Portal:Devon

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The Devon Portal

St Petroc's flag of Devon

Devon (/ˈdɛvən/, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north-east and Dorset to the east. The city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 (2,590 square miles) and its population is about 1.1 million.

The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, and the county's bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns and ports. The inland terrain is rural, generally hilly and has a lower population density than many other parts of England. Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England, at 954 km2 (368 square miles); its moorland extends across a large expanse of granite bedrock. To the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart and the Otter.

As well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is based on tourism. The comparatively mild climate, coastline and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England. Visitors are particularly attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; its coasts, including the resort towns along the south coast known collectively as the English Riviera; the Jurassic Coast and North Devon's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; and the countryside including the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape. (Full article...)

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The Bonville–Courtenay feud of 1455 engendered a series of raids, sieges, and attacks between two major Devon families, the Courtenays and the Bonvilles, in south west England, in the mid-fifteenth century. One of many such aristocratic feuds of the time, it became entwined with national politics due to the political weight of the protagonists. The Courtenay earls of Devon were the traditional powerbrokers in the region, but by this time a local baronial family, the Bonvilles, had become more powerful and rivalled the Courtenays for royal patronage. Eventually this rivalry spilled over into physical violence, including social disorder, murder, and siege.

The Bonville–Courtenay feud is often given as an example of the degree to which law and order and respect for the king had broken down in the provinces. As a result, modern historians have often considered it a cause of the later Wars of the Roses; and indeed, the course of the feud often closely followed the sectarian politics of the day. The feud is perhaps most well known for culminating in an armed encounter at Clyst (called the fight, or sometimes the battle, of Clyst), near Exeter, which resulted in loss of life.

The events at Clyst resulted in government intervention in the politics of the west country. This was unusual, as the government did not have a good track-record of settling local disputes among the nobility. However, it is likely that this was done for reasons of higher politics; William Bonville was by 1455 a Yorkist, and Richard, Duke of York, had been made Lord Protector. Although in the short term it resulted in Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon's, incarceration, the Bonville–Courtenay feud did not come to an effective end until the protagonists were all killed in the early years of the civil wars. (Full article...)

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The following are images from various Devon-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Little Trowlesworthy Tor.jpg
Little Trowlesworthy Tor on Lee Moor, near Cadover Bridge.

Recently featured: Bigbury sea tractor - Crazywell cross - South Devon Cattle - Dartmoor torsPlymouth harbourWestward Ho! beach

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Some of the larger settlements of Devon
See List of places in Devon for more information

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Did you know...

Smeaton's Tower
  • ... that Plymouth's lighthouse, Smeaton's Tower (pictured), was dismantled and then rebuilt on Plymouth Hoe as a memorial?
  • ... that Devon is the third largest of the English counties and has a population of 1,109,900?
  • ... that the name Devon derives from the name of the Celtic people who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman invasion?
  • ... that Devon was one of the first areas of England settled following the end of the last ice age?
  • ... that the St Nicholas Priory in Exeter is being restored with the same methods that were used 500 years ago?
  • ... that Devon is the only county in England to have two separate coastlines?
  • ... that there was no established coat of arms for Devon until 1926?
  • ... that the English Riviera Geopark in Torbay is the world's only urban Geopark?

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