DEVON (/ˈdɛvən/ ), also known as DEVONSHIRE, which was formerly
its common and official name, is a county of
England , reaching from
Bristol Channel in the north to the
English Channel in the south.
It is part of South West
England , bounded by
Cornwall to the west,
Somerset to the northeast, and
Dorset to the east. The City of Exeter
is the county town ; seven other districts of
East Devon ,
Mid Devon ,
North Devon ,
South Hams ,
Torridge , and
West Devon are
under the jurisdiction of
Devon County Council ;
Plymouth and Torbay
are each a part of
Devon but administered as unitary authorities .
Combined as a ceremonial county , Devon's area is 6,707 km2 (2,590
square miles) and its population is about 1.1 million.
Devon derives its name from
Dumnonia , which, during the British Iron
Roman Britain , and Early Medieval was the homeland of the
Dumnonii Brittonic Celts. The
Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain
resulted in the partial assimilation of
Dumnonia into the Kingdom of
Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries. The western boundary
Cornwall was set at the
River Tamar by King
Æthelstan in 936.
Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of
The north and south coasts of
Devon each have both cliffs and sandy
shores, and the county's bays contain seaside resorts , fishing towns,
and ports. The inland terrain is rural , generally hilly, and has a
low population density in comparison to many other parts of England.
Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern
England at 954 km2 (368
square miles), its moorland extending across a large expanse of
granite bedrock. To the north of
Dartmoor are the
Culm Measures and
Exmoor . In the valleys and lowlands of south and east
Devon the soil
is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe , the Culm , the
Teign , the Dart , and the Otter .
As well as agriculture , much of the economy of
Devon is linked with
tourism . The comparatively mild climate, coastline and landscape give
Devon as a destination for recreation and leisure in
with visitors particularly attracted to the
Dartmoor and Exmoor
national parks ; its coasts, including the resort towns along the
south coast known collectively as the
English Riviera , the Jurassic
Coast , and North Devon\'s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ; and the
countryside including the
West Devon Mining Landscape .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Toponymy
* 1.2 Human occupation
* 2 Economy and industry
* 3 Transport
* 3.1 Rail
* 3.2 Air
* 4 Geography and geology
* 4.1 Geology
* 4.2 Climate
* 4.3 Ecology
* 5 Politics and administration
* 6 Cities, towns and villages
* 7 Religion
* 7.1 Ancient and medieval history
* 7.2 Later history
* 7.3 Judaism
* 8 Symbols
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
* 8.2 Flag
* 9 Place names and customs
* 10 Education
* 11 Cuisine
* 12 Sport
* 13 Devonians
* 13.1 Notable people
* 14 See also
* 15 References
* 16 Further reading
* 17 External links
History of Devon
Devon derives from the name of the
Britons who inhabited the
southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest of
Britain known as the
Dumnonii , thought to mean "deep valley dwellers"
from proto Celtic *dubnos 'deep'. In the Brittonic ,
Devon is known as
Welsh : Dyfnaint, Breton : Devnent and Cornish : Dewnens, each meaning
"deep valleys." (For an account of Celtic
Dumnonia , see the separate
William Camden , in his 1607 edition of Britannia, described
being one part of an older, wider country that once included Cornwall:
THAT region which, according to the Geographers, is the first of all
Britaine, and, growing straiter still and narrower, shooteth out
farthest into the West, was in antient time inhabited by those
Britans whom Solinus called Dumnonii, Ptolomee Damnonii For their
habitation all over this Countrey is somewhat low and in valleys,
which manner of dwelling is called in the British tongue Dan-munith,
in which sense also the Province next adjoyning in like respect is at
this day named by the Britans Duffneit, that is to say, Low valleys.
But the Country of this nation is at this day divided into two parts,
knowen by later names of
Cornwall and Denshire, — William Camden,
The term "Devon" is normally used for everyday purposes e.g. "Devon
County Council" but "Devonshire" continues to be used in the names of
the "Devonshire and
Dorset Regiment " and "The Devonshire Association
". One erroneous theory is that the "shire" suffix is due to a mistake
in the making of the original letters patent for the Duke of
Devonshire , resident in
Derbyshire . However, there are references to
Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD (this would
Shire of the Devonians"), which translates to modern English as
"Devonshire". The term Devonshire may have originated around the 8th
century, when it changed from
Latin ) to Defenascir.
Kents Cavern in
Torquay had produced human remains from 30–40,000
Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic
hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC. The Romans held the area
under military occupation for around 350 years. Later, the area began
to experience Saxon incursions from the east around 600 AD, firstly as
small bands of settlers along the coasts of Lyme
Bay and southern
estuaries and later as more organised bands pushing in from the east.
Devon became a frontier between Brittonic and
Wessex , and
it was largely absorbed into
Wessex by the mid 9th century. A genetic
study carried out by the
University of Oxford
University of Oxford ">
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY
Economy of Devon
Cornwall to the west, historically
Devon has been
disadvantaged economically compared to other parts of Southern England
, owing to the decline of a number of core industries, notably
fishing, mining and farming.
