Lynton And Lynmouth, Devon, England Photo Tour
Lynmouth is a village in Devon, England. It is on the north edge of Exmoor, at the confluence of the West Lyn and East Lyn rivers.
The village is located across a gorge from Lynton, to which it is connected by the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway.
Lynmouth was described by Thomas Gainsborough, who honeymooned there with his 16 year old bride Harriet Westbrook, as “the most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast”.
The Lynmouth Disaster
On 15 and 16 August 1952, a storm of tropical intensity broke over south-west England, depositing 229 mm (9 inches) of rain within 24 hours on an already waterlogged Exmoor. It is thought that a cold front scooped up a thunderstorm, and the orographic effect made the result worse. Debris-laden floodwaters cascaded down the northern escarpment of the moor, converging upon the village of Lynmouth. A guest at the Lyndale Hotel described the night:
“From seven o’clock last night the waters rose rapidly and at nine o’clock it was just like an avalanche coming through our hotel, bringing down boulders from the hills and breaking down walls, doors and windows. Within half an hour the guests had evacuated the ground floor. In another ten minutes the second floor was covered, and then we made for the top floor where we spent the night.”
The river Lyn through the town had been culverted to gain land for business premises; this culvert soon choked with flood debris, and the river flowed through the town. Much of the debris was boulders and trees.
Overnight, over 100 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged along with 29 bridges, and 38 cars were washed out to sea. In total, 34 people died, with a further 420 made homeless.
Similar events had previously been recorded at Lynmouth in 1607 and 1796. After the 1952 disaster, the village was rebuilt, with major efforts made to ensure that the catastrophe would not be repeated. These included diverting the river around the village. Text provided by our friends at wikipedia