ⓘ History of Ilfracombe
Ilfracombe has been settled since the Iron Age, when the Dumnonii Celts established a hill fort on the dominant hill, Hillsborough. The origin of the towns name has two possible sources. The first is that it is a derivative of the Anglo-Saxon Alfreinscoma - by which name it was noted in the Liber Exoniensis of 1086. The translation of this name means the "Valley of the sons of Alfred". The second origin is that the name Ilfracombe was derived from Norse illf, Anglo-Saxon yfel and Old English cumb from Cornish komm, Welsh cwm, thus The valley with the bad ford.
The manor house at Chambercombe in East Ilfracombe, was recorded in the doomsday book of 1086 as being built a Norman knight Champernon from Chambernon in France, who came with William of Normandy. It is also said to be haunted.
Ilfracombe consists of two separate communities, farmers around the parish Church of the Holy Trinity, parts of which date from the 12th century, and a fishing community around the natural harbour formed between Capstone, compass and lantern Torrs. It is recorded that the lands of the Church were part of the estate owned by Champernowne family, and those in the harbour belonged to the Boucher family: column bath.
Due to the natural location of the harbour, Ilfracombe became a significant safe port registered port of refuge on the Bristol channel. He also was at the crossroads of trade routes between Kinsale and Tenby, which made the port harder. In 1208 it was listed as having provided king John with ships and men to invade Ireland in 1247 it supplied a ship to the fleet that was sent to conquer the Western Isles of Scotland, 6 ships, of which 79 men were sent to support the siege of Calais. Ilfracombe was the last drop-off point for two large forces sent to subdue Ireland. The building which sits on lantern hill by the harbour, known as the Chapel of St. Nicholass built 1361 is considered to be the oldest working lighthouse in the UK, light / beacon, there are already more than 650 years. The city is also home to the Bowen family. James Bowen was master of HMS Queen Charlotte, the flagship of Richard, Earl Howe in 1794 "glorious first of June" Battle. James Bowen was commissioned by Howe for his leadership in combat, he rose through the levels - commander Argot, dreadnought, and in Georgian England, under the title of "defender of the tide", led the fleet that saved the British army at La coruña in the Peninsula war, and retired as a rear Admiral, Commissioner of the Royal Navy. Captain Richard Bowen 1761-1797 James Bowens younger brother, the British naval commander on the ship HMS Terpsichore, served under Lord Nelson, and was killed at the battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. John Bowen 1780-1827, son of James Bowen, a naval officer and colonial administrator founded the first settlement on the island of Tasmania in 1803 risdon Cove settlement, which later became known as Hobart. Lieutenant a e down, was initially posted to Ilfracombe to lead a protection ship for the customs and excise, he married a local girl, rose through the levels to retire as a Vice Admiral, his son joined the Navy at the age of 14 years and his first fleet set on display at the National Maritime Museum of Greenwich. In 1802 James Mick married the daughter falls and settled in the city, James Mick was appointed inspector of provisions for the Royal Navy in 1832, he was knighted, and died in 1852 Ilfracombe. mens messenger
There was a wooden fortress overlooking the harbour, and of this nothing remains but contemporary records and the location of the Castle hill from the Portland street / montpellie of R and a terrace.
The writer Fanny Bernie stayed in Ilfracombe in 1817. Her diary entries from 31 July to 5 Oct the entry in the beginning of 19th century life in Ilfracombe: a captured Spanish ship, two ships in distress in a storm, the visit of Thomas Bowdler, and she was lucky after being cut off by the tide. A few years later, in 1820-ies the set of four tunnels were hand carved by Welsh miners to allow access to the beaches by horse-drawn carriage and on foot. Previously, access was obtained by climbing on the rocks, rounding a point on the boat, swimming or at the lowest tides clambering on the rocks of the point. These tunnels led to a couple tidal pools that, in accordance with Victorian morality, was used to separate male and female bathing. While women were restricted to the strict dress code, covering the whole body, men usually swam naked. The tunnels are still available and designated as the tunnel beaches.
In 1856 writer Mary Ann Evans alias George Eliot was accompanied by George Henry Lewis in Ilfracombe order to collect materials for his work, elements of the coast, published in 1858.
In 1911, the Irish nationalist Anna Catherine Parnell, sister of Charles Stewart Parnell drowned in Ilfracombe.
Miss Alice Frances Louisa Phillips b. 26 Jan 1891 at high street, 85, ilfracombe and her father Mr. Ascott Robert Phillips b. 1869 Cardiff was held on the 2nd class ticket No. 2 on the Titanic, and sailed from Southampton April 10, 1912 heading for new Brighton, Pennsylvania. Alice was rescued in boat 12, her father was killed in the crash.
Until the mid-19th century Ilfracombes economy was based around Maritime activities: import lime and coal from Wales, fishing for herring and international trade, including in West Africa and the West Indies. In George III and the Regency period the town was home to many troops of naval forces of – four admirals, numerous captains, and other officers and non-commissioned sailors.