Here in the UK we all love the pretty coastal town of Dartmouth, on the south coast of Devon, but did you know it’s not alone in the world. If you check the atlas you’ll find there are 4 Dartmouths which can be found across the globe, plus a few others with connections to the name.
Dartmouth, Devon, UK
Dartmouth’s history is long and fascinating, reaching as far back as the Celts and Saxons, and the first settlement in the area, Townstal, previously named Dunestal, up the hill from the river, was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
In the years that have passed the town has been expanded by land reclamation, a Tudor fort was built on the river at Bayard’s Cove and the 600 year old castle guards the river mouth. The town played a virtual part in the pilgrims voyage to the New World and the Queen had her first official meeting with Prince Philip at the famous Britannia Royal Naval College.
But as interesting as the UK’s Dartmouth’s history is, the history of the world’s other Dartmouth’s is just as enthralling. You can find out more about these below, but if you wanted to read more about Dartmouth in the UK’s history, you can here.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Known affectionately as the City of Lakes, due to the large number of lakes located around the area, the former city of Dartmouth is located in the province of Nova Scotia in the south east of Canada, on the Atlantic Ocean.
Dartmouth was founded in the 1750s after the British arrived and established a town and garrison in Halifax, just across the harbour. The English settlers named the new town in honour of William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth and England’s Secretary of State for the Colonies. The town was primarily a farming and fishing community until the Industrial Revolution in the mid 1800s.
In 1996 the city of Dartmouth, along with the surrounding communities were united with Halifax, to form the Halifax Regional Municipality, but the area is still referred to as Dartmouth.
Dartmouth is a great place to try watersports, the area boasts 23 lakes, and there are many parks and walking trails providing easy access to the surrounding unspoiled coast and countryside.
Find out more about Dartmouth, Nova Scotia here.
Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
Named after Dartmouth, Devon, the American town of Dartmouth is located in the Eastern state of Massachusetts. It was officially incorporated as a town in 1664, after first being settled in 1652, and the town celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2014.
The town covers an area of over 63 sq. miles; it’s bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and is about 60 miles south of Boston. Dartmouth has a number of parks and picnic areas as well as a beach, harbour and a plethora of picturesque buildings.
The settlement was named after Dartmouth by a portion of Pilgrims, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 after their journey on The Mayflower. A group of settlers broke away from the colony in Plymouth and the stringent laws and settled in present day Dartmouth.
The town of Dartmouth, UK, played a crucial rule in the Pilgrims’ journey on the Mayflower and Speedwell, to the New World in August 1620. Near the start of their voyage The Speedwell started taking on water and both boats laid anchor off the Southern English coastal town of Dartmouth whilst repairs were made. Unfortunately after they restarted their journey The Speedwell started taking on water again and upon returning to Plymouth, UK, The Mayflower set sail alone without The Speedwell. To find out more about Dartmouth and The Mayflower read our page here.
You can find out more about Dartmouth, Massachusetts here.
Dartmouth, Victoria, Australia
Now a small rural village, Dartmouth, Victoria, was originally established as a settlement to house workers and their families during the building of the Dartmouth Dam in the 1970’s. The reservoir, also known as Lake Dartmouth, is the largest in the state of Victoria and is located in the beautiful Mitta Valley.
Victoria is the second smallest state in Australia and can be found to the south east of the country, the state has a varied landscape comprising of stunning coastline and beaches, national parks, lakes and mountains as well as the bustling city of Melbourne.
Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
Although not a town or city, we couldn’t write a list of Dartmouth’s around the world without including one of the most famous and prestigious colleges in America.
Dartmouth College was founded in 1769 in New Hampshire; it is amongst 8 Ivy League colleges in America and is the ninth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The college was not named after the founder but a key supporter, the Earl of Dartmouth.
The college is located in the town of Hanover in the state of New Hampshire. Known for its quaint towns and large expanses of wildness, including the White Mountains National Forest and Mount Washington, the state sits on the north eastern coast of America, bordered by Massachusetts to the south and Maine to the north.
Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy, France
On the north coast of France, in the Normandy region, the coastal town of Courseulles-sur-Mer can be found. The town’s port bustles with both fishing boats and pleasure craft. A popular tourist destination, the town has be twinned with Dartmouth since 1977 and celebrated 40 years since the foundations of the Dartmouth Anglo French Association in 2017.
The beaches of Courseulles-sur-Mer’s have a strong link to World War Two; on the 6th June 1944, 14,000 Canadians stormed an 8 kilometre stretch of beach between Courseulles-sur-Mer and St. Aubin-sur-Mer as part of the D-Day landings.
Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
In May 2016 Dartmouth, UK was officially twinned with Dartmouth Massachusetts, 110 people attended the sister city signing ceremony in the guildhall, when the town hosted a delegation of 15 guests from its namesake in the USA.