Agriculture has been an important
Devon since the 19th century. The 2001 UK foot and mouth
crisis harmed the farming community severely. Since then some parts
of the agricultural industry have begun to diversify and recover, with
a strong local food sector and many artisan producers. Nonetheless in
2015 the dairy industry was still suffering from the low prices
offered for wholesale milk by major dairies and especially large
supermarket chains. Part of the seafront of
Torquay , south
Devon, at high tide.
The attractive lifestyle of the area is drawing in new industries
which are not heavily dependent upon geographical location; Dartmoor
, for instance, has recently seen a significant rise in the percentage
of its inhabitants involved in the financial services sector. The Met
Office , the UK's national and international weather service, moved to
Exeter in 2003.
Since the rise of seaside resorts with the arrival of the railways in
the 19th century, Devon's economy has been heavily reliant on tourism.
The county's economy followed the declining trend of British seaside
resorts since the mid-20th century, but with some recent revival and
regeneration of its resorts, particularly focused around camping;
sports such as surfing, cycling, sailing and heritage. This revival
has been aided by the designation of much of Devon's countryside and
coastline as the
Exmoor national parks, and the Jurassic
West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage
Sites. In 2004 the county's tourist revenue was £1.2 billion. More
successful visitor attractions are particularly concentrated on food
and drink, the
South West Coast Path and watersports, including
sea-view restaurants in North-
West Devon (such as one example
Damien Hurst ); surfing there, indoor and outdoor folk
music festivals across the county and sailing in the 5-mile (8.0 km)
hill-surrounded inlet (ria ) at Salcombe.
Incomes vary significantly and the average is bolstered by a high
proportion of affluent retired people from across Europe's major
cities, particularly from the rest of England. Incomes in much of the
South Hams and in villages surrounding
Plymouth are above
the national average. The claimant count of the unemployed and people
receiving very low incomes is close to the national average of 4.5% in
Plymouth and Exeter. Their exurbs and rural villages
contribute to low unemployment in the administrative county as shown
The table also shows the population change in the ten years to the
2011 census by subdivision. It also shows the proportion of residents
in each district reliant upon lowest income and/or joblessness
benefits, the national average proportion of which was 4.5% as at
August 2012, the year for which latest datasets have been published.
It can be seen that the most populous district of
Devon is East Devon
but only if excluding
Torbay which has marginally more residents and
Plymouth which has approximately double the number of residents of
either of these.
West Devon has the fewest residents, having 63,839 at
the time of the census.
Population from census to census. Claimants of JSA or Income Support
JSA OR INC. SUPP. CLAIMANTS (AUGUST 2012) % OF 2011 POPULATION
JSA AND INCOME SUPPORT CLAIMANTS (AUGUST 2001) % OF 2001 POPULATION
POPULATION (APRIL 2011)
POPULATION (APRIL 2001)
Ranked by district
In historic Devon
The key train operator for
Devon is Great Western Railway , which
operates numerous regional, local and suburban services, as well as
intercity services to and from London Paddington. Other intercity
services are operated by
CrossCountry , to Manchester Piccadilly,
Edinburgh Waverley, Glasgow Central, Dundee, Aberdeen and Penzance,
South West Trains
South West Trains , operating express services between London
Exeter St Davids on the West of
England Main Line . All
Devon services are diesel-hauled, since there are no electrified lines
in the county.
Plymouth railway of the LSWR needs to be reopened to
Plymouth to the rest of the UK railway system on
an all weather basis. There are proposals to reopen the line from
Tavistock to Bere Alston for a through service to Plymouth. On the
night of 4 February 2014, amid high winds and extremely rough seas,
part of the sea wall at
Dawlish was breached washing away around 40
metres (130 ft) of the wall and the ballast under the railway
immediately behind. The line was closed.
Network Rail began repair
work and the line reopened on 4 April 2014. In the wake of
widespread disruption caused by damage to the mainline track at
Dawlish by coastal storms in February 2014,
Network Rail are
considering reopening the
of the line as an alternative to the coastal route.
Devon County Council has proposed a "
Devon Metro" scheme to improve
rail services in the county and offer a realistic alternative to car
travel. This includes the delivery of Cranbrook station , plus four
new stations (including Edginswell ) as a priority.
Exeter International Airport is a base for
Flybe . Destinations
include London (City), Manchester, Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam.
GEOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY
Heathland at Woodbury Common in south east Devon. Cliffs
Ilfracombe , on the coast of
North Devon .
Devon straddles a peninsula and so has two separate coastlines, on
Bristol Channel and
Celtic Sea in the north, and on the English
Channel in the south. The
South West Coast Path runs along the entire
length of both, around 65% of which is named as
Heritage Coast .
Before the changes to English counties in 1974,
Devon was the third
largest county by area and the largest of the counties not divided
into county-like divisions (only Yorkshire and
larger and both were sub-divided into ridings or parts, respectively).
Since 1974 the county is ranked fourth by area (due to the creation
of Cumbria) amongst ceremonial counties and is the third largest
non-metropolitan county . The island of
Lundy and the reef of
Eddystone are also in Devon. The county has more mileage of road than
any other county in England.
