Dartmouth Embankment

6 Things you Didn’t Know about Dartmouth

Guest Blog Post* – IT RESEARCH LLC

At Dartmouth’s heart lies an irresistible blend – historical treasures waiting to be discovered alongside modern shops and eateries. Not forgetting the lively sailboats dotting the sparkling waters nearby.

When summer rolls around, so does an extraordinary spectacle known far and wide – our very own Royal Regatta. Renowned globally, it stands proudly among Britain’s most prestigious sailing showdowns. Nestled along the River Dart in South Devon, Dartmouth boasts profound historical ties to the Mayflower narrative.

Below, discover intriguing facts about Dartmouth that might surprise you…

1 Dartmouth’s own Castle

Dartmouth Castle has stood watch over the Dart Estuary’s slender entrance and the bustling port of Dartmouth for over six centuries. Positioned as one of England’s most scenic fortifications, it boasts breathtaking views of both the estuary and the open sea, providing an ideal outing for families regardless of the weather conditions.

Established in 1388, it holds the distinction of being the first castle in the UK to be equipped with cannon capable of sinking ships. Managed by English Heritage, the castle features an on-site cafe and offers visitors the opportunity to partake in lovely walks throughout its grounds.

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2 Dartmouth Has One Of The Oldest Churches

Constructed in 1372, St Saviour’s Church is nearly concealed by the Victorian architecture surrounding the Quay, though its presence can be glimpsed from Kingswear, across the River Dart.

The construction of the church commenced after Edward I granted permission in 1286 during a visit to inspect the harbor for use in his campaigns in France. However, the project faced opposition from the Bishop of Exeter and the Abbot of Torre, who were responsible for appointing priests at St Clement’s and had not been consulted about the church’s construction. The dispute was significant and prolonged.

Finally, in October 1372, the church was consecrated by Bishop Brantingham of Exeter in honor of the Holy Trinity. By 1430, it became known as St. Saviour’s Church.

3 Most Was Once Underwater

Originally, Dartmouth was formed from two small settlements known as Hardness and Clifton, located on opposite sides of an estuary. Around 1243, a dam was constructed across this inlet, effectively uniting these separate communities around a central mill pond.

Much of what constitutes the town center of Dartmouth today was once submerged underwater. Notably, the land that now hosts Royal Avenue Gardens, a central venue for Dartmouth’s major events, was only reclaimed from the river in 1670.

4 False Railway Station

The Embankment restaurant could easily be mistaken for an old train station. Yet, surprisingly, Dartmouth has never seen a locomotive pass through. Instead, this unique building serves as the departure point for a passenger ferry heading to Kingswear Station, located across the River Dart. The tradition of ferry service has been a staple in this area since 1864, connecting visitors and locals alike without the need for trains.

5 One of Six

Globally, the name ‘Dartmouth’ is shared by seven distinct locations, encompassing a charming town in Devon, UK. This unique moniker can also be found gracing two towns in Australia, specifically within the states of Victoria and Queensland. Further expanding its international presence, ‘Dartmouth’ is the namesake of cities in North America (Kansas, USA), Guyana, Guatemala, and Canada.

Spanning continents, the Dartmouth situated in the United Kingdom is approximately 4,440 miles away from its American namesake, measured in the direct line of flight.

Dartmouth River View

6 Following the Pilgrims

The Dartmouth Heritage Trail provides an engaging way to explore the connections of this Devon town to the iconic 1620 Atlantic crossing. This trail is divided into three distinct parts: a town trail, a walking trail, and a castle trail. These components of the trail are interconnected, and they extend to a River Trail that encompasses historic nautical sites and the location where the Pilgrims set up camp further along the river.

While the narrative primarily revolves around the Separatists, the Mayflower, and the Speedwell, visitors will also uncover the rich history of Dartmouth starting from the 12th century, covering 13 historic spots.

Conclusion

Nestling snugly into Devon’s landscape, Dartmouth effortlessly captures hearts with its storied past and lively cultural tapestry. Here lies a treasure trove renowned well outside of Britain’s coastlines. Dive into fun facts and secret spots of Dartmouth ahead of time—this knowledge will turn your visit from good to unforgettable.

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