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Countisbury community page

Countisbury is located within North Devon local authority area. Historically it formed part of Sherwill Hundred. It falls within Shirwell Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 120 in 1801 279 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 41 adult males signed the Protestation returns.

A parish history file is held in Lynton Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.

Maps: The image below is of the Countisbury area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.


On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 3/10 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 3SW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SS747497. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SS74NW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 139, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 180. Geological sheet 277 also covers the area.

Illustrations: The image below is of Countisbury as included in the Library's Etched on Devon's memory website. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.


Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:

COUNTISBURY has been identified with arx Cynuit, where Odda, the ealdorman of Devon, inflicted a decisive defeat on the Danes in 878. The precise scene of the battle was the earthwork, about 1 m. W. of the village, on the high neck of land between the Lyn gorge and the sea.

The parish contains superb coastal and moorland scenery, rising to 1,125 ft. at Kipscombe Hill and 1,136 ft. at Old Barrow Hill. Foreland Point is a hog-backed cliff rising to over 700 ft., with a lighthouse first lit in 1900. There was a Roman signal station at Old Barrow, somewhat NE. of the summit of the hill, commanding the Bristol Channel. It is a square enclosure with rounded angles, enclosed by a triple vallum and ditch, the outer vallum being a large circle.

Countisbury church (St. John the Baptist) is of little interest, having been rebuilt and enlarged at various dates between 1796 and 1846. It contains, however, a post-Reformation chancel screen upon which a classic pediment of late 17th century work is superimposed.

Creator: Devon Library and Information Services
Title: Countisbury community page
Imprint: Exeter : Devon Library and Information Services
Date: 2004
Format: Web page : HTML
Series: Devon community web pages ; GAZCOU7
Ref. no.: WEB GAZCOU7
Coverage: Devon . Countisbury . History . Web pages

Last Updated: 15/02/2005

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