Dartmoor National Park lies wholly in Devon, and the
Exmoor National Park lies in both
Somerset . Apart from
these areas of high moorland the county has attractive rolling rural
scenery and villages with thatched cob cottages. All these features
Devon a popular holiday destination.
South Devon the landscape consists of rolling hills dotted with
small towns, such as Dartmouth ,
Totnes . The towns of
Paignton are the principal
seaside resorts on the south coast.
East Devon has the first seaside
resort to be developed in the county,
Exmouth and the more upmarket
Georgian town of
Sidmouth , headquarters of the
East Devon District
Exmouth marks the western end of the
Jurassic Coast World
Heritage Site . Another notable feature is the coastal railway line
Newton Abbot and the Exe Estuary: the red sandstone cliffs and
sea views are very dramatic and in the resorts railway line and
beaches are very near.
North Devon is very rural with few major towns except
Great Torrington ,
Ilfracombe . Devon's
Exmoor coast has
the highest cliffs in southern Britain, culminating in the Great
Hangman , a 318 m (1,043 ft) "hog's-back" hill with an 250 m (820 ft)
cliff-face, located near Combe Martin Bay. Its sister cliff is the
218 m (715 ft) Little Hangman, which marks the western edge of coastal
Exmoor. One of the features of the
North Devon coast is that Bideford
Bay and the
Hartland Point peninsula are both west-facing, Atlantic
facing coastlines; so that a combination of an off-shore (east) wind
and an Atlantic swell produce excellent surfing conditions. The
Westward Ho! and
Croyde ), along with parts of North
Cornwall and South Wales, are the
main centres of surfing in Britain. See also: List of mountains and
Geological map of Wales the
Culm Measures (north western Devon
also extending into north Cornwall); and the granite intrusion of
Dartmoor in central Devon, part of the
Cornubian batholith forming the
'spine' of the southwestern peninsula. There are small remains of
Devonian rocks on the south
The oldest rocks which can be dated are those of the
which are approximately 395–345 million years old. Sandstones and
shales were deposited in North and
South Devon beneath tropical seas.
In shallower waters, limestone beds were laid down in the area now
Torquay and Plymouth. This geological period was named after
Roderick Murchison and
Adam Sedgwick in the 1840s and is the
only British county whose name is used worldwide as a geological time
Devon's second major rock system is the Culm Measures, a geological
formation of the
Carboniferous period that occurs principally in Devon
Cornwall . The measures are so called either from the occasional
presence of a soft, sooty coal, which is known in
Devon as culm, or
from the contortions commonly found in the beds. This formation
Bude in Cornwall, and contributes to a
gentler, greener, more rounded landscape. It is also found on the
western, north and eastern borders of Dartmoor.
The sedimentary rocks in more eastern parts of the county include
Triassic sandstones (giving rise to east Devon's well
known fertile red soils); Bunter pebble beds around Budleigh Salterton
and Woodbury Common and
Jurassic rocks in the easternmost parts of
Devon. Smaller outcrops of younger rocks also exist, such as
Cretaceous chalk cliffs at Beer Head and gravels on Haldon, plus
Oligocene ball clay and lignite deposits in the Bovey
Basin, formed around 50 million years ago under tropical forest
Dartmoor § Climate , and climate of south-west
This section DOES NOT CITE ANY SOURCES . Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed . (March 2010) (Learn how and when to
remove this template message )
Devon generally has a mild climate, heavily influenced by the North
Atlantic Drift . In winter snow is relatively uncommon away from high
land, although there are exceptions, such as the snowfalls of February
2009 , and December 2010 . The county has warm summers with occasional
hot spells and cool rainy periods. Winters are generally mild and the
county often experiences some of the mildest winters in the world for
its latitude, with average daily maximum temperatures in January
approaching 10 °C (50 °F). Rainfall varies significantly across the
county, ranging from over 2,000 mm (79 in) on parts of Dartmoor, to
around 750 mm (30 in) in the rain shadow along the coast in
Devon and around Exeter. Sunshine amounts also vary
widely: the moors are generally cloudy, but the SE coast from Salcombe
Exmouth is one of the sunniest parts of the UK. In summer, easterly
or southeasterly winds mean the area around
records among the highest temperatures in Britain, exceeding 32 °C
(90 °F) about twice every decade. Similarly, with westerly or
southwesterly winds and high pressure the area around
Teignmouth will often be very warm, with long sunny spells due to
shelter by high ground (
Foehn wind ).
CLIMATE DATA FOR DEVON
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
Fields in south
Devon after a snowfall.
Ponies grazing on
North Devon .
The variety of habitats means that there is a wide range of wildlife
Dartmoor wildlife , for example). A popular challenge among
birders is to find over 100 species in the county in a day. The
county's wildlife is protected by several wildlife charities such as
Devon Wildlife Trust
Devon Wildlife Trust , which looks after 40 nature reserves. The
Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society (founded in 1928 and
known since 2005 as "
Devon Birds") is a county bird society dedicated
to the study and conservation of wild birds. The
RSPB has reserves in
the county, and Natural
England is responsible for over 200 Devon
Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves ,
Slapton Ley . The
Devon Bat Group was founded in 1984 to help
The botany of the county is very diverse and includes some rare
species not found elsewhere in the British Isles other than Cornwall.
