Lundy Island

LUNDY ISLAND, in the hundred of Braunton, N. division of Devon, 2½ leagues (N. W. by N.) from Hartland Point, and 4 (N.) from Clovelly. This island is situated in the mouth of the Bristol Channel, and is upwards of three miles in length, and one in breadth, containing about 2000 acres, of which not more than 400 are in cultivation; it is so defended by lofty and precipitous rocks, as to be inacessible, except at a small beach on the eastern side, where is a landing-place, secured by the Isle of Rats. The more elevated ground, rising 800 feet above the level of the sea, commands extensive prospects of the English and Welsh coasts; and at the northern extremity of the island is a high pyramidal rock, called the Constable. Ruins exist of an old chapel, which was dedicated to St. Anne. From the quantities of human bones frequently ploughed up, and some remaining vestiges of ancient cultivation, the isle is supposed to have been formerly much more populous. It is recorded that one Morisco, having been frustrated in a conspiracy to assassinate Henry III., made this his retreat, became the chief of a band of pirates, and for his crimes was executed here by command of the king; and also that Edward II., at one time during his disturbed reign, proposed retiring hither for safety from his rebellious nobles. Morisco's castle, situated near the south-eastern point, and originally a strong fortification, with outworks, was in the parliamentary war held by Lord Saye and Sele for Charles I.; and in the reign of William and Mary, the French seized it by stratagem, and maintained themselves in it a considerable time.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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