Friday, 20 November 2015

West Country – Drewsteignton, coach roads … part 2



Our first night was in this village at the very good restaurant with rooms – The Old Inn – highly recommended by us.
 
Looking into the village square from The Old Inn

The pictures and photos I took of artwork in The Old Inn, and other interiors … I’ll show in the next foodie – drool post!

Looking from the Church towards The Old Inn (side view)
beyond the red cars

Drewsteignton was on the Old Coach Road west from Exeter into Cornwall, via Okehampton.  

Spinsters' Rock

There’s a lot of history here with settlement going back to the Neolithic period: Spinsters’ Rock is a chambered tomb from that period, dating about 3,000BC … I’ve some more dolmen and stone circles to show you later on.  I’m just glad to escape the spinsters …



Granite Altar in side Chapel
in Church

The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086), and by the medieval period was relatively prosperous … as a wool producing area, the quarrying of limestone and the mining of tin at a small local mine.




Spectacular granite pillars - each pillar is one piece of
granite and carved as such 

The east-west coach road, crossed another north-south one … an essential cross route in those days of horse and carriage travel … which gave further prosperity to the village shown through the high quality of some of the buildings – The Old Inn, the Church (1400s origin), the Drewe Arms (pub) and the now closed school.




Carved Pew End


Coaching inns provided a vital link to inland transportation from early medieval times until the arrival of the steam engine, replacing the tired teams of horses and extending hospitality to those travelling the road.




The pub's sign



While coaching inns were normally spaced seven miles apart, distances could vary, particularly in more inhospitable or remote areas such as Dartmoor.




Henry VIII started the network of Posting Inns in 1516, when he arranged for mail to be delivered from London to wherever he happened to be at the time. 


The Post Inn a few
miles west of the village
A ‘line of posts’ was set up where the King’s courier could get fresh horses – the coach road – Turnpike as it became - formed part of the London to Penzance route.  Henry didn't make it to Penzance, but his daughter Elizabeth I knew about the town in Armada times.


Anyone who read my “X” post during the A-Z this year might remember that the Romans traded with the Cornish for their tin … the Guide/Gate post at Trethevy in Cornwall near Boscastle and Tintagel indicating this wealth in trade … ancient routes linking the main trading stations.


 
Medieval Carved Window in cob walls
So we had started our journey encountering really early times … but also moving into medieval eras of lime rendered cob walls … the buildings of which can last 1,000 years … which would indicate that some had been occupied by Celts, prior to the Anglo-Saxons arriving.




My sister-in-law gave my mother one of these Olive Wood
Crosses, which she enjoyed holding ... 




Historically over time these changes can be seen – 5,000+ years of history … much recorded in writing, or can still be found in the surrounding landscape.






Dusk came quite early … but after a brief walk to Holy Trinity Church we were ready for a drink, by the fire … and some sustaining fare – it was stunning too!



Drewsteignton Clock in Church
tower - lightened up .. it was nearly
dark!

The church clock duly told us it was time to move along … and I gather from a local magazine in 1890 that “Discussions were being held over the erection of a clock in the Church tower.  £5.10s.6d. was raised towards its cost and George Aggett was asked to measure up” …


Yew tree in churchyard - large girth


The Sun had gone well over the Yardarm … at which time we were permitted to have a drink!




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

43 comments:

Ana coelho said...

Hi Hilary I loved reading so much history you make it sound so alive... Thank you...

Elephant's Child said...

History as I wish it had been taught while I was at achool. Snapshots of people's lives - a distinct improvement on rulers and battles...

MELODY JACOBS said...

NICE
new post: http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/2015/11/most-fashionable-denim-styles.html

Rhodesia said...

What a great post Hilary, European history is amazing, how I wish I had enjoyed history when I was at school! There is so much to take in now that I am older. Love the alter in the chapel and the carved pews. That medieval window is wonderful, I love it. Looking forward the rest of your travels. Have a good weekend Diane

SolentWriters said...

I love those meadieval windows, Hilary. Can't help wondering at some of the people who've looked out through them over the years.

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Bela reportagem fotográfica.
Um abraço e bom fim de semana.
http://andarilharar.blogspot.pt/

bazza said...

The West Country is often over-looked in the telling of British history but it contains some of the most ancient of our human story and heritage. Even that Yew tree is probably around 800 years old (it's hard to date them accurately because they fall apart easily and don't have nice easy-to-see rings)!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hilary,

SO happy I dropped by today to read another one of your wonderfully amazing travelogues.... One day I hope to tag along....

What a fascinating place AND so lovely...

Thanks so much for putting the time and effort into creating such informative and enjoyable posts....

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ana - good to see you here .. and am so pleased you felt the history was happening - that's so good to read.

@ EC - thanks .. it's so interesting to know 'you all' enjoy the bits and pieces of history I share here - I guess we all overdosed on rulers and battles ... but those do form the big picture.

