PARRACOMBE, is a parish among the high moorland hills, and includes the picturesque hamlets of Parracombe Mill, Heal, and Bodley. It is in Barnstaple union and county court district, Braunton petty sessional division, Northern division of the county, and Sherwell rural deanery and hundred. It had 366 inhabitants (187 males, 179 females) in 1871, living in 76 houses, on 4363 acres of land. Parracombe village is on Lynton Road, and 5 miles S.S.W. of Lynton and E. of Combemartin, and 12 miles N.N.E. of Barnstaple. The village of Parracombe is 638 feet and the church 848 feet above the sea level. Parracombe manor was granted by William I. to William Fallaise; it descended to the Fitz Martyns through the Tracey's, barons of Barnstaple; in the time of Edward I. it was the property of the St. Albyns, and seems to have so continued until 1860, when Langley St. Albyn, Esq., gave up the manorial rights to the landowners for 70 acres of common lands. There are three manors within that of Parracombe - Middleton, formerly called Midland, the property of Mr. William Dovell; Court Place, held by Mr. Charles Blackmore, jun.; and Rowley, which belongs to J.N. Nott-Pyke, Esq., whose uncle, John Nott, Esq. purchased the property from the family of Mrs. Roach, heiress of the Locks, in whose family it had been for many generations. Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, M.P., Messrs. George, James H., and John Smyth, William Lock, and others, have estates here. The common lands, consisting of about 900 acres, were enclosed in 1860. The small river Heddon runs through the parish, and after passing some of the most picturesque scenery in the neighbourhood empties itself into the Bristol Channel at the small bay called Heddon's Mouth. A cattle fair, which was commenced here in 1856, is held on August 18, and sometimes as many as 500 sheep and 100 oxen are offered for sale. In digging the foundations for the brewery in 1876, silver ore was found. At Holwell is a singular mound called the castle. A POLICE STATION having two cells was erected here in 1862. The old CHURCH dates from the 12th century, and consists of nave, chancel, scuth aisle, south porch, and tower containing three bells. A new CHURCH, which will be dedicated to Christ, is now being built in the village on glebe land, in the Early Decorated style, at an estimated cost of £3000, raised by subscription grants from building societies, and proceeds of bazaars, &c. It will consist of nave, chancel, north aisle, vestry, and tower containing a clock and six bells, two of the latter being brought from the old church. The old church will be repaired and used as a mortuary chapel. The Register dates from 1600. The living, a rectory, valued in K.B. at £13 10s. 10d., is in the patronnge1 of J.N. Pyke-Nott, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. P.N. Leakey, M.A., who has 64A. 3R. 25P. of glebe, and a handsome rectory house, built in 1827 at the cost of £1000, and seated on an acclivity overlooking a romantic valley. The WESLEYAN CHAPEL, which was erected in 1839 at an expense of £100, was repaired in 1866, and two front windows put in at a cost of £30; the chapel will seat 100 persons. The BRETHREN have a meeting room here. The SCHOOL was repaired and enlarged in 1874 at an outlay of £30. The poor should have the interest of £28, which was vested with the overseers.
POST OFFICE at Mr. R.C. Davey's. Letters via Barnstaple, but Lynton is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
1 This is transcribed correctly and is an error. It should read patronage.
The Parracombe Register 1597 - 1836