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Nine or ten
years ago, the Forestry Commission planted parts of the Borough and
Shaftesborough valley with conifer; these trees are now fifteen to twenty feet
high. Rhododendrons abound, and must grow almost as thick and dense
as they do in their natural habitat, in spite of the soil, which is very shallow
on the hillsides. As if to prove
this, great knuckles of rock thrust up through this thin covering. These
rocks are the Morte Slates, which run in a narrow band from Morte Point across
Devon to Somerset. They form the
high cliffs to the west of Lee, and have torn many a stout ship apart on the
cruel reef of the aptly named Morte Point.
The Morte Slates continue a little way along the coast to the east of Lee
before the rocks of the Ilfracombe beds succeed them to form the magnificent
cliff scenery of Lee Downs and the Torrs
War Memorial outside the Church was unveiled by Charles Derbyshire, in July
stone cross cost approximately £150.
Of the sixty-four parishioners who fought in the First World War, sixteen
The Memorial Hall, one of the best in the district, was bui1t on a site given in 1921 by Mrs Tugwel1, widow of the Rev. George Tugwel1, and is opposite the Church. The foundation stone was laid on 16 August 1923, by Col. R. Longstaff, D.S.C. , J. P. Inside the Hall is a Roll of Honor displayed under the legend- "The following inhabitants of the Parish of Lee, North Devon went forth to serve their King and Country in the Great War of 1914-1918. Over the years the Hall has been home to many differing functions, and has been the focal point for the social life of the village.
the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries smuggling was
carried on extensively along these coasts, and Lee seems to have enjoyed its
fair share. Mr.
Grahame Farr has done a survey of smuggling in North Devon, and the following
reports appear in it: 'Lee, September 1820; about fifteen hundred gallons brandy
and gin reported landed. 7th October 1820; the Clovelly Preventive Crew found
one keg of spirit buried in the shingle of the beach at Lee. 20th September
1820; report that Cook of Ilfracombe landed three hundred tubs (about five
gallons each) of gin and brandy at Lee, which were carried into the interior.
The first and last reports almost certainly concern the same incident.
The smugglers trade would be quite varied, as an earlier report shows:
On the 23rd June 1786; three hampers containing sixty six bottles of gin, about
thirteen gallons red Portugal wine, about two hundred and fifty. pounds white
salt, and one box with seventy three packs playing cards without the ace of
spades, seized in the outhouse of John Beer at Lee.