Berrynarbor Today

Riversdale Cottage, the Sterridge Valley
St.Peters Chruch, the Village Centre
Ye Olde Globe, the Village Centre

Berrynarbor is a rural, coastal community with spirit and soul, having a knowledge of its ancient heritage and a foresight of its future. In one of North Devon's largest parishes, the village nestles on the eastern slope of a diverse beautiful combe, rich in meadow, pasture land and wooded cleaves. Its name is derived from past manorial lords - the Berry and De Nerbert families.

The focal point of the village is its fine church with lofty pinnacled tower, Norman arch and ancient monuments. A mellow peal of six bells is regularly rung by the local band of ringers. It is approached through a 17th Century lich-gate and original cobbled path.

To the west of the church wall are the remains of the 14th Century Manor House, partly rebuilt in Victorian times to provide a splendid village hall. This social venue is constantly used for a wide variety of activities and functions.

Grouped around the church are old cottages which form the nucleus of the village. Over the years, restoration has been sympathetic to their original charm and character. It's here we find the essential facilities for a thriving community - the post office/general store, busy little school and village pub. Sadly, the Chapel is now redundant and has been converted to dwellings.

Agriculture is still an important way of life to the indigenous population. Most of the farms are of great antiquity and lie above the steeper slopes of the valley.

Tourism is very well catered for within the Parish. A choice of accommodation ranges from quality hotels and guest houses, self-catering establishments and caravan and camping parks.

Within the village is a free car park, a public 'Quiet Garden', children's play area and tea room/restaurant. On the northern edge of the village is another pub/restaurant converted from the old Saw Mill. Walkers on the Coastal Footpath experience diverse views from sheer cliff tops to the tranquil moorings at Watermouth Harbour. A network of quiet lanes and footpaths across the Parish displays a rich variety of flora and bird life, and it is not unusual to cross paths with red deer, badger, squirrel and fox - even 'large black cats', according to some! Evening strollers will encounter several types of bat and be treated to the 'chitchat' of tawny owls echoing through the valley.

The sea life in the coastal waters is exceptionally varied and has been awarded the protected status of a Heritage Coastline.

A spirit of community is epitomised in the many projects accomplished over the years. A tremendous effort in organisation and unstinting support by the whole community resulted in enough funds being raised for memorable celebrations, both social and permanent, of the New Millennium. For posterity, a sculpted drinking fountain was erected and set in stone against the church wall. It was designed and constructed by local craftsmen, and buried beneath the fountain is a time capsule collated by the school children. Two large plates, crafted by a local potter, painted by a local artist and bearing the names of all the children in the parish, are displayed within the church and a beautifully worked tapestry was donated and hangs in the village hall.

Lorna Bowden