The History of the Inn and the meaning of the Blue Ball
The Blue Ball Inn is located in Countisbury on the old coaching route from Porlock to Lynmouth. Countisbury is thought to mean "camp on the headland" and comes from the impressive Iron Age fort on Wind Hill about half a mile west of the Blue Ball Inn. This is believed to have been the site of a battle where Odda's Saxon army defeated Danish invaders led by Hubba in 878. The Inn is located in an area of outstanding beauty, approximately one and a half miles from the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth and close to the famous Doone Valley; the Inn attracts visitors and hikers from all over the world.
This beautiful old coaching Inn had been named the Blue Ball Inn from the late 18th century through to 1986 when the name was changed to the Blue Boar Inn and then changed again to the Exmoor Sandpiper Inn in 1987. The name of the inn was returned to the "Blue Ball Inn" after the current owners Phil, Jacky and Nick Illingworth bought the Inn in March of 2007. In researching the origins of the Blue Ball we have identified a number of Blue Ball Inns in England and a Blue Ball Inn located in Pennsylvania. As many of these inns were old coaching inns it is believed that a blue ball would be attached to a pole located at the front of the Inn and raised to indicate that residents of the inn required passage on the coach.
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