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V i s i t t o To t n e s South Devon Coast & Country By Philip Hawkins

T

otnes is a very special and unique market town on the mouth of the river Dart, in the heart of beautiful South Devon, steeped with history, charm and boasting countless attractions for the modern day tourist.

Legend has it that in 1170BC

followers are considered to be the

sheep reared on nearby Dartmoor

a Trojan Prince named Brutus

first people to reach the shores of

and the export of locally mined tin.

stumbled upon Totnes whilst on a

Britain, thereby making Totnes the

A clear indication of this wealth and

great quest to find an island that

legendary place of origin for the

importance that Totnes possessed

had been promised to the Trojans by

British people! The ‘Brutus Stone’ is

is evidenced by the large number

the Goddess Diana, as a new home

certainly worth a look and can be

of merchant houses built in the

for them after they were famously

found in Fore Street, next to No. 51,

16th and 17th centuries. The main

defeated by Greeks bearing gifts!

set into the pavement on the right

street is reported to have more listed

So Brutus and his dedicated band of

hand side as you make your way

buildings per head of population

followers set sail and eventually they

up the street towards the beautiful

than any other town in Britain and

Join me now, as I delve into Totnes’

stumbled upon Britain and landed at

medieval East Gate Arch. (right)

rich past and along the way I will

this little town. Brutus used a large

provide you with all you that you

flat stone to disembark from his ship

By the turn of the 12th century

will need to plan the perfect day out

and as Brutus stepped ashore he

Totnes was already an important

in this magical place. Our journey

contentedly proclaimed:

starts at the bottom of Fore Street and then we shall work our way upwards, quite literally, as the heart

“Here I stand and here I rest, The Town shall be called Totnes”

of Totnes is built on a reasonably steep incline!

really is quite a delightful exhibition of bygone architecture at its very

market town in Medieval and

best. Continuing on beyond the ‘Brutus

Tudor Devon, second only to

Stone’ one can see the Elizabethan

nearby Exeter and it is one of

House Museum, built in 1575 for

five Devonshire towns originally

cloth merchant Walter Kellond. The

named in the Doomsday Book. The

house is one of the finest restored

The stone was thereafter known as

town’s wealth and prosperity was

Tudor houses in the country and

the ‘Brutus Stone’. Brutus and his

built upon the export of wool from

is open to the public throughout

South Devon Coast & Country

38

South Devon Coast and Country June 12  

A high quality, free magazine for the South Devon area.

South Devon Coast and Country June 12  

A high quality, free magazine for the South Devon area.

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