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Bideford Bay & Beyond - Bucks Mills Beach
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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 granite quarry.
Historical Information - D. Hubbard-Fielder, The Story of Bucks Mills & Bucks Cross, available from Bideford Library and information supplied by the Braund Society from their publication, Who lived in Cottages like these? - the inhabitants of Bucks Mills.

 
The Braund Society Plaque
The Look-Out Cottage/The Cabin Walking from the coast path
Bucks Mills teetering on the cliff side Resting!
Looking out to sea! Nearly there!
Lime Kiln from the Shore Upwards & Onwards/"The Gut" or "Gutway" Natural Paddling Pools
Splashing time on the Beach Going Fishing
Over to Clovelly - Gallantry Bower headland Paddling in the Gut

Stunning Rock formation - Photo by BD Adams

View from West Kiln Lobster Pots on the quayside Bucks Mills from the remains of Old Quay Sticking to the shore
Bucks Mills Quay - from West Kiln The Gor & site of the Old Quay/Looking across to Peppercombe Sticking to the rocks
Lime Kiln perched on the cliff edge Bucks Waterfall - Photo by BD Adams
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