Ilfracombe is a small town with 12,510 inhabitants (2006) on the north coast of the southwestern English county of Devon. It has a small natural harbor, which is dominated by the natural landmarks of the city, the Hillsborough Hill with the remains of a Celtic fortification from the Iron Age. The manor of Chambercombe in the eastern part of the city goes back to the Norman knights Champernon (from Cham Bernon in France) who came with William the Conqueror to England. The building is first mentioned in 1086. Ilfracombe consisted of two different communities: the parish church around the farmers had settled, and the harbor the fishermen. The country at the church belonged to the Champernowne-family, at the harbor the Bouchiers, Earl of Bath. The port gained importance early on Bristol Channel. So put the town in 1208 King John I, a ship for his conquest of Ireland available, and in 1247 it was a ship for the conquest of the Western Isles of Scotland. In addition, were sent from Ilfracombe from ships for the siege to Calais, and suppressing the Irish two strong military forces were stationed here. The lighthouse, which stands at the harbor at the Lantern Hill, for over 650 years in operation, making it the longest in the UK. Until the mid-19th century fishing and sea trade were the main sources of income in Ilfracombe. In Victorian times, the city developed due to the increasing ferry operations along the Bristol Channel gradually into a holiday resort. The realignment progressed even faster than a powerful railway network was born. However, further changes on a large scale was the unfavorable situation of the city in the hills, wedged between cliffs and sea, in the way. As a result, the cityscape even today is still very Victorian character. From many of the large, elegant houses were comfortable hotels. The city has spread around the old harbor around. Today fishing boats share the anchorage there with pleasure boats, as well as with the Oldenburg, which translates regularly located 19 km away Lundy Island. There are also boat connections to the Welsh Porthcawl near Swansea. The port of Ilfracombe reached 2,012 spectacular in the headlines of the world press after the British artist Damien Hirst had erected his 25-meter-high bronze statue Verity there.
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