets or offers of help please Call Carol 07785971960.
The Parish Hall Committee are holding a skittles and BBQ evening on Saturday 6th Sept at 7.pm. Teams of 6 but even if you’re on your own please come and join us and we will fit you in.
Telephone Peter Cobbledick 01805 804234 for more details and to book in a team.
Carnival Royalty evening -
Hatherleigh Community Centre 6:30pm followed by disco
Games Night -
SSeptember 19th Games Night, 8.00pm start
Monkokehampton Old Schoolroom
Barn Dance -
Saturday 27th September, 7-11pm
Hatherleigh Community Centre
More details to follow.
October 31st Halloween. 6pm start
Monkokehampton Old Schoolroom
Ruby market -
The Bumper Festive Ruby Country Market in Hatherleigh in December drew record crowds to the Market and the Town where some businesses reported 3 weeks business being done on a single day.
The market dates for 2014 are :- Easter Saturday April 19th Saturday July 19th and Saturday December 6th.
If you would like to stall at this ever popular event, please contact the organisers through the website www.rubycountrymarket.co.uk or ring 07855187364.
Winkleigh Morris -
Noon Duke of York Iddesleigh
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