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A Topographical Dictionary of England


 Samuel Lewis (1831)

Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)

LINTON, a parish including the sea-port of Linmouth, in the hundred of SHERWILL, county of DEVON, 14 miles (E. by N.) from Ilfracombe, containing 632 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the most northerly point of the Devonshire coast, comprises two manors, the lords of which had the power of inflicting capital punishment in the time of Edward I. The village of Linton is situated on an eminence westward of an opening towards the Bristol channel, and is separated from the adjoining parish by the river Lyn, over which is a bridge of one arch. Within a short distance to the east, by the sea side, near the junction of the East and West Lyn rivers, is Linmouth, formerly a fishing town of some consequence, but now possessing only about a dozen fishing-boats. Turbot, soles, cod, herrings, and oysters, are still caught upon the coast, and shipped to Bristol and elsewhere; several sloops, of from fifty to one hundred tons', are employed in the coasting trade; limestone, coal, and culm, are the principal articles of importation; bark and grain the chief exports. Here is a small pier, erected by the lord of the manor., which has afforded shelter to vessels of two hundred tons burden. Both at Linton and Linmouth there are numerous lodging-houses for the accommodation of visitors; and in the neighbourhood are some elegant private residences. Here is a plentiful supply of excellent water; and the river Lyn abounds with trout. The lord of the manor holds a court leet and baron at Linton, soon after Easter, when a portreeve, tythingman, and ale-taster are appointed.

The living is a perpetual curacy, with that of Countisbury, in the archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and diocese of Exeter, and in the patronage of the Archdeacon. The church is dedicated to St. Mary; and the prospect from the churchyard, embracing the rocky coast, the Bristol channel, and the Welch mountains, is singularly grand and beautiful. There is a place of worship for Independents. The scenery in this parish is of an Alpine character, and comprises every variety of form and colouring; the views are extensive, being terminated in the distant horizon by the shores of South Wales. About a mile westward of Linton is the Valley of Rocks, presenting a forcible contrast to the general views; the bed of this valley is about three quarters of a mile in length, but not above one hundred yards in width. The acclivities on each side exhibit huge masses of fixed and detached rocks; and at the western extremity of the valley, which is terminated by a cove, or inlet, there is an isolated mass of great magnitude, somewhat in the form of a cone, partly intercepting the view of the channel. The chain of rocks forming the northern side of the valley fronts the sea, and along this stupendous declivity is a path on the same level with the bed of the valley, leading from its north-west extremity to the village of Linton.