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the fall of their ancient house. While they sigh for , if we may believe Risdon, it once was aguish. He past greatness, they are doubtless sensible of present says, “Exminster, so called of its site upon the river blessings : in the long series of the Courtenay annals Exe, lieth so low, that the inhabitants are much subject the most splendid era is likewise the most unfortunate ; to agues, through the ill-vapours and fogs." But that nor can an opulent peer of Britain be inclined to envy was written two hundred years ago, and it may have the emperors of Constantinople, who wandered over changed since then. We have not heard any complaints Europe to solicit alms for the support of their dignity against its healthiness. Indeed, Risdon himself makes and the defence of their capital.”—( Decline and Fall,' mention of a person, living in this or the next parish, c. lxi.)
whose longevity gives a very different idea of its saluWe too, it will be seen, have here "ample room and brity :-" There some time lived in this parish one verge enough" for the indulgence of historical digres- Stone, who was of so hard a grit, that he lived to sion and moral reflection ; and also—the house itself the age of one hundred and twenty years." A tough being one of the lions of the locality--for the display old Stone that! of antiquarian lore and critical acumen. But the reader Adjoining Powderham is a quiet retired village, named need not fear: we are too compassionate of him to run Kenton, which is worth strolling to, as well on account a race after that fashion. We will just look round the of the beauty of its situation and the surrounding park, and again jog on in our old, safe, steady, con- scenery, as of the picturesqueness of the village, and tinuous amble.
the superior character of the village church. Kenton Very little is left of the ancient Castle; or rather, was once, it is affirmed, a market-town, and a place of what is left of the old castle has been transformed into some trade. The Church bears all the appearance of a modern mansion, and very little appearance of anti- having belonged to a more important place than the quity remains. Admission to Powderham Park is rea- present village: it is large and handsome, and will dily granted, upon application. It is of great extent, delight the antiquary and the admirer of village and very picturesque in itself: the grounds stretch for churches. The inside is equally worthy of examination a considerable distance along the Exe, and far up the with the exterior. Of the numerous statues of saints hills to the north-east. From various parts there are that once adorned both the interior and exterior, many views of great beauty; but one spot--the highest point have been destroyed; but several still remain. On the —where a Prospect-tower is erected, is one of the most screen, which is a remarkably fine one, is a series of celebrated in this " land of the matchless view," as a painted figures of saints and prophets. native poet styles it. In one direction is the valley of While here we may mention the half-decayed town the Exe, with the river winding through it to Exeter, of Topsham, about a couple of miles higher up the where the city with the Cathedral forms the centre of river, on the other side, just by the confluence of the the picture, and the hills beyond make a noble back- Clist with the Exe, where the latter river suddenly ground. Southwards is the estuary of the Exe, with increases in width from a quarter of a mile to threethe town of Exmouth ; and beyond all, the English quarters. Topsham was once the port town of Exeter, Channel. Again, there is a grand view over the Hal- and a full sharer in the ancient prosperity of that city. don Hills; and in an opposite direction there is a rich When the ship-canal was formed it was no longer prospect, backed by the Ottery Range.
necessary for large vessels to load and unload at TopsThe Courtenays appear to have had another seat in ham, which gradually lost much of its trade and the adjoining parish of Exminster—"a great manor- importance in consequence : it however had a consihouse where the Earls of Devon resided, and where derable commerce of its own ; its share in the NewWilliam Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury, was foundland trade is said to have been larger than that born,” says the historian of the family. There was of any other place except London. There is yet some certainly a ruined mansion here when Leland wrote : export and coasting trade; but the chief employment he says, " Exminster is a pretty townlet, where be the is in ship-building and its dependent manufactures. ruins of a manor-place embattled in the front. I trow It has a population of about four thousand souls. Of it belonged to the Marquis of Exeter." Only the late there has arisen a desire on the part of the inhaname of it—the Court Ilouse'-remains now. Ex- bitants to render it attractive to strangers, who may minster is a pretty townlet. It lies along the river- prefer to take up their temporary abode at a little side, and has much of that level gentle kind of beauty distance inland rather than on the coast; and many we are accustomed to associate with the Flemish or improvements have recently been made in consequence. Dutch landscapes. Its quiet meadows, with the fat Topsham is placed in a very pleasant situationcattle about them, the tower of the village church stretching for a mile or more along the east bank of the rising from the trees, the roofs of the little village, the river, where it widens into the appearance of a lake, or curling smoke, the broad river beyond, with the sail