Stockland Village and Parish

A small English village surrounded by 9 square miles of rural parish nestled in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The parish is bounded by the river Yarty to the east and the Umborne Brook to the west. The A30/A303 sweeps past some two or three miles from the village but you wouldn’t know they were there. Roughly equidistant from Honiton, Chard and Axminster, Stockland has little through traffic and is a tranquil example of an ancient Devon village. Expect to hear the birds singing, the distant sound of a tractor working the land and the regular chimes of the church clock. Centred on the parish church of St Michael and All Angels with its impressive square tower the village lies in a broad and pretty bowl of land with an open sunny aspect. The rolling hills and long upland ridges hide many beautiful walks and changing views. (web.group 2012)

There is a thriving primary academy and a busy village hall with cricket pitch, tennis court, playground and a village market 4 times a year (the dates are on the Calendar page). Stockland is close to the Jurassic coast and connects to national cycle route 2 via part of regional cycle route 52 (the Buzzard Route) that passes right through the main street. National cycle route 33 'The Stop Line Way' passes within 5 miles of the village. The Blackdown Hills cycle route 8 starts in Stockland and route 7 passes through the village. The Blackdown Hills horseriding route 3 covers Stockland and the surrounding area. There are also 3 guides to walks close to the village that are published on their website www.blackdownhillsaonb.org.uk/routes.html.
There are guides to 6 beautiful local walks available here on the Walks page for you to download.

The Stockland Educational Foundation & The Stockland General Charity

"The Trustees meet each year in May to make the annual financial disbursements, as set out by the Charity Commission in the early 1900's.
The Educational Foundation benefits Educational requests within the parish.
The General Charity is set up for the ' relief of the needy living in the parish at times of distress'.
The charities only grant requests from Stockland parish."

Monica Parris.
Chairman.

Stockland Turbaries

"Stockland parish is fortunate to own some 65 hectares of turbary, land once used for cutting peat turf for fuel, for firewood and for grazing. Now it is valuable for its wildlife and, over the past 17 years I have been managing the turbaries as part of a committee answering to the parish council. Much of the land is now under Higher Level Stewardship agreement and the biodiversity regained has been impressive.” Dr David Allen.
Find out more about Stockland Turbaries.

Representation

Stockland Parish Council has ten elected parish councillors.
Stockland Parish is part of Otterhead Ward along with the parishes of Cotleigh, Luppitt, Monkton and Upottery and is represented by a single district councillor.
Due to Boundary Commission changes we are part of the 'Whimple and Blackdown' electoral division represented by a single county councillor. Map of County Divisions for East Devon.
Our parliamentary constituency is 'Tiverton and Honiton'.

School
Stockland Primary Academy Website.
Stockland and Yarcombe Preschool Website.

Stockland Victory Hall ( EX14 9EF ) is available for hire for wedding receptions and a wide range of other functions or special occasions.
The hall is close to Cotleigh, Upottery, Yarcombe, Membury and Dalwood and within easy reach of Honiton, Chard and Axminster.
Click here for contact details and a full list of current hire charges

Stockland has a thriving Tennis Club
Please click here for the Stockland Village Tennis Club page

"Transported for Life"
One of the earliest references to Stockland was during the reign of the Saxon King Athelstan who gave a charter for a church in Middleton (now Milton Abbas) in Dorset in 934 AD. Stockland was to provide timber for the church and was to remain in the County of Dorset until 1844. The Domesday Survey in 1086 records the village belonging to Milton Abbey and is known as Ertacomestoche probably meaning a farming settlement in the (Yarty) valley belonging to the Church. The Survey records three mills in the parish, that at Millhayes probably being one of them.

Stockland Church shows evidence of an earlier 12th century building with Norman arches surviving on the south wall of the chancel and a 13th century lancet window in the Broadhayes Chapel. However, most of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels was rebuilt in the 14th century with the addition of a north aisle and a larger tower in the 15th century. The ring of six bells date from as early as 1603. There is also a small thatched building at the south west entrance to the churchyard in Mary Street known as the Church Ale House - it's easy to imagine its purpose!

There are many old buildings in the parish some of which are listed, and some are from the medieval period. These include Townsend, Kites Cottage, Churchstyle, Kings Thatch and the Kings Arms Inn in the village. Old farmsteads can be found at Hornshayes, Heathstock, Lower East Horner and Broadhayes, to mention just a few. Ford House is on the site of an old monk's house together with fishponds, whilst a lunatic asylum was established close by in the early 19th century - some of the boundary walls are still visible. The Old Rectory is a fine old house whilst the White House, Broadhayes House and Ridge House are good examples of the Georgian period.

On the bridge entering the village from the West is a fine George IV plaque giving evidence of the village's Dorset past. It also mentions the consequences for -'any person wilfully injuring any part of this county bridge will be guilty of felony and upon conviction liable to be transported for life'. We are not sure if you can still get your fare paid to the colonies by damaging the bridge! There is another similar plaque on the bridge across the Yarty at Longbridge on the Old Chard road.

As well as a strong farming tradition in the parish, there was also a range of rural industries in evidence at least until the 19th century. There was a flax mill and rope factory on the Corry brook, a tannery at Ridge, timber yards and at least one charcoal producer in the local woods. Even with the advent of the motor age, the village was still a centre for the whole area boasting a series of shops, petrol pumps, cycle repair shop and bakeries. Alas times change!

Stockland is also one of the few Devon parishes with turbaries which are lands dating back to medieval times but now owned by the Parish council ('as Lord of the Manor'). These were considered too poor for common land but were used for the collection of wood and the grazing of livestock. Traditionally faggots of gorse were cut for fodder and fuel, and bracken was used for bedding, mulch and thatching: its ash was a source of potash in glass and soap making. There are now seven parcels of land of 165 acres across the parish which are a haven for wildlife, flora and fauna actively supported by the Blackdown Hills Partnership. Their mixture of wet heath, bog and woodland makes them home to a rich range of plants and animals some of which are nationally rare. Several walks cross the turbaries at Bucehayes, Shorebottom, Quantock and Horner Hill where the views are stunning. There is plenty of woodland in evidence across the parish and the Lucombe Oak at Broadhayes was chosen as one of the 48 Great Trees of East Devon.

Springs are abundant, emerging where the greensand meets the underlying clay with several old marl pits close to footpaths. The parish comprises a series of smaller hamlets and farmsteads with a predominantly agricultural background.

There is evidence of prehistoric settlement from the flint hand axes, picks and microliths found on the Yarty and on Stockland Hill. The eastern slopes of the latter also has two Iron Age Camps with extensive banks and ditches which can be viewed from the paths and lanes close by. The views across the Corry Valley are extensive and other Iron Age Camps can be spotted at Membury and Pilsdon Pen to the east, whilst westwards from the top of Stockland Hill can be seen Dumpdon Hill and Hembury Fort.