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The Admiral Collingwood

Ilfracombe’s St Nicholas Chapel is the oldest working lighthouse in the country.

Wilder Road, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9AP

Until its very recent closure, the Collingwood Hotel had accommodated visitors to the north Devon seaside town of Ilfracombe for over 130 years. The imposing five-storey building was named after Admiral, Lord Collingwood, Nelson’s second-in-command at Trafalgar (who fought just off the Spanish coast in 1805). Cuthbert Collingwood fired the first shot in the battle (one of British naval history’s most famous and crucial) and took over command of the British fleet after the fatal wounding of his friend Horatio Nelson.

An illustration and text about Thomas Bowdler.

The text reads: Thomas Bowdler was an English physician, philanthropist and writer, best known for publishing The Family Shakespeare, an expurgated edition of William Shakespeare’s work, intended to be more appropriate for 19th century women and children than any original. Fanny Burney wrote about his visit to Ilfracombe in one of her diary entries.

Photographs and text about Ilfracombe Lighthouse.

The text reads: Ilfracombe Lighthouse, which is known as St Nicholas Chapel, dates back to 1321. It was built as a place of worship for people living and working around the harbour in Ilfracombe. It ceased to be a chapel when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1540. Mr John Davey was the lighthouse keeper during 1835-71. He lived there with his wife and 13 children. John Davey’s wife took over as lighthouse keeper for a short time after the death of her husband in 1870. The lighthouse fell into disrepair and was eventually restored in 1962 by the Rotarians of the town. St Nicholas Chapel is the oldest working lighthouse in the country. Its beacon has been there for over 650 years.

A photograph of Ilfracombe Harbour.


A photograph of Collingwood Terrace, soon after construction, c1880.


An old photograph of Collingwood Terrace.



External photograph of the building – main entrance.


If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk