Tuesday, 17 November 2015

West Country ‘historical’ tour …part 1




Jenny’s trip round Devon, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset … where I chauffeured, and happily joined in, as my mother’s cousin and I traversed parts of the West Country …

This is an incredibly professional map?!  Each splodge marks a town we stayed in!
We started west of Exeter, at Drewsteignton village, south to Torquay-Paignton,
on via Dartmouth to Salcombe, Liskeard and the artist lady, next to Bude, then
Ilfracombe, then Minehead and finally into the Somerset countryside, near
Taunton and Wellington.  (The "H" marks Hartland Point - incredible geology).

 … these are some of my favourite things was how I started last year’s posting, when I drove Jenny ‘around’ and up to Derbyshire before coming back via Malvern andOxford …


… this journey’s postings will be shorter but there will be lots of them – as I’ve plenty to tell you about … this time we started at the same point west of Windsor Castle and London … then drove to the Old Coach Road west of Exeter and further into Devon and Dartmoor.

The Old Inn 19th century

Jenny’s objective, who lives on Vancouver Island, was to see parts of the UK she hadn’t seen, to visit places where her father’s family had lived over the centuries … and to check on things re Emily Hobhouse – her father’s aunt – as Jenny has Emily’s papers and has written three books on Emily from different perspectives.


A typical footpath and bridleway sign
To meet and greet some relatives and a new friend, who is writing a novel sort of based around Emily, South Africa, Italy and Cornwall – the artist lady concerned lives outside Liskeard, where there are panels in the Museum dedicated to Emily.




Jenny had given me a list of places she wanted to visit … and so I booked the hotels – all 8 being one night stands … I’ve no idea how Jenny does it – I have some of the genes, I know … but I do wonder sometimes!!  


Cottages in Drewsteignton
Six nights in hotels, all very different, and two nights with the artist lady and her husband (wonderful) and the last night for us both with another near cousin of Jenny and my mother's vintage ... also a pleasure to meet and see the family.


I book-ended the trip with a night in Chichester and another in Wellington, where we were already, after I dropped Jenny off at the train for London: visiting English South African friends ... i.e. I met them out there ... and now I see them here.


Mobility rage - not that I think my
relatives would engage!  Just a fun photo


I will start at the beginning … I arrived on time this year! … to find my two elderly relatives had taken themselves off to look at mobility scooters … husband and daughter were surprised to find me laughing… such is life – the elderly have minds of their own!



It was a chance to catch up with them … and I’d never met their daughter before – we are cousins once removed.  Then we stayed and had a lunch of soup, salads,
cheese and fruit to sustain us.


Drewsteignton village and the pub,
which we didn't visit.
We didn’t have that far to travel – about 3 hours – just beyond Exeter … so set off to reach the village in daylight.  Jenny had wanted to visit this area as the family lived there in the 15th century …




The Old Inn


I had booked into the Old Inn in the village, only to find it was really a restaurant with rooms … but too late, I later found out there was a pub we could have stayed in.



Frankly – I’m glad we stayed where we did … it was an experience: it really was an experience: next but next post gives these details ... be ready to drool!


View of Church from churchyard


So our journey starts out … we are particularly interested in areas where Jenny’s father’s family had originated from 500 to 750 years ago, to recent family homes … but also found ourselves considering Neolithic settlements of over 5,000 years old ... a Damien Hurst (born 1960) 20 m (66 feet) high sculpture ...



Come and join us for a drink ...
we very carefully skirted
well south of the Prison!



I will, I hope, take you along with me as we view parts of England I have never seen and learn some interesting historical, geological, archaeological and family stories along the way – while we sustain ourselves with local fare.


These may well take me happily towards the A-Z next year ... but I will break my journey for some other posts ... in the meantime - cheers!!


A link to Wikipedia's page on Emily Hobhouse ... there are parts of this that Jenny finds are inaccurate (as she has her papers, I believe she would know).  

But I need to write a dedicated blog post on Emily as I see her ... I have said I'd give a talk about her, early next year, at our Social History Group.


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


41 comments:

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

What an experience! Travel and exploring is awesome, but to have ties to the area is really cool. I can't wait to hear about that Inn. ;)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

What fun! And to stay in that many places during your visit--a great adventure.

A bit jealous here, but glad you got to go.

Teresa

My Life in the Charente said...

Great experience and wonderful way to see areas where the family originate. We are from Somerset and we checked out a few places several years back. One grave yard in particular we found with many gravestones with our family name on them. My mother is from Kent, and again one grave yard in particular with many grave stones with the family name. Amazing what you find on these sort of journeys. Looking forward to the follow ups. Diane

Betsy Brock said...

How very fun! I would love to take a road trip with you as the driver and tour guide! Where can I sign up? :)

Gattina said...

Was certainly a beautiful trip as I did nearly the same two years ago !

Anabel Marsh said...

