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ashburton ^

A fine English town nestling at the foot of the moors, Ashburton's a delightful place to while away the hours.

I

'm sure that many of you reading this know of Ashburton, probably having seen the signs pointing to the town off the busy A38 from Exeter to Plymouth.

If you haven't spend any time in the town, you're really missing out because it's an interesting 30

and colourful little town that really shines. Ashburton's a place where you can literally walk in Saxon footsteps. It's an often used clichÊ´, but Ashburton is steeped in history. The Saxon office of Portreeve is still in place today (although their SOUTH DEVON

official powers have gone unfortunately!).

extensive petitioning by the Cornish tin industry.

Ashburton's colourful past is clearly reflected in the architecture, which, as in all the best English towns, is a diverse mix from many eras, all melding together to form charming and characterful streets. It's often the case that many of the facades you see are medieval buildings that have had a 'modern' front added. I say modern in terms say the 17th century or whatever era the work was carried out.

Where Ashburton has really benefitted in the last few years is the dedication of its shopkeepers to raising the standard within the town. See more about the shops later in this feature.

I'm sure you know that Ashburton was at one time, well known as a stannary town. Stannary is the term that relates to tin coinage. Edward I's 1305 Stannary Charter established Ashburton as a stannary town, due to the tin mining that had taken place on Dartmoor since Roman times. This gave Ashburton a buoyant economy, although in 1838 tin coinage was abolished following

Coast & Country

Editor FINE ENGLISH ARCHITECTURE Ashburton doesn't disappoint when it comes to architechtural variety. It's well worth taking the time to park up and have a really good walk around to fully appreciate Ashburton's pretty streets and buildings. I liken it to time-travel, looking at buildings of many different eras and centuries. Many facades conceal ancient dwellings.

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South Devon Coast & Country August 13  

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