Ashburton, Devon

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East Street, Ashburton, Dartmoor
  • East Street, Ashburton, Dartmoor
  • North Street, Ashburton, Dartmoor
  • Ashburton East Street, Dartmoor

Ashburton is a lively historical town nestled on the southern side of the vast Dartmoor National Park. The highstreet is home to many galleries, book shops and a variety of eateries as well as boasting lots of great antique shops making it the perfect place to while away a few hours.

History in Ashburton

Ashburton was an important centre for the tin trade during the middle ages and in 1305 became one of the four official stannary towns (the others were Chagford, Plympton and Tavistock) which had special powers to assay the tin produced from the Dartmoor mines. When the local tin, iron and woollen trades declined in the 17th Century, Ashburton made a living from passing trade on the main road from Exeter to Plymouth and many of the buildings you see today date from this period. 

When the railway bypassed the town (in 1846), its future did not look bright, and Ashburton was largely forsaken until the 1950's when the quiet and beauty of the Dart Valley began to attract residents seeking an escape from urban life. 

Things to do in Ashburton

Due to its location Ashburton is an ideal base for visitors interested in walking, canoeing, pony trekking and fishing. Its wonderful position on the edge of the moors also means that no trip to Ashburton would be complete without a trip to Dartmoor National Park where you can explore the diverse landscapes in this stunning area.

Something a little different

The town is host to a number of unusual ceremonial events throughout the year dating from the stannary days, including an ale tasting and bread weighing ceremony (held at the end of July each year). There's also a sports centre and a museum covering the history of mining and wool processing in the town which makes for a fascinating day out.

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