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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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Wildermouth, Ilfracombe, from our sitting room window 1837

"Wildersmouth, Ilfracombe, from our sitting room window"

Watercolour by Annette Ludlow - painted in July 1837


Ilfracombe or Ilfordcombe, a seaport and market-town on the British Channel, the most northerly in Devonshire, 10 miles N from Barnstaple and 202½ miles from London, through Somerton, Taunton and Wellington, contained in 1831, 3201 inhabitants. The annual value of assessed property in 1815 was £6547.  It is situated partly at the bottom of a steep declivity, and partly up the side of it, and consists principally of one long street. Above and around the town are many good houses, including terraces which command a prospect of the harbour and its surrounding heights.


The harbour consists of a natural basin, defended from the violence of the sea by a bold mass of rock stretching nearly half way across the entrance, and an artificial pier, upwards of 850 feet in length, which has been much improved by Sir Bouchier Wrey, Bart., the lord of the manor. It is safe and commodious, and greatly resorted to, particularly in the winter season, by vessels passing up and down the Channel, from Ireland &c., and also at other times, when, from the state of the weather, it is dangerous to enter the river Taw for Barnstaple. The harbour is bounded westward by several tors, forming sea-marks, the descent from which terminates in the romantic cove of Wildus Mouth. On the eastern side of the entrance is Hillsborough Rock, rising with a rugged outline to 500 feet above the strand. On the opposite side is a smaller rock, surmounted by the chapel lighthouse, as it is called, and connected with Capstan Hill, a lofty elevation, by a chain of lower rocks, lying between the town and the sea.


Upwards of seventy vessels belong to this port and are employed in the coasting trade and the herring fishery; the chief article of export is oats. There is a constant communication by steam packets with Swansea and Bristol.


Ilfracombe has of late years been much frequented as a watering place; it is a very pleasant summer residence, and is also convenient as a central station for tourists visiting this romantic coast. The public Rooms form the centre of the buildings on Coronation Terrace and a regatta was established here in 1828. The hot and cold baths, recently erected at Crewkhorne, are very convenient. The water is conveyed from the sea in pipes, through a tunnel, the prospect from the north side of which is exceedingly attractive, combining magnificent rock scenery and an uninterrupted view of the ocean.


The market, on Saturday, is well-supplied with fish, and annual fairs are held on April 14th and on the first Saturday after August 22nd for cattle.


The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a spacious edifice. The living is a vicarage, value £150 per annum, in the patronage of the Prebendary of Ilfracombe in Salisbury Cathedral. Here are chapels for Independents and Methodists, several charity schools and other charitable institutions. The parish of Ilfracombe is in Barnstaple Union. Sir Bouchier Wrey, Bart., occasionally resides here. Eastward of the town is Watermouth, the seat of Joseph Davie Bassett Esq.; it is a modern mansion in the castellated style, with octagonal towers and battlements, beautifully situated near Watermouth Cove, which abounds in picturesque and romantic scenery.


A Guide to Ilfracombe, containing more extended information, has been published by Mr. John Banfield, bookseller of this town.


To Barnstaple - Mail Coach from the Britannia Hotel: leaves mornings at 7, returns evenings at ½ past six.


Steam Packets

To Bristol - The Herald, weekly. Amos Fry, agent

To Hayle, St Ives Etc. The Herald, Weekly. Amos Fry, agent

To Bristol - A steamer on Wednesdays in the winter and twice a week during the summer. John Martin, agent

To Swansea - A steamer twice a week in the summer. John Martin, agent.

Sailing Vessels

To Bristol - Little Western, once in three weeks. George White, master.


To Barnstaple - John Baker from his own house daily

To Barnstaple - Richard Blackmore, the the London Inn daily.

To Barnstaple - John Pugsley from the Star Inn daily.

To Barnstaple - Thomas Vound from his own house daily.



Alder, Mrs

Lodging House Keeper

Aston, William Claridge


Avery, Joshua


Badcock, John

The Star Inn

Baker, J T


Balshan, Mrs

Lodging House Keeper

Banfield, John

Bookseller and printer

Barron, Mrs.

Lodging House Keeper

Bassett, Joseph Davie Esq.


Bennett, George

Victualler, The Swan PH

Berry, Thomas

North Country PH

Bright, John Adams


Burgess, William


Camp, James, jun.

Wine & Spirit merchant

Camp, James

Royal Clarence Hotel

Capel, John

Lodging House Keeper

Carpenter, Alfred


Challacombe & Co.


Challacombe, Nicholas

Victualler,The King's Arms PH

Chiswell, Thomas


Clarke, David

Grocer &c.

