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Moretonhampstead is a town and parish in Devon, lying on the edge of Dartmoor. The parish church is dedicated to St. Andrew. Moretonhampstead is twinned with Betton in France. Its population at the 2011 census was 2,806.EtymologyThe Domesday Book, compiled in the 1080s, records Moretonhampstead as simply "Moretone". This name comes from the Old English for "moor town", referring to the town's situation near Dartmoor. By the 15th century "Hampstead" had been added to the name, to distinguish it from various other English settlements called Moreton. This addition simply means "homestead", and may originally have been the name of a nearby hamlet or a local gentry family.HistoryThe central region of Devon was occupied by the Saxons soon after 682 AD. It was divided into vast estates, and one of these divisions included all land within the boundaries of the rivers Teign and Bovey, with Moreton as its major settlement. The present parish of over 6,000 acres (24 km2) is the residue of that ancient crown lordship. The Domesday Book shows that the manor of Moreton, with some neighbouring manors, supported upwards of 5,000 sheep. Wool and (in later years) the manufacture of woollen cloth formed the basis of the town's economy for over 700 years. The economy was evidently healthy when the town established a water-powered fulling mill before the end of the 13th century.
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