Devon Heritage

Explore Devon's rich and varied history

Devon is a tapestry woven with a rich and diverse heritage, spanning centuries, and shaping the cultural fabric of the region. From prehistoric settlements to medieval architecture and maritime traditions, Devon's heritage is a captivating journey through time. 

Prehistoric Marvels 

Devon's heritage begins with its prehistoric roots, evident in the stone circles of Dartmoor and the remnants of ancient hill forts. The county is home to some of the best-preserved Bronze Age structures, such as Grimspound, where the echoes of ancient lives resonate through the windswept moorland. 

Medieval Marvels 

The medieval period left an indelible mark on Devon, visible in its picturesque villages and historic market towns. Totnes, with its Norman castle overlooking the river Dart, is a living testament to the county's medieval legacy. The stunning cathedrals of Exeter and Plymouth, with their intricate architecture, stand as guardians of centuries of religious and cultural history. 

Architectural Hotspots 

A la Ronde is a 16-sided house with wonderful views over the Exe Estuary. Built for the Parminter sisters to their unique specification and featuring a hand decorated shell encrusted gallery. Compton Castle in contrast is a large and dramatic medieval structure and home for 600 years to the Gilbert family. There are also a number of beautiful walks around the heart of Devon area, managed by the National Trust; explore their map for further information. 

Maritime Heritage 

Devon's coastline, stretching along the English Channel and the Bristol Channel, has played a pivotal role in the maritime history of the United Kingdom. The historic ports of Plymouth and Dartmouth have been launching points for explorers, including Sir Francis Drake and the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower. The Naval heritage of Devon is showcased in the Royal William Yard and the Royal Citadel, standing as symbols of the region's maritime prowess. 

Literary Legends 

Devon has inspired literary greats, contributing to its cultural heritage. Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, found inspiration in the landscapes of Torquay, while Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Dartmoor-set Sherlock Holmes stories continue to draw literary pilgrims. The timeless tales of Devon have become an integral part of the county's heritage, celebrated in literary festivals and events. 

Agricultural Traditions 

The rural landscapes of Devon tell the story of agricultural traditions that have shaped the way of life for generations. The thatched cottages, rolling hills, and traditional markets reflect a deep connection to the land, showcasing a heritage of farming practices that have endured for centuries. 

In Devon, heritage isn't confined to museums and historic sites; it breathes through the landscapes, echoes in the laughter of communities, and weaves itself into the daily life of the region. As you explore Devon, you embark on a journey through time, discovering the layers of history that have shaped this remarkable county. 

Inland walking guides Coastal path walks Cycling Arts and crafts The moors