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Latitude: 51.2105 / 51°12'37"N
Longitude: -4.1143 / 4°6'51"W
OS Eastings: 252414
OS Northings: 147822
OS Grid: SS524478
Mapcode National: GBR KN.43JH
Mapcode Global: VH4M4.MTTX
Entry Name: The Quay from Royal Britannia Hotel on West to Pier Hotel on East Including Old Quay Head
Listing Date: 12 March 1990
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1203010
English Heritage Legacy ID: 390271
Location: Ilfracombe, North Devon, Devon, EX34
District: North Devon
Civil Parish: Ilfracombe
Built-Up Area: Ilfracombe
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Ilfracombe St Philip and St James
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SS5247 THE QUAY
853-1/7/130 The quay from Royal Britannia Hotel
12/03/90 on W to Pier Hotel on E inc Old Quay
Quay, extending across the north side of the harbour, together
with the pier projecting at right-angles from the east end,
known as the Old Quay Head. C17 or earlier; the quay widened
in mid C19, possibly more than once, the pier partly rebuilt
and enlarged in 1760 and 1824-9.
MATERIALS: built of local slatestone rubble with coping of
dressed stone, probably limestone; east side of pier faced
with large, squared blocks of limestone, these rising to form
a parapet wall finished, at the northern end, with a round
coping. Quay now has a mid or late C20 parapet wall of stone;
the surface of the quay is covered with tarmac and there is a
pavement along its north side.
At the western end the quay wall curves round to form a slip
running down in to the harbour. This may be a later addition,
since there is a straight joint at the point where the curve
begins. Some of the earlier coping stones appear to have been
re-used at the top of the slip, but the surface of the latter
is composed mostly of dressed blocks of hard slatestone
polished by the sea.
At the north end, the east wall of the pier is recessed to
accommodate a steep flight of stone steps. At the south end,
also on the east side, a long, shallow flight of stone steps
projects, curving round towards the north-east. On top of the
pier, close to these steps, the parapet wall has a
semi-circular projection on the west side, this bearing a
slate tablet (possibly re-set) inscribed:
"This extensive Pier built some Ages since by the Munificence
of the BOURCHIERS Barons of FITZWARINE EARLS OF BATHE and Vice
ADMIRALS of this Place was in the Year 1760 partly rebuilt
lengthened and enlarg'd by Sr. BOURCHIER WREY Bart. of the
present Lord & inheritor of the Pier and Manor. A further
enlargement of this Pier was commenced by Sr. BOURCHIER WREY
Bart. in the year 1824 & completed in 1829 by Sir Bouchier
Palk Wrey Bart. the present Lord of the Manor."
The last Bourchier (Henry, 5th Earl of Bath) died without
issue in 1654; Anne, third daughter of the 4th earl, married
Sir Chichester Wrey, Bart. The borough manor of Ilfracombe was
acquired by the Bourchiers in about 1435; John Bourchier, Lord
Fitxwarren, was created Earl of Bath in 1536.
The quay appears to have been widened by the Wreys after 1870,
but comparison of maps of 1862 and 1869 suggests at least one
Ilfracombe was a port of some significance by C13 and it is
possible that the medieval quay survives, buried by later
Illustrations of the pier as remodelled by Sir Bourchier Wrey
show it with a battlemented parapet and a small tower at the
end of the quay. These features lasted until at least 1805,
but had gone by 1829 when the pier acquired most of its
(Ilfracombe, A Pictorial Record, 1986: Horridge GK: Plates
1-6; Kelly's Directory of Devonshire: 1883-: 240; Visitations
of the County of Devon: Vivian JL: 1895-: 107; Ilfracombe,
1984: Lamplugh L: 9; 'The Hundreds of Braunton, Shirwell and
Fremington': Reichel OJ: Transactions of the Devonshire
Association, Extra Volumes: 436).
Listing NGR: SS5241447822
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