North Devon Coast

National Landscape

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Bloody Meadow

With Ilfracombe declared in support of Parliament during the English Civil War, Bloody Meadow was the site of an attack by Royalist forces in August 1644, leading to the loss of 11 lives.

During the English Civil War, like many other towns in North Devon, Ilfracombe declared for Parliament. On the 20th August 1644, an attempt was made by Sir Francis Doddington to seize the town. Doddington was forced out of the town after setting fire to some of the houses. According to the Parish register which concerns the burials:

“10 men and one women slain in ye fight ye 20th day”

Traditionally the worst of the fighting took place in a field at the junction of East and West Wilder Brooks, now built over (near Brookdale Avenue) which was known locally as Bloody Meadow. Apparently, the town surrendered some three weeks later after a further attack at the Ilfracombe fort on the hillside immediately south of the harbour. Ilfracombe was then held for the King until stormed by Parliamentary troops in 1646.

Reference:  A History of Ilfracombe by Lois Lamplugh (1984)