Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Pictures and video: Combe Martin hunts the Earl of Rone

20:55 26 May 2014

Scenes from Combe Martin

Scenes from Combe Martin's Earl of Rone festivities, Monday, May 26, 2014.

Archant

Processions take to the streets over the weekend to celebrate the village’s rather unique spring bank holiday tradition...

Adrian Worth leads the musicians in the procession.Adrian Worth leads the musicians in the procession.

WITH a skirl of music and a crash of drums Combe Martin’s annual Earl of Rone has taken to the streets once more.

Throughout the May spring bank holiday weekend there were several parades as colourful characters including the Hobby Horse, Fool and a company of ‘Grenadiers’ set off in search of the elusive ‘Earl’.

Accompanied by the sound of drums, flower ladies, dancers and musicians they hunted high and low, thither and yon, before parading their captive through the streets on Monday evening.

The hapless earl is periodically ‘shot’ by his grenadier escort, before being revived by the Hobby Horse and Fool to be marched onward.

Phyllis Ackland in her customary place at the head of the procession.Phyllis Ackland in her customary place at the head of the procession.

The procession reaches the beach at sunset, where amid a frenzy of drumming and dancing an effigy of the earl is cast into the sea.

An intriguing blend of folklore, myth and legend, the true origins of Combe Martin’s unique custom are unknown, but it was revived in 1974 after being banned in 1837.

Local legend says the ‘earl’ was Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, who was forced to flee from Ireland in 1607 and was shipwrecked on the coast.

Hiding in the woods and surviving only on ships’ biscuits, he was eventually captured by a party of Grenadiers sent from Barnstaple.

Scenes from Combe Martin's Earl of Rone festivities, Monday, May 26, 2014.Scenes from Combe Martin's Earl of Rone festivities, Monday, May 26, 2014.

There is no historical evidence to support this and how his story became mixed up in Combe Martin’s custom is unknown, but the village continues to celebrate its very unique tradition.

* CLICK HERE and HERE for more Combe Martin Earl of Rone 2014 pictures.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 22:23
Storm Imogen batters the promenade at Westward Ho! on Monday afternoon. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Huge waves batter the promenade as gale force winds and high tides combine to unleash dramatic display of Mother Nature on the North Devon coast

Read more
Yesterday, 18:02
The Gazette has launched the A Better Link for North Devon campaign to help speed up improvements to the North Devon Link Road and highlight just how crucial it is to the region and its economy.

Surveys will help form part of multi-million-pound bid for major improvements to A361 and A30 between Bideford and Tiverton.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:06

Fire fighters and highways crews spend hours on scene trying to divert stream away from flooded cottage

Read more
Yesterday, 12:47
The new bridge in Barnstaple. Pic: Tony Howells

The Taw Bridge in Barnstaple has closed to all vehicles as wind speeds reach 70mph and is ‘not likely’ to open before rush hour.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:44
Ilfracombe is lashed by Storm Imogen. Picture: Andrew Pettey.

Westward Ho! and Ilfracombe are among communities bracing for another high tide at 6pm this evening

Read more
Yesterday, 10:28
Gale force winds blew off part of the original annex roof at the civic centre in Barnstaple. Picture: Matt Smart

Part of annex roof found in staff car park

Read more
Sunday, February 7, 2016
There could be some big waves coming in overnight tonight (Sunday). Picture: Graham Hobbs

North Devon has suffered a beating this weekend with heavy rain causing flooding - and it’s set to be another unsettled night as Storm Imogen hits tonight (Sunday).

Read more
Sunday, February 7, 2016

Devon County Council will be carrying out works in Barnstaple from Monday with temporary traffic lights in place.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Residents have been clearing up flood debris and mud at Corner Lane in Combe Martin

Residents are busy with clean-up operations this afternoon (Saturday) following the earlier downpours.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Pilton residents protesting against plans for yet more homes in the area. Picture: Sarah Howells

Residents have had enough as new proposals for 44 homes add to more than 600 new houses approved by North Devon Council for the area.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications