West Street, Ashburton
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||NEWTON ABBOT|
|Police||Devon and Cornwall|
|Fire||Devon and Somerset|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Ashburton is a small town on the south-southeastern edge of Dartmoor in Devon, England, adjacent to the A38. The town is 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Plymouth and 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Exeter.
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, increasing to 4,170 in 2011. Ashburton has five pubs within the centre of town and five restaurants/cafés. The town is also part of the electoral ward named Ashburton and Buckfastleigh, the population of which at the 2011 census was 7,718.
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 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.
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.
Sites of interest
The parish church of St Andrew is a fine building of the 15th century with a tall tower and two aisles. The 15th century church tower includes 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.
St Lawrence Chapel is a Grade ll* Listed Building in St Lawrence Lane in the centre of the town. Originally a chantry chapel and then a grammar school for over 600 years, St Lawrence Chapel is now an important heritage, cultural and community centre, managed by the Guild of St Lawrence.
The town's old Methodist Church (Grade ll listed) at 15 West St was built in 1835. In 2015 the Methodist congregation moved to the nearby St Andrew's Church Hall. The building was sold by public auction on 19 July 2017, when it was bought by Ashburton Arts Ltd (a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee) using funds donated or loaned by members of the community. The building now houses Ashburton Arts Centre.
The Rippon Tor Rifle Range lies within five miles of Ashburton.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "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
- "Ashburton Pop corks", Notes and Queries 1937 172: 50
- “Ashburton Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
- Pevsner, N. (1952) South Devon, Penguin Books; pp. 38–39
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