of an arm of the sea. The town consists of one main a fishing-boat or slow-moving barge passing occasionally street, a mile in length, at the bottom of which is the along,- these, and a calm evening sky overhead, make quay. The older part is irregularly built, and the a picture such as Cuyp would have loved to paint or houses are mostly mean : but many houses of a better Bloomfield to describe. Its low situation, however, class have been erected within the last few years. These gives it in moist weather rather an aguish look; and, are so situated as to command very fine views of the estuary of the Exe with the rich scenery of its banks, | masses into an intense golden red, and casts the hollows and the sea beyond. The Strand is well planted with into a deeper gloom, while the heaving billow breaks elms, and would form an agreeable walk in itself; but against the base in snowy spray, the effect becomes of course its value is greatly increased by the beautiful exceedingly grand and impressive. scenery which is beheld from it. The church stands Through this projecting point of Langstone Cliff the near the middle of the town, on a ligh cliff which rises railway passes, in a deep cutting. It soon emerges, abruptly from the river. It is an old building, but there and pursues its course along the base of the cliffs to is nothing to notice in its architecture. Inside the Dawlish. Alongside, for the whole distance about a church are two monuments, by Chantrey: one is to the mile and a half—a strong sea-wall has been built, the memory of Admiral Sir J. T. Duckworth ; the other of top of which forms an admirable and very favourite his son Colonel Duckworth, who was killed at the walk. It was a bold venture to carry the line in such battle of Albuera. The church-yard affords wide and close proximity to the sea, along so exposed a shore. rich prospects both up and down the river, and over Hitherto, however, it has received no injury. But the the surrounding country. A good deal that is pic- sea-wall has not escaped without damage : in the turesque will be met with about the crazy-looking stormy weather of this last winter the sea forced a way town itself; and some amusement will be found in through it in two or three places. As soon as the watching the employments of the townsmen.
waves had effected an entrance at the base, they drove Although we mention Topsham here, it will be most through with irresistible fury, forcing out the stones conveniently visited-and it is worth visiting—from from the top and making a clean breach that way; but Exeter. It is only three miles distance from that city, we believe in no case did they break through the inner and omnibuses are frequently running—if the stranger wall to the line. In those parts which experience has does not like so long a walk. We have thus, after a shown to be most exposed, measures have been taken long ramble, returned almost to our starting-place : but to withstand the fury of the waves : and we may hope we have not yet got to our journey's end; and we now that the skill and daring of the engineer will be sucretrace our way to the sea-side. But we need not cessful. walk. It is a delicious sail down the Exe, from Tops- Dawlish is situated nearly midway between the ham to the Warren. The scenery along the banks is mouths of the Exe and the Teign, in a core formed by of the finest kind of broad placid river scenery. The the projecting headlands of Langstone Cliff on the noble woods of Powderham, running down to the water, north, and the Parson and Clerk Rocks on the south. dignify and adorn the right bank; to which the The town itself lies along a valley which extends westvillages of Powderham and Star Cross add considerable ward from the sea : whence, according to Polwhele, variety. The lofty tower of the Railway-station is a its name--Dol is signifying a fruitful mead on a river's noticeable feature here ; and the passage of a train side; a very pleasant derivation, though a rather too along the brink of the river imparts to it an air of fanciful one. A certain Dr. Downman, who many years novelty. On the left bank is the very pretty village ago wrote an epic, entitled 'Infancy,' and who wished of Lympstone-a retired little place, which folks who to celebrate therein the curative qualities of Dawlish, think Exmouth too gay or town-like, yet wish to reside seems to have had some misgivings whether the barnear it, are very fond of. The stroll to Lympstone barous sound of its name ought not to render it inadand by the neighbouring heights, is one of the most missible in so sublime a song: but happily for the favourite with the Exmouth residents. Continuing place he resolved otherwise, and Dawlish is handed the sail down the river, Exmouth soon becomes the down to posterity in "immortal verse."
He conchief feature; then the long wild sandbanks engage the
cludes his Fourth Book with this apostrophe : attention, till the broad ocean comes into full view. We may land at the little hillock, which bears the “O Dawlish! though unclassic be thy name, tempting name of Mount Pleasant: in truth a pleasant
By every Muse unsung, should from thy tide, spot enough, and in high repute with Exeter Cockneys,
To keen poetic eyes alone reveal'd, who are wont in the summer-time to recreate in the
From the cerulean bosom of the deep
(As Aphrodite rose of old) appear tea-gardens of the inn on its summit. From Mount Pleasant there is a pleasant way along
Health's blooming goddess, and benignant smile
On her true votary; not Cythera's fane, the summit of the cliffs to Dawlish : but there is also
Nor Eryx, nor the laurel boughs which waved another, which we shall take, along their base.
