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Devon County

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St John the Evangelist, Countisbury

St John the Evangelist, Countisbury

© Richard J. Brine


Countisbury (mentioned in Domeday Book as Countesberia) is a parish and small village on the coast, closely bordering on Somersetshire, and bounded on the south-west by the river Lyn, two miles east from Lynton and 22 north-west from Barnstaple. It is in the South Molton division of the county, Shirwell hundred and petty sessional division of Braunton, rural deanery of Shirwell, archdeaconry of Barnstaple and diocese of Exeter. By an order of Council date July 6 1886, the hamlet of Lynmouth, in the civil parish of Lynton, was ecclesiastically annexed to this parish.


The church of St John the Evangelist, situated on a lofty and much exposed eminence, is an ancient edifice of stone, in the perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and an embattled western tower with pinnacles, containing 3 bells; the pulpit and reading desk were added in 1913 as a memorial to W. M. Branston Esq.. In 1920, an organ was erected as a memorial to commemorate peace after the Great War 1918 - 1918. There are 150 sittings.  The register dates from the year 1976. The living is a vicarage, with that of Lynmouth annexed, joint net yearly value £372 with residence, i n the gift of the |Bishop of Exeter and held since 1945 by the Rev. Ernest Henry William Philip Praid  L. Th of St John's College, Perth, Western Australia, who resides at Lynmouth. The only local charity is the interest of £500, left by the Rev. R. W. Halliday for the poor.


On Oldborough ( or Oldbarrow) Down, near the village, there is a Danish encampment, supposed to be one of the most perfect in the country.


Miss Constance Halliday, who is Lady of the Manor, and sole landowner, r esides at Glenthorne, a modern mansion situated in a romantic glen at the base of the hill, 1200 feet high, near the Minehead Road to which an avenue has been cut 3½ miles through the solid rock. The soil is stony, a great portion being waste of heath lands.


The chief crops are oats and pasture. The parish contains 2629 acres of land and inland water. The population in 1931 was 133 in the civil and 751 in the ecclesiastical parish. By the Devon Review order of 1935, part of this parish was transferred to Lynton.


Letters through Lynton. Lynmouth is the nearest Money Office and Telegraph Office.



Halliday, Miss Constance, Glenthorne

Lecky, Reynolds Lamont, Peace Cottage


Ash, Francis, farmer, Coombe

Barrow, Thomas, farmer, Wingate

Blue Ball Public House (Licencee Edwin Squire)

Graham, Donald, farmer, South Wilsham

Hobs, William George, farmer, Kipscombe

Huxtable, George, farmer, Lower Town

Palmer, Herbert. smallholder, Ducoombe

Priscott, William, farmer, Ashton Farm

Richards, William Henry, smallholder, Frogwill

Wellfield, Harold, farmer, Desolate farm.


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