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Lynton, Devon

Historical Description

Lynton, a village and a parish in Devonshire. The village stands on the coast, near the mouth of the rivers Lyn, amid magnificent and romantic scenery, 18 miles E by N of IIfracombe, and 17½ NE of Barnstaple station on the G.W. and L. & S.W. railways. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Barnstaple, and is a resort of tourists and sea-bathers; enjoys sea communication by calls of the Bristol and Cardiff steamers, and land communication by coaches to Minehead, Ilfracombe, and Barnstaple; commands facilities for hunting, fishing, and other sports; possesses rich attractions of walks, rides, and scenery, for visitors, and has some good hotels and boarding-houses. The parish contains also the village of Lynmouth, and the hamlets of Lynbridge, Barbrook Mill, Cherry Bridge, Ilkerton, and Dean. Acreage, 7203; population of the civil parish, 1547; of the ecclesiastical, 1235. Some handsome residences have been erected in the neighbourhood. The river or rivers Lyn drain most of the parish, take their name from the prevalence of cascades, deep falls, and dark ravines within their bed, and give their name, with the addition of the syllable for " town," to the parish. The scenery in most parts is of the same wild, grand, romantic character as in the part around Lyn-moutb, and noticed in our article on that village. A path, called the North Walk, leading from Lynton village to the Valley of Rocks, to Castle Bock, and to other highly interesting spots, is particularly interesting, goes midway across a rapid declivity of about 700 feet, forms one of the most remarkable terrace-walks anywhere to be seen, and commands a view of the gorge of the East Lyn, of a sweep of dismal coast to Lynmouth Foreland, and of a vast extent of ocean horizoned by the cloud-like mountains of Wales. The Valley of Rocks is a vale about a mile long, but not above 100 yards wide, between two lofty and somewhat steep ridges of hill, is overspread in every direction by vast fragments of rock, and derives a weird impressiveness from vast masses of bare rock on the hill ridges, appearing here and there like rude natural columns, and arranged so fantastically along the summits as to resemble extensive ruins. Southey described the N ridge as " completely bare, excoriated of all turf and all soil, the very bones and skeleton of the earth, rock reclining upon rock, stone piled upon stone, a huge terrific mass," and he adds respecting the valley-" A palace of the pre-Adamite kings, a aity of the Anakim, must have appeared so shapeless and yet so like the ruins of what had been shaped after the water of the floods subsided." So late as 1824 all the traffic and farm carriage of the parish was done by pack-horses and sledges, and not a wheeled carriage of any kind was known. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter, and till 1868 was united with Countesbury; value, £300 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Exeter. The church figures strikingly in the centre of Lynton village, was enlarged in 1817, and again in 1833. It was restored and enlarged in 1892, has a square tower, and contains many ancient monuments. There are Congregational and Wesleyan chapels.

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 parishLinton St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBarnstaple 

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

Church Records

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 Lynton

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 Lynton from the following:


Online maps of Lynton 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:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Cherry Bridge
Dean (Linton)

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 districtEX35