Places to visit in Europe

An introduction to the heritage of Clovelly

The tiny fishing village of Clovelly is secluded, but easy to find. It hangs on a 400ft cliff less than five minutes drive from the A39, the main road from Bideford to Bude. Nine miles west of Bideford is Clovelly Cross and it is here that you turn off the A39 and follow the signs for Clovelly.

Of course car parks had not been thought of at the time man first made his mark on the area. On the plateau above the village stand Clovelly Dykes - very old earthworks which the Romans probably adapted from an even earlier, perhaps Stone Age, hillfort.

The modern history of Clovelly started with the acquisition of Clovelly Estate by the Hamlyn family in 1738. Since then Hamlyn and Clovelly have been synonymous, with the ownership of the estate still being in the family.

From Elizabethan days, the fishing of herrings was the staple activity and the village prospered on this basis until the shoals began to move away in the 1830's and the season was much shortened.

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