Ashburton | Widecombe | Walking in Dartmoor | Dartmoor |
Ashburton South Devon On the Southern slopes of Dartmoor and wholly within the National Park only 24 miles from Exeter and 19 miles from Plymouth, with the beaches of the South Coast also a short drive away dating back to Saxon times, once a important centre for tin mining and wool. With many fine buildings the town is a delight to explore-including slate hung merchants houses.
Nestling on the banks of the River Ashburn Ashburton was one of four Stannary Towns in the County- where smelted tin was brought to be assayed. The heyday of the tin trade was in the early 16th century.
Also important to its prosperity was the wool trade. Mills all along the River would use water power to cleanse and process the raw wool. Handlooms would then weave it into a rough felt like cloth. Brought and traded by wool merchants- many of whose fine town houses built from the profits of this trade remain to this day. Mechanisation in the early 18th century and the dumping of serge onto the world markets by the East India company brought the death kneel to the industry. Centuries old inns such as the Golden Lion date from the town's heyday as a coaching centre before the arrival of the Railway in the 1870's .
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he Parish Church of St Andrew has a particularly imposing granite tower. Though dating from the 11th century the Church was largely rebuilt in the 15th century thanks to the prosperity brought by wool. With fine carved wood bosses and beautiful stained glass windows from Victorian times.
Today the town is a bustling friendly place, a ideal touring centre for a South Devon holiday in South Devon. The Tourist Information Centre contains a wealth of local guides, places to see, things to do, as well as offering accommodation in Ashburton and the surrounding Area. The nearby Museum provides a detailed insight into the towns history. Dartmoor Dartmoor with its wooded valleys and High Tors impassable bogs and mires, wide open moorland and superb vistas, and of course home of the Dartmoor pony.
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