Mortehoe History

Unveiling of Mortehoe War Memorial – 13th May 1920

Erected in a prominent position in the Parish Churchyard, the memorial to the fallen from the parish, subscribed for by the parishioners and friends, was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday afternoon in ideal weather. There was a large assemblage present to witness and take part in the touching ceremony. The children from various day and…

Eliza Yeo 1840-1917

Eliza has often been described as ‘a real character of Mortehoe’. For those of you who have visited the Mortehoe Heritage Museum you will have seen her wax work figurine at the top of the stairs and perhaps already know a little about her. At the age of sixteen Eliza married John Yeo, he is…

Woolacombe & Mortehoe 1899 – A visitors review

Morte Point, with its stern beauty, and the slanting spur of rocks which is covered when the tide is full, then the suggestiveness of the name is seen, and dwellers here about will tell you of doomed ships in former days. At the best of times the sea breaks over in clouds of spray. If this be, whilst hardly any…

Rockham Bay Hotel, Mortehoe

The Rockham Bay Hotel, previously started its life as a smaller hotel, run by William and Andrea Charlesworth. In 1946 the the hotel was descried in a local newspaper article as a small friendly country by the sea side hotel, with a big reputation for comfort good food and service. William and Andrea set on…

Elizabeth Berry – Notorious Wrecker

The North Devon coast was often named “The Sailors Grave” it was said that sailors would rather drown at sea than come intothe shore’s of Mortehoe. There are many unknown drowned sailors being buried in St Mary’s churchyard, however many more were left a sea, drowned at the hands of the wreckers for their possessions….

Mortehoe Post Office

The Royal Mail can date it’s history as far back as 1516, however it would not be until 1635 that the postal service would be opened up to the public with a letter office being established in London, and a system developed to carry mail across the country.  It was at this time that letters…

The lifeboat for Mortehoe, 1871

Morthoe Bay, Morte Point, Rockham Bay, and Bull Point, have an evil repute in the sailors’s log. It has been buoyed with such warning as might serve to caution ships making for the Bristol Channel to give it wide berth and rather anchor at Lundy than risk too close an acquaintance with Morte Stone, or…

Strange proceedings at Mortehoe

In 1887 an event took place in Mortehoe that would be later reported in the press as ‘The Strange Proceedings at Mortehoe’, it would be a case that would end at the House of Commons and receive national press. On the land where Ada’s Terrace now stands, opposite the Methodist Church, there used to be…

Woolacombe, Mortehoe and The Chichester Family

The Chichester family had a strong and important connection with Woolacombe and Mortehoe. The family owned much of the North Devon Coastline including their home at Arlington Estate. Woolacombe beach and the surrounding land was owned by the Chichester family for over 800 years and was later sold to family friends or donated to the…

The Grange, Mortehoe

Mr Thomas founded the Grange as a Ministers Seaside Home, he would be the first warden of the home, visiting The Grange whenever he could, but leaving the day to day running to a husband and wife team of housekeepers.  The aim of The Grange, was to provide rest and recreation for ministers and their…

Eating, Drinking & Dancing – The Chichester Arms (1841)

North Devon Journal – Thursday 07 January 1841 Offence against Ale House Licence – Rev. J. D. Ness, rector of Mortehoe, exhibited a complaint against George Irwin Keeper of the “Chichester Arms” public house in Mortehoe for permitting drunkenness and disorderly conduct in his premises on the 27thDecember. The charge was supported by the evidence of three…

Barricane House

Barricane House in Mortehoe is believed to have been given it’s name as it was the closest a horse drawn carriage could get to Barricane Shell Beach before there was a road to follow. Home to the Conibear family and its descendants since the 1800’s the house has a prominent position in the village square. …

Mortehoe & Woolacombe As Seen by A Rambler (1886)

A wonderful depiction of Woolacombe & Mortehoe, as seen by a rambler travelling to the area in 1886. Arriving at Mortehoe Station, he tells of his journey down the hills to Woolacombe, through to Mortehoe and eventually to Lee Bay. A truly lovely way to see the area through somebody else’s eyes some 132 years…

Mortehoe & Woolacombe Station

The London and South Western railway line was extended from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe in July 1874, when the Mortehoe railway station was opened. On Tuesday 9th January 1894 the station saw a fire that very nearly destroyed it. The local newspaper reported it the following day: “Yesterday the officials were able to work the signals…

Mortehoe visit (1861)

17th January 1861 MORTHOE. Lady Bruce Chichester has paid her accustomed New Year visit to this place, and was gladly welcomed by the poor of the parish, who were supplied from her ladyship’s ample stores clothing, suitable to the present season. After having supplied in a liberal manner their necessities in this respect, ample provision…

Mortehoe (1859)

Mortehoe – North Devon Journal – 14th July 1859 The native beaches of this delightful spot are attracting numerous and daily visitors from Ilfracombe and the places adjacent. The matchless scenery of the locality and the invigorating breezes of the Atlantic would render Mortehoe a favourite watering-place for annuitants and invalids to whom economy is…

John Dyer, Mortehoe Coast-watcher (1852-1941)

I didn’t know my great-great-Grandfather John Dyer (known as Granfer Dyer both inside and outside the family), but I’m very proud of him. He was born in Georgeham in 1852, but by 1871 had moved to Woolacombe and was working as a servant at Barton Farm – as was Mary Ann Pugsley, also from Georgeham….

A Mortehoe Gospel, the recollection of a visitor to Mortehoe (1882)

Thursday 31st August 1882 North Devon Journal A Morte-Hoe Gospel The following sketch by a visitor to Morte-hoe appeared in a recent issue of the Echo. I can’t say the inn was clean, but then, as the landlady said “they comes all over the place.” In front of the inn stood waggonettes, drags, carts, and…

What is the link between Mortehoe and Thomas Beckets Murder?

Thomas Becket was born around 1120; he was the son of a prosperous London merchant. At the time of Thomas’s birth, Medieval England was ruled by the church and its views. The fear of going to Hell was very real and people were told that only by going to a Catholic Church, could your soul…

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