Having recently spent £14.95 on a slender pamphlet called “Farthest From Railways: An Unknown Corner of Devon” by R. Pearse Chope, originally written in 1934, I hoped to find out more about the isolated North Devon parish to which I’ve moved from the more urbanised north. Despite realising that one source is never good historical investigation, it did not disappoint. For starters, I discovered that Hartland Parish, despite being one of the largest in Devon, amounting to 17,000 acres in size, is too hilly for a cricket ground, is bounded by the Atlantic (already knew that bit) and is separated from other parishes by steep valleys. It is a place with its own very real characteristics. As someone once said to me: “you live in Hartland, do you? That’s God’s own country up there”. That said, it’s only just over an hour from the M5, and 12 miles from Bude, so civilisation is really not SO far away……which especially attracts visitors from the M4/M5 corridor.
ebells, snowdrops and daffodils at Hartland Abbey. We used to visit Cornwall and Devon regularly, even before we had children; our first holiday with our eldest daughter was in fact in a cottage at nearby Eastcott, just over the Cornish border near Morwenstow, from where we visited Hartland Quay and Hartland Point (when you could actually reach the lighthouse) among other places. Funny how we have now come to roost here, along with the vocal wood pigeon outside who serenades us on a regular basis.