Guest Blog Post - Helen Scull (shaldon-devon.co.uk)

Shaldon is a village in South Devon, England. It is located on the south bank of the estuary of the River Teign, opposite the port and town of Teignmouth. The village has been described as "a quaint English drinking village, with a fishing problem"! It is a popular bathing and holiday place, with a good permanent community and a wealth of shops, restaurants, pubs and cafes, along with several Churches and a primary School. It is characterised by Georgian and earlier Architecture and some recent additions such as residential beach huts (for holidays) and unusual modern homes.

The original river settlement of Shaldon was upstream in Ringmore, a farming valley, and the inhabitants were hidden from the sea. Up to the beginning of the 20th century, Ringmore had many working farms, extensive apple and other orchards, including cider apples, watercress beds, and withy beds used for making lobster pots. There were also shipbuilding and repair yards on the waterfront. The last one being near Ringmore Towers, there is a remaining slipway nearby on the seawall by the back entrance to the Shipwrights Arms. The original ancient church of St Nicholas (of 13th century origins) is well worth a visit.

Shaldon itself is mainly built on reclaimed land and there is a retaining wall, built around 1800, to prevent the river returning to its beaches. A few years ago these were improved and tidal gates installed to protect the village from advancing tides.

Shaldon Ferry is the oldest passenger ferry in England – running a service between Teignmouth and Shaldon every day except Christmas Day and New Years day, and when wind and tide are too dangerous on occasions.

The Shaldon Regatta is one of the oldest in England dating back to at least 1817, if not before. The modern regatta runs for 9 days each August, finishing on the August Bank Holiday Monday.

The village also holds a water carnival – with a crowning of the Queen and a host of competitions and events with a seaside theme that carry on well into the evening. The Water Carnival also hosts the annual 3 legged race on Boxing Day – when a large number of the residents run through the village in fancy dress.

There is also a music festival each June - a festival of classical music over 4 days - with some of the countries most well known professional musicians visiting for a series of concerts. Many other music activities take place throughout the year.

On a hillside above the village are gardens created by Maria 'Laetitia' Kempe Homeyard in the late 1920s and early 1930s and built by Thomas Rider, consisting of an informal terraced arboretum with a level walk along the top providing views of the Teign estuary and the Jurassic Coast. A feature of the gardens is a folly known as Shaldon Castle. First opened to the public in 1955 and currently under the stewardship of Teignbridge District Council, the gardens are open all year round to visitors and locals alike.

To find out more about Shaldon, please click here.

Related

Shaldon
Village
View of Shaldon

Across the Estuary from Teignmouth, Shaldon village is a real period piece and a truly unforgettable place of narrow streets and alleyways of thatched cottages and Georgian houses. It is also a lively place, especially with boating and beach activity

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