Combe Martin

Combe Martin

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Combe Martin

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Combe Martin is a village and civil parish on the North Devon coast about east of Ilfracombe. It is a small seaside resort with a sheltered cove on the edge of the Exmoor National Park. Due to the narrowness of the valley, the village consists principally of one single long street which runs between the valley head and the sea.


The toponym "Combe" is derived from Old English cumb meaning "wooded valley". The name was recorded as Comer in 1128. The 'Martin' affix on the place name is from the name of the FitzMartin who held the manor from about 1100 to 1326.

There are several disused Silver mines on the eastern ridge and evidence of tunnels can still be seen, as well as the remains of a wheelhouse used to lift ore from the mine. There are items in the Crown Jewels made from Combe Martin silver.

The unusual dedication of the Church of England parish church to St. Peter ad Vincula ("St. Peter in Chains") is derived from the ancient Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome.

One of the village's unusual features is the Pack o' Cards public house built around 1700 by George Ley. Reputed to have been funded by his gambling successes, it originally had 52 windows, 13 rooms and four floors (matching the numbers from a pack of cards).

Village street

It is believed that the street is the longest village street in England, but this is actually a myth. It was recently measured at around a mile and a half long. The myth has several possible...
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