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Combe Martin, Devon

Historical Description

Combe-Martin or Combmartin, a village and a parish in Devonshire. The village is situated in a deep romantic glen, opening into a small cove on the Bristol Channel, 6 miles E of Ilfracombe station on the L. & S.W.R. It extends irregularly to a length of about 1½ mile. Some of the houses are very primitive, with cob walls and thatched roofs. There are, however, many modern buildings, and some good villas and terraces have been erected in recent years. Combe-Martin 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, money order, and telegraph office under Ilfracombe, a parish church, two dissenting chapels, a town-hall, and an endowed school. The church is Early English and Perpendicular, presents features of much interest, and has a very handsome tower. The parish comprises 3670 acres; population, 1407. The manor belonged in the time of Henry II. to the Norman baron Martyn de Tours. The scenery in many parts is highly picturesque. Silver-lead mines, now disused, have been worked at intervals since the time of Edward I. They are notable for a cup, weighing 137 ounces, given by Queen Elizabeth to the Lord Mayor of London, which bears 1593 date, and is still used on the inauguration of each lord mayor. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter; value, £404 with residence.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDevon 
Ecclesiastical parishCombe-Martin St. Peter 
Poor Law unionBarnstaple 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1736.

Findmypast, in association with the South West Heritage Trust, Parochial Church Council, and Devon Family History Society have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Combe Martin


Church of England

St. Peter as Vincula (parish church)

The parish church of St. Peter ad Vincula is a building of grey stone in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with north aisle, nave of three bays, north aisle, transepts, north and south porches and an embattled western tower of Perpendicular date, 100 feet in height, with four pinnacles, and containing a clock and 8 bells, recast by Taylor, of Oxford, in 1827, and Mears and Stainbank, of London, in 1922: the screen separating the chancel from the nave is particularly fine and has painted panels with figures of the Apostles: there is also a parclose screen and in the south transept a staircase to rood loft: in the chancel aisle is a mural monument with finely carved effigy to the wife of Thomas Ivatt, ob. 1634, and portions of carved oak benches; there is also a well-preserved brass to William Hancock esq. dated 1587, and seven stained windows, two of which, in the chancel, were painted by Mrs. Tyrrel, and another contains ancient glass formerly in an old window: in the vestry is an oak chest: in 1905 a new organ was provided as a memorial to the Rev. Humphry William Toms M.A. rector 1842-1904: in 1912 the screen was restored at a cost of about £330: new choir stalls were added in 1913 and new altar rails in 1914, the gift of A. B. Baldwin esq.: the church was restored in 1881, at a cost of £500, and has 450 sittings.


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Combe Martin from the following:


Online maps of Combe Martin are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Devon online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the County of Devon in the year 1564, with additions from the earlier visitation of 1531, is online.

The Visitations of the County of Devon, comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564, & 1620, with additions by Lieutant-Colonel J.L. Vivian, published for the author by Henry S. Eland, Exeter 1895 is online.

DistrictNorth Devon
RegionSouth West
Postal districtEX34