Holsworthy

Located just a short distance from the Hartland Peninsula is the pretty market town of Holsworthy, which sits within the Ruby Country, which is named for the famous ruby red cattle. Holsworthy has a great reputation for its local produce and has some of the largest livestock markets in the south west. As well as regular livestock markets, the town also hosts weekly Farmers' Markets, where you can grab some of the produce that graces the menus of local eateries for yourself. 

Town traditions

Holsworthy is one of those towns that retains many of the West Country traditions that have been forgotten, like the St Peters' Fair which is held every July. Each event starts with the town crier reading the charter granted to the town for a fair back in 1614. At noon on the first day of the event, the “Pretty Maid” is presented to the town. The identity of the maid is kept secret until she emerges from the church tower to be greeted by the fair’s attendees. This tradition came about following a legacy made in the will of a former Reverend who stipulated that some of the money paid to the parish church should be given to a young single woman under thirty.

The town also holds one of the oldest carnivals in Devon.

Rich local history

Like most of North Devon's towns and villages, there are strong connections to WWII here. The town had a POW camp for much of the second half of the war which housed mainly German and Italian prisoners. The church continues to display a cross that was carved by German POWs and two of the stain glass windows that remain there were painted by Italian POWs. 

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