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Lundy community page

Lundy is located within Torridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Braunton Hundred. It falls within Hartland 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.

A parish history file is held in Ilfracombe 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 Lundy area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.

SS14don.jpg

On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 4A/2,6,10,14 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 4ANW,4ASW
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SS135450. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SS14NW,SS14SW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 139, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 180. Geological sheet 292 also covers the area.

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

Topographical

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

LUNDY the only island of any size off the coast of Devon, lies 11 m. NNW. of Hartland Point, about 22 m. NW. of Instow with which there is a regular service by motor-boat, and in the entrance to the Bristol Channel. It is about 3 m. long, averages about t m. wide, and covers some 920 acres. It is composed mostly of granite, with slates at the S. end, and forms a tableland about 400 ft. above the sea. The highest point is at Beacon Hill (471 ft.), from which there are magnificent views of the Welsh coast one way, and the Devon and Cornish coasts the other. The name Lundy is derived from the Old Norse words lundi, "puffin," and ey, "island "; and puffins still nest on the island in large numbers. The island was well known to the Scandinavian pirates who harried the shores of Wales and Devon, and is indeed first mentioned by name in the Orkney ingasaga in 1139-48.

Lundy was occupied in prehistoric times, for flint flakes and pottery have come from the small barrows that dot the surface of the island, but nothing is known of its history before the 12th century. At that time it belonged to the turbulent family of the Mariscos, who became pirates and terrorised the neighbouring coasts until William de Marisco was caught and hanged in 1242. (For the 13th century Mariscos, see "The Murder of Henry Clement" in Powicke, King Henry III and the Lord Edward (Oxford 1947) In the early 17th century the island again became the haunt of pirates, and was frequently attacked by the Spanish and French. Lord Say and Sele obtained Lundy in 1656. He is said to have retired there during the Protectorate, and to be buried under the W. window of the old St. Helen's chapel. The island has frequently changed hands in recent times. In 1834 it was bought for 9,400 guineas by W. H. Heaven, who claimed it to be a "free island" and successfully resisted the jurisdiction of the mainland magistrates. Lundy was in consequence sometimes referred to as "the kingdom of Heaven." It belongs in fact to the county of Devon, and has always been part of the hundred of Braunton.

A lighthouse was erected in 1819 on the highest point of the island but experience showed that the light was frequently obscured by fog at that height, and in 1897 the North Light and South Light, at either end of the island, were substituted for it. The only landing place among the towering cliffs is at the SE. end, in the shelter of Rat Island. Above the landing place are the few houses on the island, and the new St. Helen's church (1889) The old church, used until about 1747, stood near the Old Lighthouse where some foundations are to be seen. Also at the SE. end of the island is the square keep of Marisco Castle (probably 13th century) now converted into cottages. It was refortified during the Civil Wars.

Lundy has long been notable for its multitude of rabbits and its colonies of puffins. It is also of particular interest to geologists and botanists. The cliff scenery is spectacularly wild. On the Shutter Rock, at the SW. point of the island, Charles Kingsley caused Don Guzman's great ship to be wrecked in Westward Ho! and in 1906 H.M.S. Montagu was in fact wrecked here. Rat Island is one of the few remaining homes of the aboriginal black rat, now almost exterminated by the brown rat. The granite of Lundy was used for the Thames Embankment, and was long used for parish churches on the Devon mainland.

Lundy has long been notable for its multitude of rabbits and its colonies of puffins. It is also of particular interest to geologists and botanists. The cliff scenery is spectacularly wild. On the Shutter Rock, at the SW. point of the island, Charles Kingsley caused Don Guzman's great ship to be wrecked in Westward Ho! and in 1906 H.M.S. Montagu was in fact wrecked here. Rat Island is one of the few remaining homes of the aboriginal black rat, now almost exterminated by the brown rat. The granite of Lundy was used for the Thames Embankment, and was long used for parish churches on the Devon mainland.


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

Last Updated: 22/02/2005



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