1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lundy

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[ 124 ]

LUNDY, an English island at the entrance of the Bristol Channel, 12 m. N.W. by N. of the nearest point on the mainland, namely Hartland Point on the Devonshire coast. The nearest ports are Clovelly and Bideford. The extreme length of the island is 3 m. from N. to S., the mean breadth about half a mile, but at the south the breadth is nearly 1 m. The area is about 1150 [ 125 ] acres. The component rock is a hard granite, except at the south, where slate occurs. This granite was used in the construction of the Victoria Embankment, London. An extreme elevation of about 450 ft. is found in the southern half of the island; the northern sloping gently to the sea, but the greater part of the coast is cliff-bound and very beautiful. The landing, at the south-east, is sheltered by the small Rat Island, where the once common black rat survives. There are a few prehistoric remains on Lundy, and the foundations of an ancient chapel of St Helen. There are also ruins, and the still inhabited keep, of Marisco Castle, occupying a strong precipitous site on the south-east, held in the reign of Henry II. by Sir Jordan de Marisco. The Mariscos, in their inaccessible retreat, lived lawlessly until in 1242 Sir William Marisco was hanged for instigating an attempt on the life of Henry III. In 1625 the island was reported to be captured by Turkish pirates, and in 1633 by Spaniards. Later it became an object of attack and a hiding place for French privateers. The island, which is reckoned as extra-parochial, has some cultivable land and heath pasture, and had a population in 1901 of 94.