Welcome to Highampton Parish Council
The Parish of Highampton is a microcosm of Devon itself. A small population and a large land area set in beautiful countryside.
Highampton is a parish of approximately 110 dwellings, with around 236 on the electoral role, spread over an area of about four square miles. It stands on a conspicuous ridge from which there are splendid views, particularly of Dartmoor, although Exmoor can also be seen.
The Church of the Holy Cross dominates the skyline and dates from Norman times, with extensive restoration in the fifteenth century and more in Victorian times.
The Methodist Chapel, on the Northlew road, outside the village, closed a few years ago due to lack of members – but not a lack of financial support.
The village itself is unusual in not being built around the Church. It developed on the Main road used by the stage-coaches on less high ground, although some farm buildings next to the church show signs of having been houses. The local Public House, a former coaching stop, still exists and is much appreciated by the local population. An outreach Post Office service operates from the Village Hall.
Highampton is very fortunate to still have a Primary School. The School employs a number of part time staff as well as the core teaching staff; all are very dedicated and the children from Highampton and Sheepwash get an excellent education, including many after School Clubs. The School is able to make use of the Village Hall, opened in 1994, when extra space is required, although in recent years the school has been substantially enlarged and is well equipped with a modern computer suite.
There is an active and successful Pre-School group based in the Village Hall which is also used by many organisations, such as; The Women's Institute, Badminton Clubs, Skittles Club, as well as for dances, Parish Council meetings and many social events.
Burdon Grange, on the outskirts of the village, was the home of the Burdon Family for approximately 650 years and incorporates a Tudor mansion Bearing the date 1669. The house has been much enlarged and is now a residential home for severely physically disabled people, catering for about twenty and employing a good number of staff. Totleigh was a separate Hamlet, which joined Highampton over a century ago. It is over a mile from the village and features Totleigh Barton, home of the Arvon Foundation, which runs courses for budding authors, poets, and others connected with the arts.
Agriculture is still the main industry, although much changed in recent years. Thirty years ago nearly every farm produced Milk as well as Beef and Lamb, but now only a few of the larger farms produce Milk whilst the rest have either diversified or been divided up. One is now a deer farm with its own on farm slaughter and butchering facilities. Whilst some residents need to commute, there are a number of small businesses in and around the Village including; two sawmills, a wood treatment plant, three fish farms producing Koi carp and both coarse, and trout fishing, Boarding Kennels a Harpsichord maker, Builders and Decorators, a Fencing Contractor as well as Insurance brokers and Financial Advisors.
Tourism is represented by; Fishing lodges, Chalets, a Caravan Site, B&B establishments, and one of the most important long-term developments, the arrival of the Ruby Trail, part of the National Sustrans Network. This will encourage visitors to use all that the village has to offer. Horses play an increasing role in the parish with both a manufacturer of stabling and a training yard for three-day event horses, which has had International success.
For travel there is little alternative to the car, as the only buses run to markets and larger towns on a weekly basis.
The Council has striven for many years to get an improved sewage system installed for the village itself in order to permit proper development. There is limited building land available, and a need for affordable local use housing.
The Parish is not fortunate enough to have a Doctor, and relies for Medical attention on two of our neighbouring Parishes, the Doctors use both Barnstaple and Exeter Hospitals. For local Government, the Parish is in West Devon.