Ashburton, Devon

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Coordinates: 50°31′01″N 3°45′04″W / 50.517°N 3.751°W / 50.517; -3.751

Ashburton
West Street , Ashburton.jpg
West Street in Ashburton
Ashburton is located in Devon
Ashburton
Ashburton
 Ashburton shown within Devon
Population 3,346 
OS grid reference SX756698
Civil parish Ashburton
District Teignbridge
Shire county Devon
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWTON ABBOT
Postcode district TQ13
Dialling code 01364
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Totnes
List of places
UK
England
Devon

Ashburton is a small town on the south-southeastern edge of Dartmoor in Devon, adjacent to the A38.

It was formerly important as a stannary town (a centre for the administration of tin-mining), and remains the largest town within the National Park, with a population of around 3,800. Ashburton has five pubs within the centre of town, and two restaurants.

History[edit]

The name is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Essebretone. Ashburton was then the main town of the Parish of Ashburton, in Teignbridge Hundred. During the English Civil War, Ashburton was a temporary refuge for Royalist troops fleeing after their defeat by General Fairfax at nearby Bovey Tracey.

The town was the terminus of the Buckfastleigh, Totnes and South Devon Railway that opened on 1 May 1872. Ashburton railway station closed to passengers in November 1958 although goods traffic on the line continued until 7 September 1962.

Ashburton used to be famous for a beverage known as Ashburton Pop, possibly a type of champagne, the recipe of which was lost with the brewer in 1765.[1][2]

Ashburton Carnival is one of the oldest, possibly the oldest, surviving in Devon. Written records date it back to 1891, but it is believed to have been started in the mid-1880s to raise funds for a new hospital.

Ashburton Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1910. The club continued into the 1920s.[3]

Politics[edit]

Ashburton was the first place to elect a candidate of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party to public office. The candidate was Alan Hope, a local publican, who was elected unopposed to Ashburton Town Council in 1989. He subsequently became Deputy Mayor and later Mayor of Ashburton.

The town is one of a few to still annually appoint a Portreeve or 'port warden'. Others are Laugharne, Beccles, Callington (where the name is given to the council chairman), Cheevel, and Yeovil.

Sites of interest[edit]

The parish church of St Andrew is a fine building of the 15th century with a tall tower and two aisle. The fifteenth-century church tower features sculptures by Herbert Read, who also carved the oak reredos. One window has stained glass designed by C. E. Kempe. The porch is partly Norman.[4]

The historic St Lawrence Chapel is a unique and important Grade ll* Listed Building situated in St. Lawrence Lane in the heart of Ashburton. Originally a Chantry Chapel and subsequently for over 600 years a Grammar School, St. Lawrence Chapel is now an important Heritage, Cultural and Community Centre, managed by the Guild of St. Lawrence. Ref Chapel web site

Saint Gudula Well and Cross in Old Totnes Road is probably named after St Gulval, also honoured at Gulval in Cornwall.

The Rippon Tor Rifle Range lies within five miles of Ashburton.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Noted John Cooke of Exeter", The Every-day Book and Table Book; or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Sports, Pastimes, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs, and Events, Each of the Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days, in Past and Present Times; Forming a Complete History of the Year, Months, and Seasons, and a Perpetual Key to the Almanac, Including Accounts of the Weather, Rules for Health and Conduct, Remarkable and Important Anecdotes, Facts, and Notices, in Chronology, Antiquities, Topography, Biography, Natural History, Art, Science, and General Literature; Derived from the Most Authentic Sources, and Valuable Original Communication, with Poetical Elucidations, for Daily Use and Diversion. Vol III., ed. William Hone, (London: 1838) p 356. Retrieved on 2008-11-21
  2. ^ "Ashburton Pop corks", Notes and Queries 1937 172: 50
  3. ^ “Ashburton Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
  4. ^ Pevsner, N. (1952) South Devon, Penguin Books; pp. 38–39

External links[edit]