On Delos erst, Apollo's natal soil, The cliffs on this west side of the Exe are lofty and However warm enthusiastic youth precipitous. During westerly gales the sea beats Dwelt on those seats enamour'd, shall to me against them with considerable force, whence, being of
Be half so dear.” a rather soft red sandstone, they have become pierced and worn in a strange wild manner. A shattered And he promises that if Dawlish's "pure encircling breakwater of massive stone stands an evidence of the waves," besides exhibiting to him this poetic vision, power of the waves. The appearance of the rocks at will only restore the timid virgin's bloom, health to the this Langstone Cliff is at all times highly picturesque; child, and " with the sound, firm-judging mind, imaginabut when the westering sun brightens the projecting tion, arrayed in her once glowing vest,” to the man,
he will continue, despite its unclassic name, to sing the slopes of the hills; and along the strand and by the praises of the happy town:
Teignmouth road are hotels, public rooms, and terraces, “ To thee my lyre
and detached residences chiefly appropriated to the Shall oft be tuned, and to thy Nereids green
uses of the visitants. Long, long unnoticed, in their haunts retired.
The public buildings are convenient, but not remarkNor will I cease to prize thy lovely strand,
able. The old church of Dawlish, at the western Thy tow’ring cliffs, nor the small babbling brook,
extremity of the town, was a very ancient pile and of Whose shallow current laves thy thistled vale."
some architectural interest. It was, with the exception We are convinced now that we have not keen poetic of the tower, pulled down about five-and-twenty years eyes. We have in vain looked on the cerulean bosom ago, and the present edifice erected in its place. Inof the deep, for the blooming goddess to appear. Once side the church are two monuments, by Flaxman ; they indeed we fancied we were about to behold her rise, as are both to the memory of ladies; but they are not to be Aphrodite rose of old, when lo! as poor Slender found classed high among the productions of the great sculphis Ann Page, “she was a great lubberly boy.” Polwhele tor. The South Devon Railway forms a noticeable was afraid (some fifty years ago) that "the conclusion feature of Dawlish. The line is carried, partly on a of this description may ere long be attributed to fancy; viaduct, between the town and the sea. When the as a canal, cut through the vale, hath destroyed the formation of the railway was first proposed, it was warmly natural beauties of the rivulet." Certainly the little resisted by the inhabitants, who anticipated that it stream, whether it be called babbling brook, or rivulet, would destroy the character of the town as a quiet or canal, is sufficiently unpoetical now. But there is retreat. Such, however, has not been the result. The something to remind one of Dr. Downman's descrip- Railway Company constructed their works so as not to tion : if there be no thistles in the vale there are plenty interfere with, but rather increase, the convenience of of donkeys.
the visitor; and their buildings are of an ornamental At the commencement of the present century, Dawlish kind. The noble sea-wall affords a new and excellent was in the transition state from a humble fishing village promenade. The viaduct is both novel and pleasing in to a genteel watering-place. “In general," says a appearance. The method of traction originally adopted writer about that time, “ the houses are low cottages, on this line, was the unfortunate Atmospheric System. some tiled, the greater number thatched. On Dawlish As on the Croydon Railway it has been abandoned, Strand there is a handsome row of new buildings, twelve and the locomotive has taken its place; but the enginein number. Other commodious houses have lately been houses remain. One of these was erected at Dawlish, erected nearer the water." Dawlish gradually grew and it is greatly to be desired that some use may be into notice and favour, as this coast became better found for it, as, though not more ornamental than was known; and it has now, for some years past, taken a appropriate for the purpose to which it was to be high rank among the smaller watering-places of Devon- applied, it is really a good-looking building. It is in shire. At the last census it contained above three the Italian style, the campanile serving to carry off the thousand inhabitants.
snioke. The material of which it is constructed is the For the invalid, and those who need or desire a red limestone, or Devonshire marble as it is called ; warm winter abode, yet wish for a less gay neighbour- and its appearance ought to be a lesson to the Devonhood than Torquay, Dawlish has great attractions : and shire builders. Almost all the houses of a first or it is in equal estimation as a summer sea-side residence. second-rate character in this part of the county are The valley along which the town is built is well built of this stone; but in ninety-nine cases out of a sheltered or all sides, except the seaward ; and the hundred it has been thought proper to cover the surface temperature is said by Dr. Shapter, and others who with composition. No material could be more suitable have paid particular attention to the climate of the or more in keeping with the general character of the coast of Devon, to be warmer and more equable than scenery than this red limestone, and none less pleasing any other of the winter watering-places, except Tor- than the paltry imitative white stucco. The Devonquay; and some doctors will hardly except it. Here, as shire marble is beautifully veined and admits of a high well as elsewhere on this coast, the myrtle, the hydran-polish-it is really surprising that architects have not, gea, and many another tender plant, grows and blooms in some of the costly residences erected along this freely in the open air. And the situation is as pleasant coast, tried the effect of introducing the polished stone as the temperature is mild and genial. Lying embayed in the ornamental parts, while the general surface was in a cove, which is terminated at each extremity by formed of the rough blocks.
