Hanes yr eglwys hon
The parish of Harbertonford was constituted in 1859, carved out of the neighbouring parish of Harberton. The parish church of St Peter was constructed at that date, designed by J Nottidge. The majority of its funding was donated by one person, Mrs Thomascene Anthony of Great Englebourne, who gave £2,000; equivalent to some £230,000 today. Later, parishioners raised enough to pay for the installation of an organ to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.
Constructed of stone, the church has a spire with a single bell. The chancel windows are stained glass. The church runs a monthly coffee morning in the village hall on the third Tuesday of every month, hosts an annual summer St Peter’s Fair in the grounds of the church itself and sets out a sumptuous spread to celebrate the autumn harvest festival. The children from our village school, Harbertonford C of E Primary School, use the church throughout the year; if you visit, look out for what they have written about it!
When the church was built, the village of Harbertonford was a thriving, industrial community with a mill (then operating as a corn and starch mill, it later reverted to its original function as a woollen mill and went on making, principally, serge blankets until the 1950s) and a manufacturer of shovels and reaping hooks! It boasted three shops and no less than four pubs, one of which, the Maltster’s Arms, brewed its own beer. It must have been thirsty work! Nowadays, only that latter pub remains and there is one excellent village shop, located behind the Maltster’s Arms, where the brewing used to happen. It has a variety of locally sourced goods included on its shelves and also houses the Post Office. The parish is further served by a garage and convenience store on the main road. Being situated on that main road has some disadvantages but does mean that the village is on bus routes, at least during the day.
Services are held every Sunday at 11am and special events and services are advertised around the village. The church is often the focus for local weddings and is supported by the local villagers who volunteer to keep the church grounds and the building clean and tidy.
We look forward to welcoming you to our village and, particularly, to our church!