@ Melody - thanks

@ Diane - it's going to be a cold weekend. I didn't enjoy history at school either - but now I love the learning I get to grips with .. be it history, geology, social history etc.

The granite altar was lovely to see ... just relates to the Dartmoor area. I must write more on the medieval cob buildings ... and so chuffed you're looking forward to the rest ... you too have a good weekend - it's getting colder here!

@ SolentWriters - thanks for coming by ... yes I wonder who looked out upon those coach roads from medieval times .. fascinating thought.

@ Francisco - thank you for enjoying the post and my photos ...

@ Bazza - good to see you ... yes our ancient human story is coming up in at least one forthcoming post! I wondered about the Yew Tree ... and am glad you've given it a provisional time frame with details about Yew that I hadn't realised - thanks.

@ Michael - that's great to have you along, especially if you're enjoying the travelogues! It'd be a pleasure to have you along ... it was an amazing place and is starkly beautiful.

I enjoy creating my posts ... and am always delighted people enjoy coming over to comment ...

Thanks everyone - it's lovely to know you enjoy this sort of post .. cheers and lots more posts following ... Hilary

Joanne said...

still enjoying the tour. Aren't you glad you are going by car and not clopping along in a wagon or coach? Then again, at that pace you wouldn't miss any spectacular scenery or ancient stones. It's all so fascinating. I look forward to your "drool" post. I'm starting my day but I'll raise a glass (of orange juice) and clink to a good weekend. Enjoy

Christine Rains said...

Marvelous pictures. I love these bits of history and sitting along with your tours. Have a lovely weekend. :)

Karen Walker said...

Lovely commentary and pics of your spectacular road trip. I'm so jealous. I love European history and culture. Someday would love to live there for awhile.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a marvelous place to visit!!! I like all of your pictures, but especially the ones of the carved medieval window, and the huge yew tree. Being in a place so steeped in history would almost feel sacred. It is beyond wonderful that you have the opportunity it visit. (And then share the experience with US!)

Have a super weekend!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Spectacular. The church looks and sounds incredible. And those window frames are so cool.

Bob Scotney said...

Fascinating from start to finish. I look forward to more as your journey continues.

Paula Kaye said...

We have a very similar rock formation (Spinster's Rock) in a park here in Kansas. Crazy huh? Loving these posts of yours. Feels like I'm on vacation

Annalisa Crawford said...

That alter is wonderful. And I love that window!

DMS said...

What an interesting post! I love my history lessons here- you make it all so fascinating. The pictures are perfect! I would never have imagined that old window properly. :)
~Jess

Vallypee said...

So much history. How lovely to soak it all up in situ. This must have been a wonderful trip, Hilary. Thank you for posting about it and all the stories attached to the area.

Out on the prairie said...

It was fun to go along with your travels. I need a nice trip. Stranded in a snowstorm today, maybe for a few days. Can't see my car very well.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne - yes I am very glad I'm in a car, and not clopping along in a wagon or coach, or riding a horse - for my thighs' sakes! It would certainly be at a slow pace ... but I would see it all, as you say. Delighted you're happy reading along and ready for my "drool" post ... I thank you for your cheers of orange juice!

@ Christine - so glad you're happy to be here - thanks

@ Karen - delighted you're enjoying the trip so far and my iphone pictures - it works and that's the main thing. It'd be great if you could come over and live here for a while and absorb some of our traditions and culture ...

@ Susan - it was an amazing place to come across - pure luck on my part. I'm delighted the medieval window so charms you ... and yes the yew tree is quite spectacular. I think what's wonderful is being able to appreciate it all and to understand some of the history - something I'd have never been able to do ten years ago ...

I decided I needed to do shorter posts - because there's so much to let you know about ... and I'll mix and match ...

@ Holly - so pleased you enjoyed the post .. this was one of the churches we visited - special as you say. The oak framed windows ...

@ Bob - thanks so much ... I hope I can come up to scratch ...

@ Paula - have you got a Spinster's Rock in Kansas ... I wonder if it wasn't named by a Devonian, after this formation from 5,000 BC ... that's great if you feel like you're on vacation - so good to know ...

@ Annalisa - isn't the altar wonderful. The window I couldn't resist taking a photo of ...

@ Jess - that's great and I'm so pleased I can pass on some of the history here... I'm just delighted to read you're enjoying it so much. Glad the pictures match up so well - and you can see that medieval window via the photos ...

@ Val - it's your part of the world ... and I just hope I can match up with your remembrances of the area ... and you'll continue enjoying the stories I post ...

@ Steve - oh gosh a snowstorm ... mind you we've gone cold here and the east side of Britain may well get snow .. and it might reach down here. Poor car ... I hope the car will enjoy its warm snowy coating!

Thanks everyone - it's so great you're enjoying my posts ...enjoy your weekends ... cheers Hilary

Friko said...

What a splendid trip this was, interesting and most nourishing for body and soul.

Excellent fare all-round.

Medeia Sharif said...

Another wonderful post and set of pictures from your trip. :) Have a great weekend.

