Beacon on the Hill

Ilfracombe Harbour with St Nicholas Chapel and Lighthouse. Captured just after 9 pm

The family had a mini holiday to North Devon immediately after my birthday. I am slowly developing the photos but thought I wanted to share this image immediately. On our second day we went to Ilfracombe and had a lovely dinner at a place called Antidote. Ilfracombe has a nice and protected harbour and at the rock in the background stands a medieval chapel, The Chapel of St Nicholas, which dates back to 1321. Soon a light was added to the Chapel to guide the sailors into the harbour and the lighthouse is still operating.

When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries St Nicholas ceased to be a chapel and in the nineteenth century the lighthouse keeper with his family lived in the former chapel. Now it has been restored as a chapel and is looked after by the local Rotary Club. Occasional services are still held there.

Eric and I took a walk before our dinner up on the hill above the harbour and discovered the potential of the place at the right evening light. What we saw during late afternoon you can see in the image below. So I decided to come back after the dinner hoping that the light would be right to capture the “Beacon on the Hill” with the boats in the harbour in front of the chapel/lighthouse. I think we were richly rewarded for coming back at the right moment with the blue light giving a magic feel to Ilfracombe.

The idea of calling it “The Beacon on the Hill” I got from Dr Chris Steed, who once was team rector in North Devon including Ilfracombe. It is a beacon both in the sense of guiding Christians to worship and steering the ships and yachts navigating the waters between Devon and Wales at the entrance to the Bristol Channel.

Ilfracombe Harbour with St Nicholas Chapel and Lighthouse. Captured around 7 pm