The cost of working may bluff bold cliffs, the beach in calm weather always be a sufficient objection to the polished stone; but to affords a picturesque and cheerful walk. Through the cover it in any case with the offensive plaster is most centre of the valley flows a rivulet, across which grievous. several bridges are thrown; on either side of the The cliffs on the west of Dawlish have been strangely stream is a greensward, with dry gravel walks, care- pierced and riven by the violence of the sea. Many fully kept so as at all times to be an agreeable warm huge lumps of rock stand out quite detached from the parade. The houses and shops are built on both parent cliff. (Cut No. 4.) The same thing occurs elsesides of the valley ; a few villa residences are on the where, as we have already had occasion to mention,
and as we shall see in places we have yet to visit. capacious rotundity; the Clerk is sparer: he might But nowhere else within the limits of our present have been more appropriately named the Curate. The journey do they assume so fantastic an appearance as railway here emerges from a tunnel : it is protected, as between Dawlish and Teignmouth. When the waves before, by a sea-wall, which forms a wide and level surround them at high tide and beat against the cliffs, road almost to Teignmouth. From the Parson Rock these rocks and the coast generally are remarkably the view of Teignmouth, and the bay in which it lies, picturesque and striking.
with the distant headland, is very fine. The seaward It would be improper to quit Dawlish without men- prospect from the sea-wall is excellent. There is a tioning the many beautiful walks that it possesses. footpath along the brow of the lofty cliff under which Some extend up the valley, affording delicious shady the railway runs, from which there is a very commandstrolls in the summer, and sheltered sunny ones in the ing view over the ocean. winter. Those along the higher grounds are varied Teignmouth lies near the centre of the wide bay and agreeable, and command often wide and diversified formed by the high land of Orcomb on the north, prospects. The sea-views are numerous, and very and Hope's Ness on the south. Its name marks its good. Indeed, both the active and the feeble may find position by the mouth of the river Teign. The town delightful walks of various kinds, and well adapted to is divided, for parochial and other purposes, into East their respective powers. Altogether Dawlish will be and West Teignmouth, but there is no actual separation enjoyed by those who seek a quiet, retired, but not between them. East Teignmouth is the part that is unsocial or dull watering-place.
built near the sea at the eastern end of the Den : West
Camden, Leland, and other of our older antiquaries, Along the coast from Dawlish to Teignmouth there have asserted that Teignmouth is the place where the is a continual alternation of tall cliffs and deep depres- Danes first landed in England: but there can be no sions. The rocks are bold and striking, and the sail doubt whatever that they are mistaken, and that the between the towns is a right pleasant one. To walk Tinmouth of the Saxon Chroniclers is Tynemouth, in the distance, you must follow the road to Country Northumberland. Teignmouth seems to have been at House, a little inn, somewhat more than a mile from an early period a place of some trade. There was then Dawlish, when you may turn down a rough, green, no sand-bar at the mouth of the river, and the haven rocky lane, known as Smuggler's Lane, which leads to was safe and convenient. Teignmouth contributed, at the beach by the Parson and Clerk. The cliffs here least occasionally, its proportion of armed ships to the are rugged and wild. Two of the most noticeable of the national fleet. Before the reign of Henry VIII. the many detached fragments bear the trivial names of the river showed signs of silting-up, and sand had begun Parson and Clerk, from some supposed resemblance to accumulate in the harbour. An Act of Parliament those functionaries. The Parson is, of course, of most was passed in that reign to amend the harbour ; in the
preamble of which it is stated that formerly vessels of goods and merchandises as they could not, or durst not, 800 tons burden could enter the port at low water. stay to carry away, for fear of our forces, which were
If we may believe Bishop Burnet, Teignmouth had marching to oppose them, they spoilt and destroyed, sunk into a very wretched state towards the end of the killing very many cattle and hogs, which they left dead seventeenth century. After the defeat of the combined in the streets. And the said towns of East and West English and Dutch squadron, under the Earl of Tor- Teignmouth and Shaldon, being in great part mainrington, off Beachy Head, in 1690, the French fleet tained by fishing, and their boats, nets, and other sailed direct to Torbay, where it lay for some days, fishing - craft being plundered and consumed in the “But before they sailed," says the bishop, (Hist. of common flames, the poor inhabitants are not only his own Times, v. ii. p. 54,) they made a descent on deprived of their subsistence and maintenance, but put a miserable village called Tinmouth, that happened to out of a condition to retrieve their losses by their belong to a papist : they burnt it, and a few fisher- future industry; the whole loss and damage of the said boats that belonged to it; but the inhabitants got poor inhabitants, sustained by such an unusual acciaway; and as a body of militia was marching thither, dent, amounting to about £11,000, as appeared to our the French made great haste back to their ships : the justices, not only by the oaths of many poor sufferers, French published this in their Gazettes with much but also of many skilful and experienced workmen who pomp, as if it had been a great trading town, that had viewed the same, and have taken an estimate thereof; many ships, with some men-of-war in port: this both which loss hath reduced many poor inhabitants, thererendered them ridiculous, and served to raise the nation fore, to a very sad and deplorable condition.”—(Lyson's against them; for every town on the coast saw what Mag. Brit., vi., 491.) they must expect, if the French should prevail."
