More on Dartmouth
Dartmouth developed a thousand years ago as a deepwater port. The Crusades used is as to sail off in 1147 and 1190. It was home to the Royal Navy during the reign of King Edward III. As it suffered a surprised attack during the Hundred Years’ War, the mouth of the estuary had to be closed off with chains to prevent attackers from entering.
Despite its position with the king, Dartmouth is also a base for privateering – another word to mean state-sanctioned or licensed piracy. One of these pirates – or rather licensed privateer – was John Hawley, who also served as the mayor of Dartmouth. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers stopover at Dartmouth enroute from Southampton, on their way to America. English explorer Henry Hudson also put into Dartmouth on his return from America.
Today Dartmouth is a beautiful, well-preserved town with a well-maintained riverside waterfront. Due to its location and illustrious history, it is today a popular tourist destination.
From Manchester, take the M5 motorway until Exeter, then continue on the A38 road until Buckfastleigh. where you take the A384 road, followed by the A385 road heading for Totnes. At Totnes, take the A381 road heading south till junction (in front of a BP gas station) for the A3122 road that goes to Dartmouth.
A passenger ferry connects Dartmouth with Kingswear on the north side of River Dart.
Sights & Attractions to visit in Dartmouth
- Dartmouth Castle
Castle built in 1388 to guard the mouth of the River Dart, along with Kingswear Castle.
- Dartmouth Museum
Local museum documenting the history of the port of Dartmouth.
- Fort at Gallants Bower
One of the best-preserved remains of the English Civil War defensive structure, built by the Royalist occupation forces.
- Kingswear Castle
Castle built in 1502 tgo guard the mouth of the River Dart, along with Dartmouth Castle.
- St Saviour’s Church
Church built in 1335 and includes the tomb of John Hawley and his two wives.