Devon is divided into two
Watsonian vice-counties : north and south,
the boundary being an irregular line approximately across the higher
Dartmoor and then along the canal eastwards. Botanical reports
begin in the 17th century and there is a Flora Devoniensis by Jones
and Kingston in 1829. A general account appeared in The Victoria
History of the County of
Devon (1906), and a Flora of
published in 1939 by Keble Martin and Fraser. An Atlas of the Devon
Flora by Ivimey-Cook appeared in 1984, and A New Flora of Devon, based
on field work undertaken between 2005 and 2014, was published in 2016.
Rising temperatures have led to
Devon becoming the first place in
modern Britain to cultivate olives commercially.
POLITICS AND ADMINISTRATION
Devon County Council election, 2013 and Local Government
Act 2010 County Hall, Exeter. Headquarters for
The administrative centre and capital of
Devon is the city of Exeter
. The largest city in Devon,
Plymouth , and the conurbation of Torbay
(which includes the largest town in
Devon and capital of Torbay
Torquay , as well as
Brixham ) have been unitary
authorities since 1998, separate from the remainder of
Devon which is
Devon County Council for the purposes of local
Devon County Council is controlled by the Conservatives, and the
political representation of its 62 councillors are: 38 Conservatives ,
9 Liberal Democrats , seven Labour , four UKIP , three Independents
and one Green .
At the 2015 general election ,
Devon returned 11 Conservatives and
one Labour MP from its 12 constituencies through first-past-the-post.
The county is represented in the wider South West
Parliament constituency) , which returned two UKIP, two Conservative,
one Labour and one Green MEP at the 2014 election using the d\'Hondt
method of party-list proportional representation . Hundreds
Devon was divided into 32 hundreds :
Bampton , Black Torrington , Braunton , Cliston , Coleridge , Colyton
Crediton , East Budleigh , Ermington , Exminster , Fremington ,
Halberton , Hartland , Hayridge , Haytor , Hemyock , Lifton , North
Tawton and Winkleigh , Ottery ,
Plympton , Roborough , Shebbear ,
South Molton , Stanborough ,
Tiverton , West Budleigh , Witheridge , and Wonford .
CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES
List of places in Devon and List of towns and cities
Devon by population The inner harbour,
Brixham , south Devon,
at low tide.
The main settlements in
Devon are the cities of
Plymouth , a historic
port now administratively independent,
Exeter , the county town , and
Torbay , the county's tourist centre. Devon's coast is lined with
tourist resorts, many of which grew rapidly with the arrival of the
railways in the 19th century. Examples include
Sidmouth on the south coast, and
Lynmouth on the north.
Torbay conurbation of
Brixham on the south
coast is now administratively independent of the county.
towns in the county include
Honiton , Newton
Totnes and Tiverton .
The boundary with
Cornwall has not always been on the
River Tamar as
at present: until the late 19th century a few parishes in the Torpoint
area were in
Devon and five parishes now in north-east
Devon until 1974. (However, for ecclesiastical purposes these were
nevertheless in the Archdeaconry of
Cornwall and in 1876 became part
Diocese of Truro
Diocese of Truro .)
ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL HISTORY
This section NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please
help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources .
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2017) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message )
The region of
Devon was the dominion of the
Dumnonii celtic tribe
they were also called "Deep Valley Dwellers". The region was less
Romanised than the rest of
Roman Britain since it was considered a
remote province. The Romans left the region around AD 410, this is
when one of the leading
Dumnonii families attempted to create a
dynasty and rules over
Devon as the Kings of Dumnonii.
Celtic paganism and Roman practices were the first known religions in
Devon, although in the mid-fourth century AD, Christianity was
introduced to Devon. In the Sub-Roman period the church in the
British Isles was characterised by some differences in practice from
Latin Christianity of the continent of Europe and is known as
Celtic Christianity ; however it was always in communion with the
wider Roman Catholic Church. Many Cornish saints are commemorated also
Devon in legends, churches and placenames. Western Christianity
Devon when it was over a long period incorporated into the
Wessex and the jurisdiction of the bishop of Wessex. Saint
Petroc is said to have passed through Devon, where ancient dedications
to him are even more numerous than in Cornwall: a probable seventeen
Timberscombe just over the border in Somerset), compared to
Cornwall's five. The position of churches bearing his name, including
one within the old Roman walls of
Exeter , are nearly always near the
coast, reminding us that in those days travelling was done mainly by
Devonian villages of
Newton St Petroc are
also named after
Saint Petroc and the flag of
Devon is dedicated to
The history of Christianity in the South West of
England remains to
some degree obscure. Parts of the historic county of
Devon formed part
of the diocese of Wessex, while nothing is known of the church
organisation of the Celtic areas. About 703
included in the separate diocese of Sherborne and in 900 this was
again divided into two, the
Devon bishop having from 905 his seat at
Tawton (now Bishop\'s Tawton ) and from 912 at
Crediton , birthplace
of St Boniface. Lyfing became Bishop of
Crediton in 1027 and shortly
afterwards became Bishop of
The two dioceses of
Crediton and Cornwall, covering
Cornwall, were permanently united under
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor by Lyfing
's successor Bishop Leofric , hitherto Bishop of Crediton, who became
first Bishop of
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor , which was
established as his cathedral city in 1050. At first, the abbey church
of St Mary and St Peter, founded by Athelstan in 932 and rebuilt in
1019, served as the cathedral.
