Remember to check the 'Local Events' page for events ocurring in the village.
The Parish Council has received notification that the Torridge District Council will be moving some of their computer equipment during the Bank Holiday weekend, 27th, 28th and 29th August. As a result, it means that their website and all systems (e.g. Planning Portal and e-mails) will not be available from 5:30pm on Friday 26th and all weekend. However, they aim to get services switched back on a.s.a.p. providing there are no issues.
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 December 2015 - The Parish Council has received information from Geoffrey Cox, our local Member of Parliament, with dates of his surgeries in 2016. You can see the dates and contact information by clicking here.
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 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 nearest neighbour is the village of Petrockstowe - about 2 miles away. Click here to visit their web site.