Nestled on the slopes of the beautiful Sterridge Valley is the small village of Berrynarbor. Overlooking Combe Martin Cove, 3 miles east of Ilfracombe. Berrynarbor was originally called Bury and afterwards Bury Nerbert, from the family who held it some centuries ago. The Berrie family were lords of the manor of ‘Berrie Nerbet’ in the 17th Century. The manor later came into possession of the Bassett family who in the 19th century built Watermouth Castle.
Watermouth Castle (above) was built in 1825 by Arthur Davie Basset for his bride. The Castle is believed to have employed around 40 domestics to run this Victorian estate. In 1916 the Castle became a convalescent home for army officers in World War 1, and again in World War 2 it was used as the HQ for ‘P.L.U.T.O’ (Pipe Line Under The Ocean). When the last descendent of the Basset family moved in 1945 the castle had various owners before it was bought in 1977 by Richard Haires and became the family attraction we see today.
Berrynarbor was a favourite holiday destination of the author and painter Beatrix Potter, who visited the village over a number of years and worshipped in St. Peter’s church. The village is proud to have won the ‘ best kept village’ and ‘Devon in Bloom’ competitions on many occasions. The village itself is dominated by traditional thatched buildings, St Peter’s Church, and the 15th century manor house, as well as having a local pub and postoffice. The white painted homes and the villagers have a sense of humour with many of the buildings having locally crafted flowerpot men hiding in their gardens or been seen climbing up the building frontages.
Ye Olde Globe The Ye Olde Globe is a traditional character pub. It first became a pub in 1675, having been converted from a row of three cottages. Today the child friendly pub offers a warm welcome to visitors of the village.
The Manor House Remains of the 14th Century Manor House which was partially rebuilt in Victorian times now forms the village hall. The two storey building forms part of the original Manor House, and has features from the tudor and late medival periods. The main hall was built in 1914.
Berrynarbor Community Shop In 2005 Berrynarbor faced the propect of losing their village shop and post office following the retirement of the current postmaster. As a central point to the village, people did not want to lose this facility, and decided to take action, forming a co-operative in order to save the shop. The store has gone from strength to strength, being staffed by a team of 30 volunteers.
St Peters Church The church dates back to the 12th century, with additions being made in the 13th and 15th centuries. The size of the original church indicates that the area had relative wealth and a large population and additions show that it was restored in Victorian times. The building contains some ancient monuments of the Berry family. In the aisle is a beautiful modern memorial to several members of the Bassett family; and in the chancel is a marble tablet to the Rev, S. F. Gully MA, a former rector who died in 1860.