In 1549, the
Prayer Book Rebellion caused the deaths of thousands of
Devon and Cornwall. During the
English Reformation ,
Devon officially became affiliated with the Church of
England . From the late sixteenth century onwards, zealous
Protestantism – or 'puritanism' – became increasingly
well-entrenched in some parts of Devon, while other districts of the
county remained much more conservative. These divisions would become
starkly apparent during the
English Civil War
English Civil War of 1642–46, when the
county split apart along religious and cultural lines. The Methodism
John Wesley proved to be very popular with the working classes in
Devon in the 19th century. Methodist chapels became important social
centres, with male voice choirs and other church-affiliated groups
playing a central role in the social lives of working class Devonians.
Methodism still plays a large part in the religious life of Devon
today, although the county has shared in the post-World War II decline
in British religious feeling.
The Diocese of
Exeter remains the Anglican diocese including the
whole of Devon. The Roman Catholic Diocese of
Plymouth was established
in the mid 19th century.
Despite its small Jewish population,
Devon is also noted for
containing two of Britain's oldest synagogues, located in
Exeter , built in 1762 and 1763 respectively.
COAT OF ARMS
The coat of arms of
Devon County Council.
There was no established coat of arms for the county until 1926: the
arms of the City of
Exeter were often used to represent Devon, for
instance in the badge of the Devonshire Regiment . During the forming
of a county council by the
Local Government Act 1888 adoption of a
common seal was required. The seal contained three shields depicting
the arms of
Exeter along with those of the first chairman and
vice-chairman of the council (Lord Clinton and the
Earl of Morley ).
On 11 October 1926, the county council received a grant of arms from
College of Arms . The main part of the shield displays a red
crowned lion on a silver field, the arms of Richard Plantagenet, Earl
Cornwall . The chief or upper portion of the shield depicts an
ancient ship on wavers, for Devon's seafaring traditions. The Latin
motto adopted was Auxilio Divino (by Divine aid), that of Sir Francis
Drake . The 1926 grant was of arms alone. On 6 March 1962 a further
grant of crest and supporters was obtained. The crest is the head of a
Dartmoor Pony rising from a "Naval Crown". This distinctive form of
crown is formed from the sails and sterns of ships, and is associated
Royal Navy . The supporters are a
Devon bull and a sea lion.
Devon County Council adopted a "ship silhouette" logo after the 1974
reorganisation, adapted from the ship emblem on the coat of arms, but
following the loss in 1998 of
Torbay re-adopted the coat
of arms. In April 2006 the council unveiled a new logo which was to be
used in most everyday applications, though the coat of arms will
continue to be used for "various civic purposes".
Flag of Devon
Flag of Devon
Devon also has its own flag which has been dedicated to
, a local saint with dedications throughout
Devon and neighbouring
counties. The flag was adopted in 2003 after a competition run by BBC
Devon . The winning design was created by website contributor
Ryan Sealey, and won 49% of the votes cast. The colours of the flag
are those popularly identified with Devon, for example, the colours of
Exeter University , the rugby union team, and the Green and White flag
flown by the first
Viscount Exmouth at the Bombardment of Algiers (now
on view at the Teign Valley Museum), as well as one of the county's
Plymouth Argyle . On 17 October 2006, the flag was
hoisted for the first time outside County Hall in
Exeter to mark Local
Democracy Week, receiving official recognition from the county
PLACE NAMES AND CUSTOMS
The beach at
Westward Ho! , North Devon, looking north towards
the shared estuary of the rivers Taw and
Devon's toponyms include many with the endings "coombe/combe" and
"tor". Both 'coombe' (valley or hollow, cf. Welsh cwm, Cornish komm)
and 'tor' (Old Welsh twrr and Scots Gaelic tòrr from
'tower' used for granite formations) are rare Celtic loanwords in
English and their frequency is greatest in
Devon which shares a
boundary with Brittonic speaking Cornwall. Ruined medieval settlements
Dartmoor longhouses indicate that dispersed rural settlement (OE
tun, now often -ton) was very similar to that found in Cornish 'tre-'
settlements, however these are generally described with the local
placename -(a)cott, from the Old English for homestead, cf. cottage .
Saxon endings in -worthy (from
Anglo-Saxon worthig) indicate larger
settlements. Several 'Bere's indicate
Anglo-Saxon wood groves, as
'leighs' indicate clearings.