This looks like a great trip and I look forward to your posts. I'm afraid I had to Google Emily Hobhouse, but what a woman!
Anabel's Travel Blog

Blogoratti said...

Must have been a fine trip indeed. Greetings to you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot of hotels. So cool she could trace her lineage back that far and find where they were from.

Suzanne Furness said...

I do like a road trip adventure!Sounds like you had an interesting trip, look forward to hearing more.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Great fun in travelling. Emily sounds like a great person to do research about. I read a bit of the wikepedia page. That's the problem with wikepedia, you can never truly be sure how accurate it is.
Hope Jenny and you have fun. Looking forward to reading more soon.

Janie Junebug said...

I recognize many of the names on the map. I'll join you on the journey--by long distance.

Love,
Janie

Elephant's Child said...

What a wonderful, wonderful trip.
Beauty, history (personal and more general) and excellent companionship. Hard to ask for more.

Liza said...

Sounds like such a lovely trip. So glad you were able to take it together.

Jo said...

Sounds like a fun trip and a wonderful part of the country to visit. If Jenny finds some of the Wiki stuff inaccurate she should let Wiki know, they like to have the accurate facts. Will look forward to your future posts about your journey.

Denise Covey said...

What a delightful journey Hilary! And those cutsie places to stay! So picture book! I'd love you to chauffeur me around! I've only whizzed past most of these places, but I guess, at least I've had a glimpse. Will look forward to further posts! :-)

Paula Kaye said...

I can't wait to hear more. Especially about the inns you stayed in. And the food you ate!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly – it was an experience … and such fun. Both our mothers came from west Cornwall, and I hadn’t seen much of this area – Jenny knew a bit more because of Emily and her father’s family.

@ Teresa – it was a lot of fun … and as we didn’t know where we were staying – each hotel and night was ‘interesting’ to say the least! I am glad I went too!

@ Diane – for me it was informative, as even though I’m not directly related to Emily, I know a little about her and Jenny’s father etc.

Fascinating you managed to find a number of gravestones of your families … Jenny knew the church she wanted to visit for that … but we did look at a number of churches. Jenny had her sights set … and knew what she wanted to do … I sort of caught up as we went!

@ Betsy – it’d be a pleasure to have you along … I’m not sure what your five men, and those beloved cats would do though!

@ Gattina – yes you’ve been through the area haven’t you.

@ Anabel – many thanks … the journey was fun, as they were/are areas I don’t really know. I’ve now put the link in to Emily as a PS …

@ Blogoratti – I hope you enjoy following along .. good to see you.

@ Alex – thankfully our records are very good here – and Jenny has been researching a great deal in the Records Office in Kew London, at the Women’s Library in London and all the local parish and church records. Yes, we had some interesting hotel visits!

@ Suzanne – well many of these you’ll recognise, as you’re a local. It was a fascinating journey …

@ Jeffrey – it was fun and so educative. Jenny has all Emily’s papers – the Wiki page gives a reasonable amount of detail. I’m glad you looked her up. We’ve been and had our trip – I can’t write as we go … and we didn’t always have connectivity ... somewhat limiting too.

@ Janie – it’ll be a pleasure to have you along …

@ EC – no the two trips we’ve made together have been such fun and so fascinating … Jenny has a wealth of information.

@ Liza – good to see you – and thank you … it was so enjoyable.

@ Jo – I enjoyed seeing more of Devon and looking at lots of interesting places as we went along … We know Jenny can alter the Wiki pages – it’s just not that easy, when Jenny is on Vancouver Island and I’m here: different time frames, and understanding exactly what Jenny wants …

@ Denise – In the past I usually whizzed by most of those places – so this time it was lovely to be able to check a few areas out … and I know where to go – when I want to return. I’d love to have you along on an English journey …

@ Paula – there is lots more! A very varied bag of information on its way to you …

Cheers everyone – lovely to have you here ... and we’ll enjoy the journey together … Hilary

Lynn said...

What a wonderful trip! Such a beautiful path you took.

Chrys Fey said...

I would love to see and stay in a cottage like that. So cozy. And the church is stunning! I love old granite and stone structures like that. Mobility rage. Haha!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I look forward to reading the details of your travels. You always find so many interesting tidbits about your visits. Your country has so much history compared to our 'young' country.

Patsy said...

That's a great map! Sounds like a great trip, too.

We've stayed at a couple of your splodges - hope we'll be adding to the list reasonably soon.

Crystal Collier said...

I LOVE the pictures and I'm super envious. My hubby and I plan to come live there for several months after the kids are grown so we can see everything, but that's so many years away!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love that old church. What an adventure you two went on.

Christine Rains said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I love that map! One day I'd like to be able to take lazy road trips to places less traveled. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Great pictures. I'd love to take a road trip and go inn-hopping.

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds great to be able to catch up with family at the same time as discovering interesting things about your history and the wider area. I've never heard of Emily Hobhouse, but now I'm interested.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - the journey was an interesting one ... and was very beautiful at times ...

