Friday, 5 September 2008

A Stroll around Chagford

Just to prove how miserable it was on Monday, here are a couple of photos taken looking across Exmoor - very similar to today, only we are having some sunny spells. On Monday it was non-stop for about 10 hours.





Today, Friday, we are having Monsoon-like weather conditions again. Well, "they" did threaten us with all of September's normal rainfall all in one day (2 - 3") and I believe "they" are right for once. We got soaked doing the grocery shopping this morning and then again scuttling out to bring washing (OH) and Itsy (me) in from the latest prolonged heavy shower. Now I am contemplating indoor jobs for the rest of the day. I may even do some sausage-making as I got the pork this morning and have hog casings still in the freezer.

Anyway, ogoing back to Tuesday, we stopped for lunch in Chagford - to buy lunch that is - we tend to do "car picnics" rather than spend lots of money on a pub lunch, being frugal by necessity.

Chagford is an ancient Stannary town and its name derives from the Devon word for gorse or broom - "chag". The "ford" is connected with the River Teign. A stannary town is one where tin was traded and Chagford was first involved in this occupation in 1305. In the church of St Michael the Archangel are roof bosses very similar to those in Widecombe, which will be the subject of tomorrow's post. Here again appear the three rabbits, which is the emblem of the Tin miners. The church also contains a memorial to Mary Whiddon, who lived in the mid 17th century and who is thought to be the inspiration for R D Blackmore's novel "Lorna Doone" although that is set on Exmoor of course. It is claimed that Mary was shot dead on her wedding day, as she left the church. She died in 1641.

Just off the square in Chagford is this beautiful thatched cottage.


The West Country is famous for its thatched cottages, but here even the Bank is thatched . . .

Just up the lane, more thatch - I think there was an antiques shop to the left of this - if my memory serves me well. The sort my husband and I go in and think, hmmm, could get that much cheaper in auction . . .

The above building joins on to this, which I think is Endecott House, named after John Endecott, one of the Pilgrim Fathers, who became Governor of Massachusetts. It is built from granite and dates from the 16th century.


Here, for my dear friend T, is the Ring O'Bells, where she once spent the weekend many years ago, dodging a friend whose take on a weekend in Devon was totally different to hers . . .

This interesting cottage was near where we had parked.

The best bit is probably the little 8-sided Market House, on the site of the old Stannary Court. It houses an excellent greengrocers where we bought some of our picnic.

7 comments:

nita x said...

lovely pictures again jennie, and the little eight sided market house looks so quaint. :)

Mam said...

What a beautiful place. I'm guessing it's as quiet as it looks!
Nancy

Bovey Belle said...

It is busy in the sense that it is well used by locals and visitors, but compared with most small towns, I guess it would still be quiet. I loved it there. We've visited several times in recent years.

GeraniumCat said...

I used to live just outside Chagford years ago, so it was lovely to find your blog (via Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm - across the Atlantic and back again!) with all these pictures. We used to buy all our vegetables in the little Market House, though I don't doubt Jim the Greengrocer is long gone. We spent our wedding night in the Three Crowns Hotel where, happily, I escaped the fate of Mary Whyddon, whose ancestors owned it. I did have a very bad cold though.

Bovey Belle said...

How amazing is that Geraniumcat?! Glad I brought back some happy memories. I have strong Devon roots (Bovey Tracy, Hennock, Cheriton Bishop and Moretonhampstead that side of the moor, and Stoke Gabriel, Berry Pomeroy and Totnes on the other. I am longing to return to my roots - we dropped in at the estate agents (Rendalls) when we were in Chagford. We have to sit out the changes in the market for a bit first though I fear. Glad you didn't suffer Mary Whyddon's fate on your wedding night!

GeraniumCat said...

Funnily enough, I still spend a lot of time near Totnes. If I were to move back I'd rather Dartmoor again than the South Hams, but I think I'm here in Northumberland for life now.

Amongst The Oaks said...

Oooo! We stayed with relatives there and loved it! Such a charming town. And the shops - Fabulous! Got my wellies there.
Laura