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Title: Parracombe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Blackmoor Gate, Shirwell Hundred, Exmoor, Survey of English Dialects, Barbrook
Collection: Exmoor, Villages in Devon
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Parracombe is a rural settlement near Lynton, in Devon, England. It is situated in the Heddon Valley, on Exmoor.

A number Bronze Age barrows exist nearby, along with several other small earth-works throughout the parish. Beacon Castle and Voley Castle both Iron Age Hill forts are situated nearby. Rowley Barton ("rough clearing") was a manor mentioned in the Domesday Book along with East and West Middleton.

Holwell Castle, at Parracombe was a Norman motte and bailey castle built to guard the junction of the east–west and north–south trade routes,[1] enabling movement of people and goods and the growth of the population.[2] Alternative explanations for its construction suggest it may have been constructed to obtain taxes at the River Heddon bridging place, or to protect and supervise silver mining in the area around Combe Martin.[3] It was 131 feet (40 m) in diameter and 20 feet (6 m) high above the bottom of a rock cut ditch which is 9 feet (3 m) deep.[4] It was built, in the late 11th or early 12th century, of earth with timber palisades for defense and a one or two story wooden dwelling.[1] It was probably built by either Martin de Tours, the first lord of Parracombe, William de Falaise (who married Martin's widow) or Robert FitzMartin,[1] although there are no written records to validate this.

Parracombe's St Petrock's Church is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[5]

Until 1935 the village was served by a halt on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway which ran close to the centre of the settlement.


  1. ^ a b c "Holwell Castle". Everything Exmoor. Archived from the original on 2008-03-08. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Ancient Exmoor". Holiday Exmoor. Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Holwell Castle". North Devon Archaeological Society. Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Holwell Castle, Parracombe". The Gatehouse. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  5. ^ "St Petrock, Parracombe".  

External links

  • Map sources for Parracombe

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