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24 September 2014
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Home Town banner - Combe Martin
Valley looking towards Combe Martin
The rolling hills near Combe Martin
Vikki Cartwright takes you on a personal tour of the seaside village of Combe Martin on the North Devon coast.

It lays claim to the longest village street in England and an old tradition in which the Earl of Rone is hunted down.
Vikki Cartwright.
This Home Town article has been written by Vikki Cartwright.

After sending most summers in Combe Martin as a child, Vikki was drawn back to North Devon.

She moved to Combe Martin with her family in 2002. She says it was like coming home again.
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From its sheltered rocky seaside cove, Combe Martin runs for some two miles up a sheltered valley on the North Devon coast.

Combe Martin comes from the name 'combe' - a wooded valley - and from the Norman family Martin, who inherited the local manor from one of the followers of William the Conqueror.

As the years passed, the village lacked a squire like the neighbouring villages which somehow made it different in character to the other villages.

Combe Martin can be found on the edge of Exmoor National Park, which in itself can provide a whole range of different tastes for holidaymakers.

St Peter's Church
St Peter's Church

The village claims to have the longest main street of any village in the country - the street winds along the valley, or combe, for over two miles.

The street is so long, for those living at the top of the village it can feel like you live in the country not by the sea.

Walking up the main street you will find the 17th century castle-like Pack of Cards Inn and the 13th century church of St Peter ad Vincular.

The church is approximately a mile into the village, with a small stream adjacent to the churchyard wall.

The southern door of this red sandstone building has a Sanctuary Ring.

It is said criminals who clutched it would be saved from arrest and imprisonment - as long as they confessed their crimes and left the country.

Pack of Cards
The unusual Pack of Cards Inn

This practice was abolished by the establishment in the 17th century.

The Pack of Cards Inn was built in 1626 by a George Ley of Marwood, to celebrate a large win at cards.

The inn has 52 windows - one for each card in the pack, and four floors - each with 13 doors.

End graphic more on Combe Martin Go


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