Dartmouth (Devon)

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Dartmouth at the mouth of the Dart River

Dartmouth is an old port city in the southern English county of Devon . The city lies on the west bank of the mouth of the Dart River and is now mainly visited by sailors .


Dartmouth had an important strategic importance as a port for large sailing ships : from here the ships for the crusades of 1147 and 1190 set sail. Also, Dartmouth was since the time of Edward III. Royal Navy base . After the city had been surprised and looted twice during the Hundred Years War , Dartmouth Castle was built from 1481 to control the entrance to the estuary. From the castle a chain could be stretched across the water to Kingswear Castle on the other side. From 1510, Bayard's Cove Fort provided additional protection for the harbor.

Henry Hudson was arrested in Dartmouth on his return from America because he was sailing under a foreign flag. The Pilgrim Fathers stopped on their way from Southampton to America at Bayard's Cove near Dartmouth. On August 20, 1620, they continued the voyage with the Mayflower and the Speedwell . 300 miles west of Land's End , they found that the Speedwell was not seaworthy; the ship then sailed back to Plymouth. The Mayflower was completely on her own during the crossing until landing on Cape Cod .

Dartmouth, Devon, GB, city center
Dartmouth - Old Town

The city has a large number of historical buildings. The most striking is the so-called Butterwalk, completed in 1640, with a protruding upper floor, the framework of which is supported by a series of striking granite columns. Charles II held court here when he had to seek shelter from a storm in 1671. The room he was in is now part of the Dartmouth Museum . The museum is known for its collection of ship models.

The Royal Castle Hotel was built in 1639 on the then new quay. In the 19th century, however, the building received a new front. Claims to be the oldest building in Dartmouth is a house on Higher Street from around 1380, which was formerly owned by merchants. It now houses The Cherub Inn . The Agincourt House near the lower ferry also dates back to the 14th century.

On a hill above the city is an imposing structure built by the well-known English architect Aston Webb , which has housed the Britannia Royal Naval College since 1905 . This is where prospective Royal Navy officers receive their basic training. Studies used to take place on the HMS Britannia , which was moored in the Dart River .

Since 1822, the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta has been held off the coast three days a year ; it is one of the biggest sailing events in the UK.

Dartmouth Peak in Antarctica is named after the city .

Web links

Commons : Dartmouth, Devon  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 50 ° 21 ′  N , 3 ° 35 ′  W