Clarke, Richard


Clements, George


Coats, George

Victualler, TheCrown PH

Coats, Thomas

Grocer, draper & auctioneer

Colwill, William

Victualler, George & Dragon PH

Conibeer, William


Comer, Ann Lodging House Keeper
Cornish, Thomas Butcher
Crocker, John Hairdresser
Crascombe, John Tailor & draper
Cross, Mary Hot and cold baths
Dalling, Mrs Lodging House Keeper
Dalling T & J Sailmakers
Dalling, Thomas Lodging House Keeper
Dalling, William Boot & shoe maker
Dalling, William Dyer Hair dresser
Dalling, Tobias Tailor &c.
Dart, Peter Butcher
David, Hannah Butcher
Denis, William Shoemaker
Dennis, Charles Wine & Spirit merchant
Dickinson, R W Esq. Northfield
Dyer, John Maltster
Eastaway, James Lodging House Keeper
Eastaway, John Lodging House Keeper
Edwards, T Organist & teacher of music
Fleming, Susan Ironmonger
Fry, Amos Hotel keeper, The Packet Hotel
Fry, Anne Shopkeeper
Frayne, Elizabeth Confectioner
Gillham, Robert Principal Officer of the Customs
Glanfield, William Painter & glazier
Greenslade, Thomas Lodging House Keeper
Grove, William Bootmaker Etc.
Groves, Miss Dressmaker
Hallatt, Thomas Cooper
Hancock, Elizabeth Victualler, The Ring of Bells PH
Harding, Richard Victualler, The Rising Sun PH
Harding, William Boot maker
Harding, William jun. Beer retailer
Harris & Co. Ship builders
Harris, George Maltster
Harris, James Joiner & cabinet maker
Hearson, Edward Saddler Etc.
Hewett, Richard, Victualler, The White Hart PH
Hill, James Working jeweller
Hill, Henry Currier
Hodge, James Victualler, The Golden Lion PH
Holmes, John Carpenter
Hookaway, William Tailor & draper
Howell, William Boarding & day school
Huxtable, Anne Straw hat maker
Huxtable, Mrs Lodging House Keeper
Huxtable, William Grocer &c.
Jones, John Surgeon, apothecary & chemist
Jones, Thomas Shoe maker
Jones, William Baker & confectioner
King, John The Wellington Inn
Knight, Thomas Innkeeper, The London Inn
Knight, William Beer retailer
Knill, John Baker
Lamb, William China & glass dealer
Lammas, Edwin Bookseller & printer
Laramy, George Beer retailer
Laramy, Joseph Fellmonger & woolstapler
Latey, Thomas Baker
Lee, Nathaniel Vye, Esq. Magistrate
Lee, Thomas Blacksmith
Lethaby, Catherine Straw hat maker
Lethaby, Elizabeth Shopkeeper
Lewis, Daniel Shopkeeper
Lovering, Ephraim The Barnstaple Inn
Lovering, Joseph Shopkeeper
Luke, Mary Innkeeper, The Commercial Inn
Manley, James Hairdresser
Marshall, James Lodging House Keeper
Martin, John Hotel Keeper - Britannia Hotel
Martin, Henry Butcher
Mason, Richard Mason
Mayne, William Coal dealer
McCaull, James Saddler
McRobert, Samuel Grocer
Moon, Robert Henry Surgeon & Chemist
National Provincial Bank Manager W. B. Vyse
National School James Catford, Master
Nicholas, Isaac Beer retailer
Page, Mr. Boarding & day school
Parker, George Innkeeper, The Moon Inn
Parker, Thomas Victualler, The Lamb PH
Patten, John Lodging House Keeper
Pengelly, John Blacksmith
Phillips, James Baker
Phillips, Philip Victualler, Ebrington Arms PH
Pike, Ann Straw hat maker
Redmore, James Beer retailer
Redmore, William Wheelwright
Reeves, Mary Ann School Mistress
Rock, Philip Flour dealer
Rodd, Mrs Lodging House Keeper
Rodgement, George Tailor & draper
Scamp, John Coats Tailor & draper
Scamp, Robert Nott Boot & shoe maker
Scamp, William Butcher
Shapland, George Innkeeper, The NewInn
Slocombe, Stuart Straw hat maker
Slocombe, Thomas Cabinet maker
Smyth, John Tailor & draper
Snow, John Shopkeeper
Sommers, George Boot & shoe maker
Stabb, Thomas Surgeon
Stephens, Edward Boot & shoe maker
Stephens, James Tailor & draper
Stephens, William Victualler, The Rodney PH
Stoneham, Philip Surgeon
Summerville, John Innkeeper, The Exeter Inn
Thomas, Mrs. Boarding & day school
Thomas Chemist & druggist
Thorne, John Lodging House Keeper
Toms, John Boot & shoe maker
Tucker, William Cooper
Valentine, Mrs. Lodging House Keeper
Vickery, James Boot & shoe maker
Vound, Thomas Livery stable keeper
Vye, George Maltster
Vye, Nathaniel Surgeon
Vyse, W B Bank manager
Wade, Ann Shop keeper
Waters, James Lodging House Keeper
Watts, Philip Baker
Webber, Henry Watch & clock maker
Wells, Prudence Grocer & draper
Thomas Whitfield Dyer
Widlake, John Linen & woollen draper & silk mercer
Wildman, Elizabeth Berlin wool repository
Williams, George Carpenter
Worwell, Agnes Shopkeeper


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