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HER Number:MDV78905
Name:Entrance to The Tunnels, Ilfracombe


Entrance to tunnels leading to beaches. Retains some late 19th century decorated ironwork.


Grid Reference:SS 515 477
Map Sheet:SS54NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishIlfracombe
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishILFRACOMBE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 390258

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • STRUCTURE (XIX - 1836 AD to 1836 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

North Devon District Council, 1997, Ilfracombe Harbour Conservation Area Character Appraisal (1st Draft - June 1997) in Ilfracombe Harbour Conservation Area Partnership Bid Preliminary Application (Un-published). SDV345949.

In 1836 the Ilfracombe Sea Bathing Company created baths and the Tunnels Beaches by boring holes through the rock, and two sandy coves were opened up; one for men and one for women. Other details: 4.4.

English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Entrance to tunnels, pool and beaches, including flanking walls and gate piers, Runnacleave Road.
Entrance to tunnel cut through rocks to give access to beach. About 1836. Painted stone rubble with details in dressed stone. Consists of a pointed arch with keystone, set in retaining wall against the cliff face. The approach to it is flanked by stone walls with stepped and ramped copings, these terminating in square stone gate piers with flattened, pyramidical caps. Access is now by an iron gate with remains of turnstiles (by Ellisons of Salford); this retains some late 19th century decorative ironwork, but has been considerably remodelled in 20th century. The tunnels themselves, and the entrances on the beach side, have no architectural features, consisting of bare rock with occasional reinforcements in brick. The tunnels were cut by Welsh miners in 1823. The entrance-architecture is probably contemporary with the adjacent Baths House of 1836. Both are shown in an engraving of 1838. Of interest for its association with the development of the late Georgian resort.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #105712 ]
SDV345949Un-published: North Devon District Council. 1997. Ilfracombe Harbour Conservation Area Character Appraisal (1st Draft - June 1997) in Ilfracombe Harbour Conservation Area Partnership Bid Preliminary Application. North Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV78906Related to: The Tunnels, Ilfracombe (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 2 2010 3:24PM