Devon has a variety of festivals and traditional practices, including
the traditional orchard-visiting
Whimple every 17 January,
and the carrying of flaming tar barrels in
Ottery St. Mary , where
people who have lived in Ottery for long enough are called upon to
celebrate Bonfire Night by running through the village (and the
gathered crowds) with flaming barrels on their backs. Berry Pomeroy
still celebrates "Queen's Day" for
Elizabeth I .
List of schools in Devon
Devon has a mostly comprehensive education system. There are 37 state
and 23 independent secondary schools. There are three tertiary (FE )
colleges and an agricultural college (
Bicton College , near Budleigh
Torbay has 8 state (with 3 grammar schools ) and 3
independent secondary schools, and
Plymouth has 17 state (with 3
grammar schools – two female and one male) and one independent
Plymouth College .
East Devon and
Teignbridge have the largest
school populations, with
West Devon the smallest (with only two
schools). Only one school in Exeter, Mid Devon,
Torridge and North
Devon have a sixth form – the schools in other districts mostly have
sixth forms, with all schools in
West Devon and
East Devon having a
The county also plays host to two major British universities, the
Exeter (split between the
Streatham Campus and St
Luke\'s Campus both in
Exeter and a campus in
Cornwall ); in Plymouth
the University of
Plymouth in Britain is present, along with the
University of St Mark in other countries, such as Australia and New
Zealand, it is known as a "Devonshire tea". In Australia,
a name for luncheon meat (processed ham).
In October 2008,
Devon was awarded Fairtrade County status by the
Fairtrade Foundation .
Devon has been home to a number of customs, such as its own form of
Devon wrestling , similar in some ways to
Cornish wrestling . As
recently as the 19th century, a crowd of 17,000 at Devonport, near
Plymouth , attended a match between the champions of
Devon sport was outhurling which was played in some
regions until the 20th century (e.g. 1922, at Great Torrington). Other
ancient customs which survive include
Dartmoor step dancing, and
Crying The Neck ".
Devon has three professional football teams, based in each of its
three most populous towns and cities. In the 2014/2015 football season
Exeter City F.C. and
Plymouth Argyle F.C. compete in Football League
Two , while
Torquay United F.C compete in the
Conference Premier .
Plymouth's highest Football League finish was fourth in the Second
Division which was achieved twice in 1932 and 1953 respectively, while
Exeter have never progressed beyond the third tier of the
Torquay did miss out on winning the Third Division (S)
by finishing 2nd on goal difference to Sir Alf Ramsey's Ipswich Town
in 1957, Exeter's highest position has been 8th in the Third Division
(S) . The county's biggest non-league club's is
Bideford F.C. which
competes in the
Southern Football League Premier Division and Tiverton
Town F.C. which is in the Southern Football League Division One South
and West .
Rugby Union is very popular in
Devon with over forty clubs under the
banner of the
Devon Rugby Football Union
Devon Rugby Football Union , many with numerous teams at
senior, youth and junior levels. Two clubs –
Exeter Chiefs play in
the Aviva Premiership and
Plymouth Albion who are, as of 2011, in the
RFU Championship . In basketball,
Plymouth Raiders play in the British
Basketball League .
Tamar Valley Cannons , also based in Plymouth, are
Devon's only other representatives in the National Leagues. Motorcycle
speedway is also supported in the county, with both the
Plymouth Devils succeeding in the National Leagues in recent
There are five rugby league teams in Devon.
Plymouth Titans , Exeter
Devon Sharks from Torquay,
North Devon Raiders from
East Devon Eagles from Exmouth. They all play in the
Rugby League Conference .
Devon also boasts a field hockey club who play in the National
Premier League , the University of
Exeter Hockey Club
Horse Racing, particularly point to point racing and National Hunt
Racing is also popular in the county, with two National Hunt
Exeter and Newton Abbot), and numerous point to point
courses. There are also many successful professional racehorse
trainers based in Devon.
The county is represented in cricket by
Cricket Club ,
who play at a Minor counties level.
Notable people from Devon
This section NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please
help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources .
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2010) (Learn
how and when to remove this template message )
Devon is known for its mariners , such as Sir
Francis Drake , Sir
Humphrey Gilbert , Sir Richard Grenville , Sir
Walter Raleigh , and
Francis Chichester .
Henry Every , described as the most notorious
pirate of the late 17th century, was probably born in the village of
Newton Ferrers . John Oxenham (1536–1580) was a lieutenant of Drake
but considered a pirate by the Spanish. Thomas Morton (1576–1647?)
was an avid Elizabethan outdoorsman probably born in
Devon who became
an attorney for The Council For New England, and built the New England
fur-trading-plantation called Ma-Re Mount or Merrymount around a West
Country-style Maypole, much to the displeasure of Pilgrim and Puritan
colonists. Morton wrote a 1637 book New English Canaan about his
experiences, partly in verse, and may have thereby become America's
first poet to write in English. Another famous mariner and Devonian
Robert Falcon Scott , the leader of the unfortunate Terra Nova
Expedition to reach the geographical
South Pole . The poet Samuel
Taylor Coleridge , the crime writer
Agatha Christie and the poet Ted
Hughes lived in
Devon (his funeral and cremation were held there). The
painter and founder of the
Royal Academy ,
Sir Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds , was
born in Devon.
