Explore the Coast and "Country" Side of Bideford Bay
|Bideford Bay & Beyond - Bucks Mills Beach
The steep cliff path down to the beach now has a good
tarmac surface. The landslip in 1989 blocked this path for some months.
The views of Bideford Bay are spectacular from here and on a clear day
you can get a good view of Lundy Island to the north, Clovelly & the
headland, Gallantry Bower, to the west and Peppercombe/Greencliffe to
the east. Part way down is the "Look-Out Cottage", a two roomed
building, believed to be used originally as a fisherman's store. It was
owned by the Walland Carey Estate and rented out to various tenants including
Arthur Thomas Braund who took over the tenancy in 1907 for two years.
By 1913, the tenant was Mrs E Ackland, a doctor's wife from Bideford.
From the 1920's up until early 1970's the building was used as a studio
by two local artists, Mrs. Ackland's daughter Judith and her friend, Mary
Stella Edwards who renamed it "The Cabin". The tenancy passed
to Judith in 1938 and, when the Walland Carey Estate was sold in 1948,
Judith Ackland, as the sitting tenant, bought "The Cabin" for
six hundred and twenty five pounds. The Cabin was in use by the pair until
Judith's death in 1971. Their watercolour paintings of the village and
local scenes are on display at the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford. It
is quite amazing that although this is one stretch of coastline, each
cove has its own unique qualities. Peppercombe is noted for its red cliffs,
however the pebbles give way to hard molten rock formations here and one
reason the beach is popular with families with children is "The Gut"
or "Gutway". The sandy inlet was created when the rock was blasted
by gunpowder by Richard Cole, Lord of the Manor of Bucks, in Elizabethan
times when he was building the harbour. At low tide, the large bolders
are the remains of what once was the "Old Quay" The effigy of
Richard Cole lies in the north wall of All Hallows Church in Woolfardisworthy.
The large rock promontory is "The Gor". "Local Legend says
that this rocky spit is the remains of a causeway built by the Devil to
enable him to get to Lundy Island: when the stick of his Devon shovel
broke, he abandoned the enterprise". In the 18th century Bideford's
main import was of culm, a mixture of anthracite and limestone which was
then burnt in the local Lime Kilns. The lime fertiliser produced was used
to "sweeten" the North Devon soil. There were seven lime kilns
along the Torridge Estuary from Appledore to Bideford with nine beyond
the Long Bridge. Kilns were then built along the coast and the remains
of East Kiln at Bucks Mills, which dates from 1760, was built by Robert
Davey. Fishing was also once as main industry for Bucks Mills with herring,
mackerel, whiting, lobsters and prawns being the most popular catches.
When fishing declined and the lime kilns stopped working, villagers risked
sailing the seventeen miles of open sea to Lundy to work in the island's
|Articles, Photographs and Illustrations ©Copyright P. Adams North Devon Focus 2015 - All rights reserved