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~ 1900s Wars & Farming ~


Cornworthy has always been predominantly an agricultural village with the usual pattern of very small farms. There was never a resident squire possibly because of the failure of any family to develop an ancestral home and property after the dispersal of the Harris family who, for short period, made their home in a house called Court Abbey which was on part of the Priory site.

At Peeks, Allaleigh. Image © Copyright - Totnes Image Bank & Rural Archive - Permission must be sought before using this image.

Thresher at Allaleigh. Standing by - William Elliott and Rivers Reeve.

Today, 2012, there are only two working farms although one of these has diversified by turning farm buildings into holiday lets. Not so long ago there were five farms whose herds walked the long winding street of the village on their way to be milked.

During the inter-war years Cornworthy suffered as did every other part of the South Hams from the depression in agriculture which began to lift just a little in 1930. At a farm sale in 1933 there were horses, harness and plenty of horse-drawn equipment but not even the smallest tractor. It was a part of old rural England. All that began to change after 1939 with the outbreak of war in Europe. At one time the village had a shop and post office, a bakery and even a petrol pump. There were two non-conformist chapels.

Here's where you can submit any interesting information that you have about the two Great Wars, Farming and the gradual move from horses and carts and hand-drawn ploughs to modern technology ...


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