@ Chrys - yes the cottages were in a street at the back of the Church. I just had to reference the mobility aspect at the start of our trip. The next post has more granite!

@ Susan - that's great and I hope you enjoy the snippets I post about. We are lucky with our history ... as it's been documented and we are always finding more. America has as much history - it just hasn't had the western type of settlement and thus knowledge base we've got here ...

@ Patsy - the map is appropriate (that's about all I can say!) I'm sure you've travelled with your van to a few of those splodges ... it's a good way to get about.

@ Crystal - thanks so much .. I'll be putting a few photos in for each post. What a great goal to have ... to spend some time here - at least you'll get a better understanding of Britain by living amongst us. Yes a few years away now - with a new baby in the house!

@ Diane - more church photos in the next post ... we didn't travel far - but we went places!

@ Christine - thanks re the map with 'my' splodges! These places were well travelled ... I'm just glad we were out of season: but it was fun and a great goal for you to look forward to ...

@ Medeia - thanks so much .. it was a lovely experience ... our night stops were of variable quality!

@ Nick - we did a lot and helping Jenny with her travels and needs to find out more about her father's family ... taught me loads about the extended family and the area. Glad you're interested re Emily ...

Cheers and thanks so much everyone - lovely seeing you - Hilary

Mark Koopmans said...

Hi!

Don't let Google know you have such skillful map-drawing skills... they may steal you and put you to work :)

What a wonderful, wonderful way of seeing England! It sounds and I can hear it in your voice (see, there's that voice thing:) that we the readers are in for a treat!

Thanks for sharing the photos, too (especially the scooter one!!)

Happy writing, and here's to lots more "Travel Posts by Hilary!"

jabblog said...

How fascinating and what a lovely way to investigate family history.

DMS said...

This sounds like a wonderful adventure! I look forward to hearing more about it. I am glad the Old Inn turned out to be an experience- I hope it was a good one. :) I have never been to England, so this is going to be a great virtual travel experience for me. Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

Joanne said...

I absolutely this travel post and I want to come visit it all NOW. Wow - very cool. Thanks for sharing - I enjoy your pics and commentary. I bet the travels are a hoot. Looking forward to more.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mark - I know my skilful map-drawing skills are bound to be in major demand! Isn't a it a great way to see a tiny area of England and one I don't know that well. Glad you enjoyed the photos - there seem to be a lot of them ... I couldn't resist the scooter one! Interesting about 'the voice' ..thanks

@ Janice - it's been a great trip and being able to join Jenny to learn about her family and some of my own grandparent level type.

@ Jess - yes the Old Inn was a great experience ... I do hope you can get some feel of England through these posts - and this is only one small part .. of our tiny island.

@ Joanne - you'd be very welcome to come over and visit now - 'cept it's going to get very cold today! We did have some very funny times ... and there are loads of posts ...

Thanks everyone - it's great I'm writing for you all - makes it much more satisfying from my point of view .. cheers Hilary

Vallypee said...

It was really special for me to see these photos and follow you, Hilary. I used to live in this part of England and loved it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Val - well I hope I don't put my foot in it - but I'll try and bring your part of the world to life as you remember it ... looking forward to extra comments too to add to the posts .. cheers Hilary

beste barki said...

Hello Hilary, Henri and I met the son of one of Henri's distant cousins recently and had a great time, so I can relate to your story easily. I wish I could make time to travel in the same parts of England like you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Beste - it's interesting being amongst history around relatives - I'm delighted to hear you get exactly what I mean. I wish I could travel to England and I'm here already!! Time is a trouble!! Cheers Hilary

A Cuban In London said...

I decided to comment on this one first although I read the second part of your journey before I clicked on this post. What a marvellous experience! :-) Your trip is all the better for me because I have been to that neck of the woods a couple of times before but I have always wanted to come back. You have now given me even more reasons to do so.

Greetings from London.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi ACIL - now I can correct my earlier comment for which apologies ...

it's a pleasure to see you - wherever you go to post! I'm glad I reminded you of the area and that you'll look to going back at some stage soon. Enjoy it ... I need to go back too sometime! Cheers Hilary

Fil said...

How brilliant to have connections going so far back Hilary. It makes taking such a trip so exciting. Can't wait to catch up on all the instalments. Emily sounds like an amazing woman - I'm half way through the Wikipedia piece about her. Fil x
Fil’s Place - Old songs and Memories

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, now I'm interested n the Emily Hobhouse connection too! I've started collecting books about and by inspiring Emilys :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Fil - having the family links certainly helps and just generally adding to knowledge is always enjoyable. Emily must have been incredible ...and she certainly has a story ...

@ Deniz - Emily - matches up doesn't she! There are a few books to be shown in a post that will appear probably next week ... I'm getting towards St Ive, Liskeard where she was brought up.

Cheers to you both - and thanks so much for the Emily interest ... Hilary