Matthew Goode was raised in Devon, and
Bradley James , also
an actor, was born there. The singer
Joss Stone was brought up in
Devon and frontman
Chris Martin from the British rock group Coldplay
was born there.
Matt Bellamy ,
Dominic Howard and Christopher
Wolstenholme from the English group Muse all grew up in
formed the band there. Dave Hill of rock band
Slade was born in Flete
House which is in the
South Hams district of Devon. Singer-songwriter
Ben Howard grew up in
Totnes , a small town in Devon. Another famous
Devonian is the model and actress
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley , who was
Plymouth and raised in
Tavistock . The singer and songwriter
Rebecca Newman was born and raised in Exmouth.
Trevor Francis , former Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City
professional footballer was born and brought up in Plymouth. Swimmer
Sharron Davies and diver Tom Daley were born in Plymouth. Peter Cook
the satirist, writer and comedian was born in Torquay, Devon.
Leicester Tigers and
British and Irish Lions
British and Irish Lions Rugby player Julian White
MBE was born and raised in
Devon and now farms a herd of pedigree
South Devon beef cattle. The dog breeder
John "Jack" Russell was also
Jane McGrath , who married Australian cricketer Glenn
McGrath was born in Paignton, her long battle with and subsequent
death from breast cancer inspired the formation of the McGrath
Foundation , which is one of Australia's leading charities.
* List of Lord Lieutenants of
* List of High Sheriffs of
Healthcare in Devon
Custos Rotulorum of Devon – Keepers of the Rolls
* List of MPs for
* Category:Rivers of
List of mountains and hills of Devon
List of monastic houses in Devon
* List of
Sites of Special Scientific Interest in
North Devon Coast
West Country dialects
West Country dialects
* ^ "Lord-Lieutenant for Devon: David Fursdon - Press releases".
GOV.UK. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "
Devon 2017/2018". High Sheriffs Association. Retrieved 8 June
* ^ "
Devon county, England, United Kingdom". Encyclopedia
Britannica. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
* ^ "
Devon County Council Geographic areas".
Devon County Council.
Retrieved 12 December 2012.
* ^ "Welcome to the
Dartmoor National Park Authority".
Naturalengland.org.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "William Camden, Britannia (1607) with an English translation
by Philemon Holland – Danmonii". The University of Birmingham.
Retrieved 30 June 2009.
* ^ "Manuscript A: The Parker Chronicle". Retrieved 17 October
* ^ Davies, Norman (2000). The Isles: A History. p. 207. ISBN
* ^ "Who do you think you really are? A genetic map of the British
Isles - University of Oxford". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "Who do you think you really are? The first fine-scale genetic
map of the British Isles". wellcome.ac.uk. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
* ^ jobs. "UK mapped out by genetic ancestry : Nature News &
Comment". Nature.com. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "
Lydford Silver Pennies In The Stockholm Coin Museum".
Lydford.co.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "Devon\'s Mining History and Stannary parliament".
users.senet.com.au. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
* ^ In Devon, the county council estimated that 1,200 jobs would be
lost in agriculture and ancillary rural industries – Hansard, 25
* ^ "
Devon dairy farmer laments \'grim\' state of industry as milk
price crisis worsens". The
Mid Devon Gazette. 14 January 2015.
Retrieved 18 July 2016.
* ^ "
Devon Delivers". Invest Devon. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16
December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
* ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26
March 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
* ^ Key Statistics: Population; Quick Statistics: Economic
indicators. (2011 census and 2001 census ) Retrieved 27 February 2015.
* ^ Harris, Nigel (2008). "Taking trains back to Tavistock". Rail.
Bauer (590): 40–45.
* ^ "UK storms destroy railway line and leave thousands without
power". BBC. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
* ^ "Dawlish\'s storm-damaged railway line reopens".
BBC News. 4
April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
* ^ "
Network Rail chooses
Dawlish alternative route".
BBC News. 10
February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
* ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3
March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
* ^ Dewey, Henry (1948) British Regional Geology: South West
England, 2nd ed. London: H.M.S.O.
* ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1972; p. 631
* ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
Retrieved 1 August 2009.
* ^ Edmonds, E. A., et al. (1975) South-West England; based on
previous editions by H. Dewey (
British Geological Survey
British Geological Survey UK Regional
Geology Guide series no. 17, 4th ed.) London: HMSO ISBN 0-11-880713-7
* ^ Hesketh, Robert (2006). Devon's Geology: An Introduction.
Bossiney Books. ISBN 978-1-899-383-89-4 .
* ^ Laming, Deryck; Roche, David. "
Devon Geology Guide – Devonian
Slates, Sandstones and Volcanics" (PDF). Retrieved 14 May 2014.
* ^ "Devon\'s Rocks – A Geological Guide".
Devon County Council.
