In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Combe Martin like this:
COMBE-MARTIN, or Combmartin, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district in Barnstaple district, Devon. The town sits in a deep romantic glen, opening into a small cove on the Bristol channel, 4 miles E of Ilfracombe, and 10 N by E of Barnstaple r. station; extends irregularly to a length of about 1½ mile; consists largely of old and decaying houses; was made a market-town about the year 1264, but has long lost its market; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a post office under Ilfra-Combe, an inn, a parish church, three dissenting chapels, and an endowed school. ...
The church is early and later English; presents features of much interest; and has a very handsome tower. A project has been entertained by the North Devon Extension railway company to convert the cove into a harbour. The parish Comprises 3, 815 acres. Real property, £4, 984. Pop., 1, 484. Houses, 342. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged, in the time of Henry II., to the Norman baron Martynde Tours. The scenery, in many parts, is highly picturesque. Silver-lead mines have been worked at intervals since the time of Edward I.; were last resumed in 1835; have shafts of from 20 to 120 fathoms deep; yield from 20 to 168 ounces of silver per ton of ore; and are notable for a cup, weighing 137 ounces, given by Queen Elizabeth to the Lord Mayor of London. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £387.* Patron, the Rev. H. W. Toms.The sub-district contains seven parishes. Acres, 24, 042. Pop., 3, 875. Houses, 831.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Combe Martin has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of North Devon. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Combe Martin and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Combe Martin in North Devon | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 06th December 2013
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