A MINI TRAIL ROUND HISTORIC HILLSBOROUGH
There is evidence that Hillsborough was used in Pre-Historic times. It was the site of an old Iron Age Promontary Hill Fort, which was occupied between 300BC and 50AD, which was locally known as "Cliff Castles". The remains of the old earthwork defences can still be clearly seen. The site is a listed Scheduled Ancient Monument.
During the late 1800s, a Victorian volunteer Gun Battery was sited on Hillsborough. The guns were dismantled in 1914 to prevent the town of Ilfracombe being classified as a fortified town. The remains of the concrete base and iron rails, badly eroded, can be seen on the cliff edge from the coast path. In 1895, the site was "saved from the builders hands" when it was purchased by Ilfracombe District Council. Soon afterwards many of the pathsways were created to allow the public to enjoy the site. This must be the earliest examples of preserving an area of countyside for quiet informal recreation.
The area of Hillsborough supports a wide variety of habitats. These range from coastal grassland and dramatic cliffs to broadleaf woodland. Each supports their own species of plants and animals that make Hillsborough so important as a Nature Reserve.
Hillsborough was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1994 by North Devon District Council. The site is managed to conserve and enhance the landscape, historic features and the wildlife of the area and to promote public enjoyment through the network of public footpaths.
The summit stands at some 447 feet above sea level. This gives fine views to the west over Ilfracombe and the harbour. These lead onto the Torrs, Bullpoint and on a fine day you can see Lundy Island. To the east, the rugged North Devon Coast can be seen to stretch onto the high cliffs of Exmoor National Park. Across the Bristol Channel on a clear day you can see the coastline of Wales.
I have very kindly been given permission from North Devon Council to place these caches and this little trail takes you around and over Hillsborough, Ilfracombe, North Devon.
There are 8 caches in total and if done in numerical order, it will give you some stunning views of and around the Great Hill.
It should take you about an hour.
There is a £1 coin in one of the caches for the first to find.
It can be muddy and the terrain is fairly steep in places.
Please be aware that Hillsborough is a very popular place for dogs and their walkers, they could appear from any path at any time, so stealth is required and please re-hide the caches carefully. Thank you.
Parking and toilets are available at the Hillsborough Pay and Display Car Park.
Go straight up the field with the hedge to your right, then having reached the main footpath the cache you are looking for is a camouflaged bison tube.