Retrieved 18 May 2011.
* ^ Edmonds, E. A.; McKeown, M. C.; Williams, M. (1975).
Carboniferous Rocks". South-West England. British Geology. Dewey, H.
(4th ed.). London: HMSO/British Geological Survey. p. 34. ISBN
* ^ "The Society – Introduction".
Devon Birds. Retrieved 15
* ^ "Designated sites view (Devon)". Natural England. Retrieved 15
* ^ Jones, John Pike & Kingston, J. F. (1829) Flora Devoniensis. 2
pts, in 1 vol. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green
Martin, W. Keble Hodgson, B.; Ison, J. (2016). A New Flora of
Devon. Exeter: The Devonshire Association. p. 1. ISBN 978 1 5272 0525
* ^ Paul Simons (14 May 2007). "Britain warms to the taste for
home-grown olives". The Times. UK. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
* ^ "Tories take over county council". The
BBC . 5 June 2009.
Retrieved 6 June 2009.
* ^ "
Devon Hundreds". Genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk. 23 June 2013. Retrieved
13 November 2016.
* ^ "Britannia History: Overview of Devon". www.britannia.com.
Retrieved 4 July 2017.
* ^ "
Devon Libraries: Sources for
Anglo-Saxon Devon" (PDF).
* ^ Bowen, E. G. (1977) Saints, Seaways and Settlements in the
Celtic Lands. Cardiff: University of Wales Press ISBN 0-900768-30-4
* ^ "St. Patrick and Celtic Christianity: Did You Know?". Christian
History Learn the History of Christianity & the Church. Retrieved 4
* ^ "Monasticism - The Heart of
Celtic Christianity - Northumbria
Community". Northumbria Community. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
* ^ Stoyle, Mark (1994). Loyalty and Locality: Popular Allegiance
Devon during the English Civil War. Exeter: University of Exeter
Press. p. passim. ISBN 0-85989-428-2 .
* ^ "Home". Plymouth-diocese.org.uk. 15 February 2015. Retrieved 13
* ^ Fox-Davies, A. C. (1915) The Book of Public Arms, 2nd edition,
* ^ W. C. Scott-Giles, Civic Heraldry of
England and Wales, 2nd
edition, London, 1953
* ^ "A brief history of Devon\'s coat of arms (
Council)". Devon.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
* ^ "Council\'s designs cause logo row".
BBC News. 27 March 2006.
Retrieved 14 June 2010.
* ^ "Policy and Resources Overview Scrutiny Committee Minutes, 3
April 2006". Devon.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
* ^ "Flag celebrates Devon\'s heritage". BBC. 18 July 2003.
Retrieved 14 June 2010.
Devon County Council Press Release, 16 October 2006 Archived 14
October 2008 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "Origins of
Devon Place-Names". Genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk. 2 November
2014. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "Ottery Tar Barrels". BBC. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
* ^ Mason, Laura; Brown, Catherine (1999) From Bath Chaps to Bara
Brith. Totnes: Prospect Books
* ^ Pettigrew, Jane (2004) Afternoon Tea. Andover: Jarrold
* ^ Fitzgibbon, Theodora (1972) A Taste of England: the West
Country. London: J. M. Dent
* ^ Marley, David F. (2010). Pirates of the Americas. Santa
Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 589. ISBN 978-1-59884-201-2 .
* ^ New English Canaan or New Canaan. Containing an abstract of New
England, composed in three bookes. The first booke setting forth the
originall of the natives, their manners and customes, together with
their tractable nature and love towards the English. The second booke
setting forth the naturall indowments of the country, and what staple
commodities it yealdeth. The third booke setting forth, what people
are planted there, their prosperity, what remarkable accidents have
happened since the first planting of it, together with their tenents
and practise of their church. Written by Thomas Morton of Cliffords
Inne gent, upon tenne yeares knowledge and experiment of the country.
Amsterdam: Jacob Stam
* ^ H. G. R. King, 'Scott, Robert Falcon (1868–1912)', Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press, 2004;
online edn, January 2011 accessed 21 June 2011
* ^ "‘Rising star’ returns to
Exmouth to support RNLI". 23
October 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
* ^ "New centre to honour
Plymouth Olympian Sharron Davies".
Plymouth City Council. 14 March 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
* Oliver, George (1846) Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis: being a
collection of records and instruments illustrating the ancient
conventual, collegiate, and eleemosynary foundations, in the Counties
Cornwall and Devon, with historical notices, and a supplement,
comprising a list of the dedications of churches in the Diocese, an
amended edition of the taxation of Pope Nicholas, and an abstract of
the Chantry Rolls . Exeter: P. A. Hannaford, 1846, 1854, 1889
* Pevsner, N. (1952)
North Devon and
South Devon (Buildings of
England). 2 vols. Penguin Books
* Stabb, John Some Old
Devon Churches: their rood screens, pulpits,
fonts, etc.. 3 vols. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1908,
* Stoyle, Mark (1994) Loyalty and Locality: Popular Allegiance in
Devon during the English Civil War. Exeter: University of
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: