Remember to check the 'Local Events' page for events ocurring in the village.

11th January 2017 - The Parish Council has heard from the Devon Countryside Access Forum, which is seeking new members. Here is the text of the message we received:

The Devon Countryside Access Forum is a statutory local access forum under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.  It has sixteen members who advise on the “improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area..”  The Forum gives independent advice to a number of Government bodies in addition to Devon County Council, district and borough councils and parish and town councils.

Devon County Council is currently appointing members to the Forum and would like to receive applications from anyone with an interest in recreational access.

We would love to hear from landowners and managers, access users and people with other relevant professional interests such as planning, education, sport, sustainable transport and tourism.

Why don’t you consider applying to join the Forum?  It’s an interesting opportunity and you can:- The Forum holds three public meetings a year plus a training day.   

For details and an application form please see   The closing date is Wednesday, February 22nd 2017.

6th January 2017 - Following the installation of the green fibre box on the Beaford Road last year, BT (and probably other Internet Service Providers as well) is now accepting orders to upgrade to fibre broadband.

6th January 2017 - The Parish Council has received information from Geoffrey Cox, our local Member of Parliament, with dates of his surgeries in 2017. You can see the dates and contact information by clicking here.

24th December 2016 - The Parish Council has received notification of a road closure on the road to Dolton on 9th January for up to 5 days. Full details can be found here.

30th August 2016 - The Parish Council has received notification from Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS) regarding its Phase 2 expansion. Full details can be found here.

27th April 2016 - Photographic Competition. The Merton & Huish Wildlife group is running a photographic competition, open to all amateur photographers, to be judged at the society's 2017 AGM. Click here to see the competition poster, and here to see the rules.

15th March 2016 - Please click here to see a leaflet with details of recycling collections over the holiday periods up to March 2017.

9th July 2014 - The Parish Council has just received notification of a service for cancer patients who need to travel to North Devon District Hospital. Click here to see the poster. (Opens in a new window).

Merton, Devon

Merton village in Devon

Merton probably derives its name from the old English word for a sheet of standing water; a lake or pond was a ‘mere’ - hence ‘the town by the mere‘. The river which bounds much of the parish to the east is the River Mere.

Merton has been recorded as having a variety of names: Merton or Mertona in the 1086 Domesday Book, then Mereton, Marton, Martyn and Merton – although for a time also commonly called Martin, which may just be the local Devon deriviation of the spoken name. The village church is now called All Saints, but was in fact known as St Martins before the major Victorian restoration.

Settlement in the area goes back to the mists of time itself. Knapped flints having been found at different locations within the parish. Merton was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 (the Norman inventory of all the lands and estates in their ownership) after their conquest, and William the Conqueror gave Merton to one of his knights. Later on, from King Henry the 2nd's time, knights living here probably took their name from the settlement. A Philip de Merton held it in 1166. The last ‘Merton‘ to hold the village was a Richard de Merton, who died in 1370 without any male heirs, and it came to his widow Matilda, who remarried Sir John FitzWarin, and thus ended the direct Merton family connection.

Today Merton, as in the past, is primarily an agricultural area. The woods and nearby clay industry has meant some considerable employment over recent centuries. Although now much diminished, the clay is mined by open cast method and shipped from Bideford to various parts of the world in large bulk ships. Indeed, when in Bideford when the tides are right, you may often see one of the Russian ships moored up and loading clay.

Our Neighbours

Our nearest neighbour is the village of Petrockstowe - about 2 miles away. Click here to visit their web site.