Moretonhampstead

Devon, TQ13 8BB

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Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • St Andrew's Church, Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • St Andrew's Church, Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • St Andrew's Church, Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • St Andrew's Church, Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • Almshouses, Moretonhampstead, Devon
  • Moretonhampstead, Devon

Surrounded by spectacular countryside, Moretonhampstead is an ancient market town nestled in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, and an ideal base for outdoor activity holidays in West Devon.

The town is home to a thriving crafts community with a number of open studios and galleries that you can visit. The Parish Church of St Andrew is situated next to Green Hill, a lovely art gallery and exhibition space, backed by open fields and stunning moorland. At St Andrew's Church you can also find The Sentry, a children's playpark, surrounded by beautiful views of Dartmoor. 

Within the village centre, there are a variety of hotels, inns and teashops within the town and an open air swimming pool.

History
Moretonhampstead's history extends as far back as the Saxon era, and the village (which was then known as Mortone) was mentioned in the Doomsday book in 1086 as being owned by King William the Conqueror. This part of the name refers to the town's location on the edge of Dartmoor, and by 1493 "Hampstead" had been added to the name, possibly referring to a family name or a nearby place. 

Moretonhampstead began prospering into a developing community and in 1207 King John granted the community a weekly market and an annual five-day fair.

The manufacturing of wool formed the basis of the town's economy for over 700 years. The town grew steadily through the Middle Ages and remained thriving until the end of the 17th century, when the wool industry began to decline. However, the town continued to be a local trading centre with its weekly markets, and was a major coaching stop for travellers between Exeter and Plymouth in the 18th century, due to its recognition as the gateway town to the High Moor.

In the 20th century, a series of fires destroyed many of Moretonhampstead's ancient buildings, however there is still enough remaining to demonstrate the Saxon, medieval and industrial heritage. Nowadays, much of the town is a designated conservation area, with many listed buildings being of architectural and historic interest. 

Things to do
The Moretonhampstead town trail will take you around the beautiful centre and discover the wonderful ancient buildings, such as the Alms Houses and the Parish Church of St Andrew, dating from around 1450, as well as some stunning sculptures that are scattered around the town.

As Moretonhampstead is the gateway town to Dartmoor, a trip here wouldn’t be complete without exploring the local moorland surrounding this idyllic town. Just a short drive away from Moretonhampstead you’ll find Castle Drogo, supposedly the last castle to be built in England between 1911 – 1930, Hunters Tor, a granite tor overlooking Lustleigh Cleave, and Fingle Bridge, a 17-century stone arch bridge acting as the gateway to the ancient Fingle Woods.

Try something different
Why not visit Mortonhampstead as part of cycling The Dartmoor Way. A 90-mile cycle route that takes you around the National Park, with different sections and challenges to suit most abilities.

 

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Set Down Point / Coach Park - Court Street Car park, Postbridge Road. TQ13 8LG

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