Saturday, 11 February 2017

Totnes - Devon

There is a stone in Totnes called the Brutus Stone. Legend would tell you that this is where Brutus of Troy disembarked and began the foundation of Britain. All I can say is that he must have had very long legs if that was one step from boat to land.

Totnes is beautifully positioned. It is the first crossing place on the River Dart (by bridge, that is) and it is also the gateway into the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The first reference to Totnes came in the year 907, recording that a castle was being built on the hill. This castle prospered for quite a while and in fact it is still in quite good order and is a fine example of a Norman Motte and Bailey castle, having been altered considerably by the Norman conquerors.

In addition to the castle there is the beautiful red Devon brick St Mary's Church, the Elizabethan House Museum, and the Guildhall that was converted from the priory that had been founded there in 1088.

The river is tidal and so can appear to be miserly and placid or lively and bustling. Move into the old past of town (now with 8,000 inhabitants and hosting a market since the 12th century) and as you climb up High Street, under the Eastgate you find the church of St Mary. From the very bottom to the top it seems that just about every house is a shop, many varied and various and a pleasant change from the main street brands that you find almost everywhere these days.


The Guildhall
St Mary's Church

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