Merton is a pretty little village and has been the site of continuous human habitation since at least the eleventh century and was described in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a manor belonging to the Bishop of Coutances.
It lies about five miles south east of the town of Great Torrington, is surrounded clockwise from the north by the parishes of Little Torrington, Beaford, Dolton, Huish, Petrockstowe and Peters Marland. The eastern and northern boundaries of the parish follow the loops of the River Torridge and the other sides are defined by the River Mere.
In 1608 the most famous son of Merton, George Monk, later to become Duke of Albermarle and commander of the Coldstream Guards was born in the parish at Great Potheridge.
In recognition of George Monk’s origins awards of Coldstream Prizes are made each year to children of The Clinton School at a ceremony first instituted in Merton in 1948. His arms are featured on the club badge of Merton Football Club.
A delightful focus to the village is the church of All Saints dating back to the 1400s. It was heavily restored between 1872 and 1875 by R. M. Fulford, but the east window of the north chapel retains many fragments of late medieval stained glass.
The Clinton Estate exerts a big influence on the life of Merton and Huish, not only in terms of land and house use and ownership but also on the location, name and badge of The Clinton School and village hall.
Merton Moor, on the border between the parishes of Merton and Petrockstowe, has been the site of ball clay extraction for a number of years, and the North Devon and Cornwall Junction Light Railway ran through the west of the parish between 1925 and 1982 to serve the ball clay industry. Today the former railway line forms part of the Tarka Trail series of footpaths and cycle tracks.
THINGS TO DO
With such a wide range of activities and attractions across the region, boredom isn’t an option
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
You can’t move in North Devon without finding something fun to do! For a fun family day out whatever the weather, take your pick from a choice of theme parks with exhilarating rides, exciting soft play zones to explore or experience the power of a steam train! If you’re after wildlife attractions, you’re in luck too – from award-winning zoos and aquariums to theme parks and natural trails there’s heaps to see and do. If you fancy a spot of retail therapy the local towns have lots to offer, ranging from high-end brands and retail villages to independent boutiques and traditional workshops to discover.