History and Heritage

Posted by Visit Lynton & Lynmouth on Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The twin towns of Lynton & Lynmouth on the North Devon coast have a fascinating and varied history dating back hundreds of years.

It was the Georgians and Victorians who helped shaped Lynton & Lynmouth, turning it from a rural farming hamlet to a thriving tourist resort on the Exmoor coast.

They called it “Little Switzerland” and when you see the towering hills and sheer cliffs of the North Devon coast – you can see why. Yet, even though the world around us is rapidly changing both Lynton & Lynmouth gracefully retain their attractive charm and vintage character.

A visit to Lynton & Lynmouth wouldn’t be complete without taking a leisurely ride on the famous Cliff Railway that connects the two towns. It’s the longest and steepest, water-powered funicular railway in the world and it’s absolutely fascinating, a true marvel and real testament to Victorian engineering.  

Visitors of old were once fortunate to travel from the mainline to Lynton & Lynmouth on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. For 37-years this incredible feat of Victorian engineering, was Devon's premier narrow-gauge railway. It was designed to offer visitors the best views of North Devon scenery from a train. And you can ride it today, this railway is the last narrow-gauge railway adventure and is a truly magical experience for the whole family.

The Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway is one of the highest and steepest completely water powered railway in the world
The beautiful Watersmeet Lodge, a National Trust treasure, sits timelessly on the banks of Exmoor's East Lyn River
Steeped in history, the Lynton Town Hall, built by Sir George Newnes, is a proud and majestic building

Visitors of old were once fortunate to travel from the mainline to Lynton & Lynmouth on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. For 37-years this incredible feat of Victorian engineering, was Devon's premier narrow-gauge railway. It was designed to offer visitors the best views of North Devon scenery from a train. And you can ride it today, this railway is the last narrow-gauge railway adventure and is a truly magical experience for the whole family.

Visit the Lyn and Exmoor Museum in Lynton for a glimpse back in time at the personal, domestic and agricultural history of the two towns. Here you can also read about the famous Louisa Lifeboat rescue and how it travelled from Lynmouth over 14-miles to be launched in the sea at Porlock Weir.

For anyone wanting to explore the more tragic history of Lynton & Lynmouth, there is much to learn. One of the most famous and calamitous events in the twin towns history was the Lynmouth Flood in 1952. Head to the Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall and see the for yourself the devastation of that fateful night.  

The history of the twin towns isn’t all tragedy. Over the decades many famous writers and poets have found their inspiration and romance amongst the rolling hills, sheer cliffs and cascading rivers of Watersmeet and the Doone Valley. One of the most famous being the romantic story of ‘Lorna Doone’ by R. D. Blackmore. Other famous novelists found great inspiration in Exmoor, like C. S. Lewis famed for writing the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ and J. M. Barrie for his novel ‘Peter Pan’.

Exmoor has influenced some of the world’s most renowned poets and painters; Shelley, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Gainsborough, all found inspiration in Exmoor’s lush valleys and vast moors.

Looking for even more heritage? Check out the grand and historic National Trust Arlington Court, a beautifully preserved History & Heritage house with stunning gardens and Carriage Museum. This fascinating museum houses over forty carriages, ranging from elegant state coaches to humble carts.

Come and see for yourself, enjoy a long or leisurely walk through these charming Victorian towns will soon reveal some of their most historic events and secrets.

If would like more information to help you plan your stay in Lynton & Lynmouth join the Visit Lynton & Lynmouth Facebook Group and ask one of our friendly locals for their advice or suggestions.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LyntonAndLynmouthNews/

#historic #history #heritage #Lynmouth flood #museum #cliff railway #steam train #poets #romance

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