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Ilfracombe was the last disembarkation point for two large forces sent to subdue the Irish.
In the last two decades the town has been home to many artists inluding locally Damien Hirst, and George Shaw a runner up for the Turner Prize.
It is recorded that the lands by the church were part of the estate owned by Champernowne family, while those by the harbour belonged to the Bouchier family: Earls of Bath.
Because of the natural layout of the harbour, Ilfracombe became a significant safe port (registered port of refuge) on the Bristol Channel.
Ilfracombe has been settled since the Iron Age, when the Dumnonii (the Roman name for the inhabitants of the South-West) established a hill fort on the dominant hill, Hillsborough (formerly Hele's Barrow).
The origin of the town's name has two possible sources.