CLOVELLY IN WHITE'S DIRECTORY OF 1850
A rare Victorian photograph of the main street in Clovelly in the 19th century. Donkeys carried tourists - goods were and are still - carried down on wooden sledges.
From our photograph collection
Clovelly is a pleasant village and fishing station, occupying a singular and picturesque situation, on the side of a steep rock, adjoining Bideford Bay, about 4 miles E of Hartland and 11 miles W.S.W of Bideford. It is one of the most romantic places in Devon, and the houses being built upon the precipitous side of the sea cliff, one above the other; the main street ascends in terraces and flights of steps at the beach and pier. Clovelly is celebrated for its herring fishery, besides which large quantities of conger, whiting, hake, pollock and cod fish are caught in the winter.; and turbot, sole, plaice, garnet and mackerel in summer. Its parish had 950 inhabitants in July 1841, besides 40 seamen, who were then absent; and contains about 4200 acres of land, mostly the property of Sir James Hamlyn Williams, Bart, who is lord of the manor and has a large and handsome seat, called Clovelly Court, erected about 1780of the site of the ancient mansion , which was destroyed by fire. The views from the house and grounds are extremely grand; and above the cliffs, to the south-east of the village, are the remains of an entrenchment, called Clovelly Dykes, of a square form and un known origin. The Giffords were anciently lords of the manor, but at the time of Richard II, it was sold to Sir John Cary, Knight, by whose family a small harbour and pier were made.
The manor was purchased about 1730 by Zachary Hamlyn Esq. whose great nephew was created a baronet in 1795. The late baronet assumed the name of Williams in consequence of his father's marriage with the heiress of the Williams family of Edwinsford in Carmarthenshire.
The church (All Saints) is a small ancient structure with a low tower, aituated near Clovelly Court. It was made collegiate in 1387 by Sir William Cary, who settled in it a warden and six chaplains, to whom he gave the advowson and the great tithes. The living is a rectory in the patronage of Sir J. H. Williams and incumbency of the Rev. Z H Drake MA who has a good residence and about 100 acres of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1838 for about £200 per annum. Here is a small Wesleyan chapel and a school for 50 girls, supported by Lady Williams. A gallery, built in the church by the Reverend Prince is let for £3 a year, which was applied in schooling poor children.
Williams, Sir James Hamlyn, Bart; Clovelly Court
Drake, Rev. Henry MA, Rector
Dalton, Rev. Henry, MA, curate
Finch, James, bookseller
Grills, Nicholas & Bierman. P, shoemakers
Heard, William, grocer and draper
Hockington. Richard, coast guard
Parsons, John, tailor
Vine, Samuel, victualler, the Red Lion
Westlake, Mr Joseph
Whitefield, Ann, grocer and draper
Whitefield, Robert, the New Inn
Thomas Hamlyn jun.
Thomas Hackeridge jun.
Post Office at the house of John Dannell.