The money required was raised, and the town was But the townsmen's own account of the affair is not restored. exactly like this. They addressed a memorial to the Teignmouth is now a busy and thriving town, conKing; and a Brief was issued on their behalf, which taining upwards of five thousand inhabitants. Fishing enabled them to raise money for the restoration of the is largely carried on, and there is a considerable import town. From the statement set forth in the Brief, it is and export trade. It is the port for shipping the plain that Burnet underrated the importance of the Haytor granite, which is brought down the Teign from place, which was anything but 'a miserable village.' the quarries, and the fine clay which is brought from The statement is interesting, as an authentic representa- Kingsteignton. The inhabitants are also largely ention of such an occurrence made immediately after- | gaged in the Newfoundland fishery. There is besides wards : and it is worth quoting farther, as an evidence a good coasting trade, so that the haven is commonly a of the way in which the zealous bishop colours his bustling scene. The entrance to the river is impeded notices of matters of which he was not an actual wit- by a sand bar. The main sand-bank is elevated far
The Brief of the townsmen must of course have above high-water mark; but the narrow channel by been well known to the bishop.
which the river escapes into the sea has a depth of This address “ Sheweth, That on the 13th day of water of about fifteen feet at high tide, permitting, July last (1690), about four of the clock in the morn- therefore, the passage of vessels of considerable burden; ing, the French fleet, then riding in Torbay, where all and the harbour, though there are several large shoals, the forces of our county of Devon were drawn up to is tolerably commodious. The continuation of the oppose their landing ; several of their galleys drew off sand-bank, called the Den, between the sea and the from their fleet, and made towards a weak unfortified town, was once a part of the town. Leland
says, place, called Teignmouth, about seven miles to the the west side of the town is a piece of sandy ground, eastward of Torbay, and coming very near, and having called the Dene, whereon hath been not many years played the cannon of their galleys upon the town, and since divers houses and wine-cellars.” The Den is now shot near 200 great shot therein, to drive away the laid out as a public promenade; near the western end poor inhabitants, they landed about 700 of their men, of it a small lighthouse has been erected. and began to fire and plunder the towns of East and Teignmouth is not wholly dependent on its shipping. West Teignmouth, which consist of about 300 houses; It is one of the largest and most frequented wateringand in the space of three hours ransacked and plun- places on the coast, yielding only to Torquay, and, perdered the said towns, and a village called Shaldon, haps, to Exmouth. According to Lysons, “ Teignlying on the other side of the river, and burnt and mouth appears to have become fashionable, and to have destroyed 116 houses, together with eleven ships and increased in buildings about the middle of last century." barks that were in the harbour. And to add sacrilege Unlike the other leading watering-places on the Devon to their robbery and violence, they in a barbarous coast, Teignmouth is not a winter resort. It has only manner entered the two churches of the said towns, what in watering-place phraseology is termed 'a sumand in the most unchristian manner tore the Bibles and mer season,' which of course includes the autumn. Common Prayer-books in pieces, scattering the leaves The streets of Teignmouth have more the appearance thereof about the streets, broke down the pulpits, over- of belonging to a trading town than a town of pleasure. threw the Communion-tables, together with many other | They are mostly narrow and irregular, and the houses marks of a barbarous and enraged cruelty. And such are far from showy. Facing the sea, however, there