From White's Devonshire Directory of 1850

COMBE MARTIN, or Combmartin, is a decayed market town, in one long, irregular street, in a deep and picturesque valley, about a mile from a fine cove of the north coast of Devon, and 4 miles E. of Ilfracombe. Its parish contains 1399 souls, and about 3900 acres of land, including 1837 acres of open commons and hilly moorlands. The manor was given by William the Conqueror to Martin de Tours, ancestor of the Lords Martin, from whom it passed to the Lords Audley. It was dismembered by the Pollards many years ago. The Barton, or Manor House, with a large estate, now belongs to Sir C.W. Watson, Bart, and the rest of the parish belongs to the Fursdon, Tregonwell, Cornish, Pyke, Gill, and other families. The market and fair, granted about 1264, were discontinued last century. Hemp was formerly grown in the neighbourhood, and shoemakers' thread was spun from it in the town. Coal vessels and fishing smacks resort to Combe Martin Cove, where pilots for the Bristol Channel are generally to be found. The houses extend more than a mile along the dale, amid woods and ridges of rocks, tufted with foliage down to the level of the sea. The scenery is magnificent, and the mines in the parish and neighbourhood have long been celebrated for their argentiferous lead ore. In the reign of Edward I., 337 men were brought here out of Derbyshire to work the silver mines, which are said to have furnished money for the wars in the reign of Edward III. They were again worked with success in the reign of Elizabeth, by Sir Beavis Bulmer. Unsuccessful attempts were made to work these mines with profit about 1800, 1813, and 1817; and they were reopened in 1837, and are now worked by a spirited company of adventurers, who have a smelting-house here. The Church (St. Peter,) is a handsome structure, with a tower and six bells, and the living is a rectory, valued in K.B. at £39. 8s. 9d., and in 1831 at £435, in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. H.W. Toms, who has a good residence, and 72A. of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1844, for about £400 per annum. The Independents and Wesleyans have chapels here. The Free School has half an acre of land attached to it, and was founded in 1733, by George Ley, who endowed it with 35A. 3R., called Waterlake, subject to 20s. a year for the poor parishioners. The school was rebuilt about 1820, and is free for 4 children.

Bale Thomas, constable
Bawdon Cornelius, foreman
Brook Thomas, gardener
Burgess John, postmaster, &c
Burgess George, foot postman
Clogg Robert, cooper
Cooke Wm. Henry, surgeon
Cornish Fdk. S., Esq. Buzzacot
Cutcliffe Nicholas, jun. quarry owner
Cutcliffe Alice, lodgings
Dovell Wm. maltster
Down John, corn miller
Facey Wm. medicine vendor
Gooding James, collar maker, &c
Handford John, gardener
Harris Thomas, ore smelter
Lerwill Wm. gent || Ridd Mrs
Lewis Betsy and Mary, milliners
Loveridge John, wheelwright
Norman John, gardener
Toms Rev Humphrey Wm. Rectory
Willis Mrs Elizabeth


Barnstaple Inn, Ann Watts
George and Dragon, Wm. Conibear
King's Arms, Thomas Harris
New Inn, Thomas Morcom
Ship and Castle, John Lake


Robins Henry
Wener Wm.


Goss Jas. & Wm.
Thomas John


Conibear James
Cutcliffe John
Lancey Wm.
Ley Wm.
Sanders Wm.


Berry Richard
Creek John
Huxtable Joseph


Creek Wm.
Delve John
Fleming James
Irwin John
Rock Chas.


Adams John
Channing J.
Charley James
Charley Richard
Charley Wm.
Crang Walter
Cutcliffe Nicholas
Day James
Draper Benj.
Hole Robert
Irwin Sarah
Irwin Joshua
Knight Richard
Lerwill John
Lovering Maria
Peak Wm.
Pugsley Wm.
Smalridge John
Tucker Wm.
Winzer John
Willis Wm.


Clogg Nicholas
Dovell Wm.
Harris Joshua


Fleming James
Burgess Wm. and Henry
Sommerville Lws


Facey John
Irwin John
Lewis Thomas


Groves Eliz.
Lock John


Copp Ann
Creek Edw.
Gubb My. beerhs
Hussell Eliz.
Robins Henry
Sanders John
Turner John


Benham James
Conibear John

POST from Ilfracombe, and Carriers to Barnstaple, &c

Brian Randell, 27 Oct 1996