Manzanita said...

Another great "blast from the past" taught by Hilary. Most Americans
live on the short side of European history and you always make it
come alive. So a cob wall will last 1,000 years. I've been wanting
to build a cob oven in the rock garden for baking my precious
sourdough bread. At first I thought it would last only a season
but that was before I learned how long they can endure and
I don't think I'll make it another thousand years. LOL

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

The pictures of the area make it look so serene! Sometimes things are so busy here that I think I'd like to live in that kind of setting...quiet and still. Sounds like a fun trip and a great place to stay!

Blogoratti said...

Wonderful set of photos, seems a fine place.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Humble apologies for really struggling to keep up within the blogging world. It's two in the morning and I've finally arrived, only to arrive on part two! I shall reread your first part.

The places your so articulately mention, along with the corresponding photos, are some locations I've actually been to. You have so much info while I just go to all the locations and act like a dopey tourist!

Thank you, Hilary. Happy Sunday.

Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Friko - many thanks .. it was a fun trip and was good all round. The fare wasn't bad either ...

@ Medeia - thanks glad you enjoy the look around.

@ Manzanita - yes lots of these to follow. Just delighted to bring some of our history alive to you and others and me! The cob walls and houses, if they're looked after and treated as 'natural' (left alone to breathe as intended) they survive many a century.

I hope you give your cob-oven a try ... I've seen clay ovens from the Viking Age that have worked ... re built in this era. It's still challenging and everything needs to be just right.

@ Elizabeth - it was serene and I'd have loved to have stayed longer ... but we had an itinerary!

@ Blogoratti - thank you

@ Gary - no worries ... just enjoy if you get here. It's interesting - knowing that I write a blog .. my mind is constantly on what can I write etc ... so I pick up snippets. I'm just glad to see you here ...

Cheers to you all - and after our first snow (brief - flurries) and now clear skies - bliss after the damp and drizzle - it looks like a good Sunday ahead. Hilary

A Cuban In London said...

This reminds me of going camping with the Woodcraft when my children were little. Thanks for the memories and the photos and the post and everything. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Greetings from London.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Loved the photograph of the carved pew end! The village looks so tranquil. A rich history, brought to life by your usual insight.

I have been reading about the history of our postal system too...uncanny.


Best always,
Nila.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It so amazing that so much has survived over centuries of use and the lifetimes of so many people. Sounds like a great day of touring.

Jean Davis said...

What a beautiful granite alter. And the windows in those ancient walls are amazing. You're very fortunate to have such interesting historical places to tour.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! This is certainly an historic trip! Enjoy! Looking forward to more...:-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ ACIL - so glad it brought back some memories of the area etc .. am very happy you enjoyed it.

@ Nila - thanks .. the Church was a delight and the village was tranquil - full of walkers in the summer I expect. Am happy some of our history came through. Interesting you've been reading about your postal system .. similar to our British one I guess .. as we'd have introduced it to the sub-continent.

@ Susan - we're finding more things buried, but still in reasonable condition considering the millennia they've been there. Also buildings and things still in use, or re-used slightly differently over time ...

@ Jean - yes the chapel in the side altar was special. Thankfully most places in England are full of snippets of history and there are so many wonderful buildings to look at and learn from.

@ Denise - it was a great trip - though we hardly went anywhere ... short distances. Happy to have you along ..

Thanks everyone so happy to see you here .. cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I did see some coach stables while I was there. Still, it feels as if it would take years to see everything. Great post, Hilary. I love hearing about your country, the birth place of my dear grandmother.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

This is fascinating history! So many centuries and millenia of history side by side.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - seeing some coach stables must have been fascinating ... so often attached to homes, or even still going as stables today. The memories of your grandmother must be special and definitely a period to hold on to ... and it's great I can remind you of her .. by visiting with me on my travels.

@ Dianne - yes we do have a great deal of history and so much to see across the millennia ...

Thanks so much to you both - cheers Hilary

Susan Scott said...

Well, I so love British history thank you for this delightful post Hilary .. how many know about the sun going over the yard arm? This made me smile :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - that's great - and if you came over ... this would be an excellent place to stay over at ... on your way to Cornwall.

Perhaps I should do a post on 'over the yard arm' ... while I travel - could easily include that ... cheers Hilary

Lynn said...

I would LOVE a trip like this - thank you for the wonderful photos and descriptions.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynn - it was a lovely, simple, easy going trip - with some goals, but not many and no stress because of it ... so pleased you enjoyed the read etc. Cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh! I hadn;t known about the seven-mile limit. Sad if some of those inns are no longer around. And I hadn't know it was Henry VIII who started Posting inns. What a great idea!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - I picked that snippet up from some research I was doing - but that's what it said! The Inns aren't all going, especially as we're losing that way of life now. Again re Henry VIII - I don't know where he travelled - but Kings and Queens did move around ... and I'm sure the info is probably accurate!! It fascinated me - so it had to go in to the blog! Cheers Hilary