Ashburton Devon

Haytor Dartmoor National Park Near Ashburton
Appledore - narrow streets
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Apple Loft Cottage & Kilbury Manor, Buckfastleigh
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The Shipyard
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North Devon Maritime Museum

Ashburton - Devon

Ashburton, nestling quietly in a valley, on the southern slopes of Dartmoor is the largest town to lie fully within the boundary of the Dartmoor National Park. Ashburton is the ideal location for exploring both the National Park, and the nearby Riviera resort towns of Torquay and Paignton. There are a wide range of outdoor pursuits available in the area, including walking, fishing, cycling. The proximity to the moor makes it a good base for walking and pony trekking breaks, whilst the short distance to the River Dart enables you to utilise the town as a centre for canoeing and fishing.

The town has easy access from the motorway network via Exeter, Newton Abbot railway station just 7 miles away and the Exeter and Plymouth Airports are just half an hours drive.

narrow streets - colourwashed house

The town's unique character has a lot of appeal for the tourist, with a historic past that lead to a wealth of interesting buildings being built in the historic core of the town, complete with several historic Devon styled gabled and slate hung buildings and a 15th century church, built on the profits of the local tin industry. The town is rapidly gaining a reputation as a centre for antiques.

Dating back to Saxon times the town has developed along the banks of the river Ashburn, (Ashburton - the settlement by the Ashburn stream), The town first appeared in the Doomsday book as Essebretone, recorded as having 34 villagers and 16 small holders.

The town's past rise prosperity was based on two local industries, the mining of tin and subsequent designation as a Stannary Town and the supply of wool.

Stannary Town

Ashburton had a history of tin extraction from the local moorland, that stretched back as far as the Roman times, and probably for many centuries before that. The town was designated as one of Devon's four Stannary Towns, as early as 1285.

A Stannary Town was of great economic importance, controlling the quality and distribution of tin produced from the local landscape. Two to four times each year, the local tin would be brought down to Ashburton, by pack horse or cart, to be weighed and stamped before being taken away for smelting into ingots. By the Tudor period Ashburton had become a major economic site within the county with nearly 40% of Devon's tin being sold through the town in 1515. By the early 1700s the tin trade had gone into complete decline as seams ran out, though small-scale extraction took place until very recently.

River Dart Country Park

One of the main attraction in the area is the privately run River Dart Country Park. The park features family orientated adventure activities set in beautiful parkland along side the River Dart.

The Parish Church of St Andrew

The Church was first built at the end of the twelfth century and entirely re-built in the fifteenth. The building is architecturally interesting with an impressive exterior complete with a magnificent 92 feet high tower and excellent -interior and exterior - proportions Noteworthy is the long wagon roof, the arches and piers of the nave (one pier is a monolith), the memorial to Lord Dunning, the first Lord of Ashburton. John Dunning was the first Barron Ashburton, in the South Transept.

Near the base of the tower you will find the grave of a French Officer (Prisoner-of-War on parole in the town) who died just one month after the Battle of Waterloo.

Ashburton Museum

Ashburton has a local museum in the centre of the town, with displays of the local history and the internationally famous North American Indian collection - items gifted by an Ashburtonian who emigrated to North America. The collection was originally started in a private house, it moved to the tower of St Lawrence Chapel and, when it outgrew that, in 1962 to the old blacksmith's shop behind the chapel (part of the old grammar school site).

By 1968 it moved again to its present site in the centre of Ashburton (next door to Lloyds Bank). It houses a unique collection, which, in addition to items of local interest, includes a large collection of North American Indian artefacts. As with the Chapel, it is open to the public from May to September. Admission is free and it is funded by voluntary contributions and is supported entirely by voluntary effort.



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Woodlands Grove Caravan and Camping Park - Camping + Touring + Self catering

Woodlands Grove Caravan and Camping Park, Nr. Dartmouth
Tel: 01803 712598   01803 712680

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The Best Family Campsite in Europe (Alan Rogers) Touring park 5 miles from Dartmouth. 2 nights stay gives FREE entry to 90 acre Theme Park - All weather Fun Guaranteed!
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