Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Our old friend SirWalter Raleigh (he of the smoking episode in Penzance) rears his head again in the vicinity of Budleigh Salterton. He was born two miles from here in Hayes Barton. The painter Sir John Everett Millais painted a famous work called “The Boyhood of Raleigh” in 1870 from a distinctive local building called The Octagon. A blue plaque commemorates the event. The resort of Budleigh Salterton has as its backdrop cliffs formed from Red Devonian Sandstone, and marks the start of a stretch of Southern England coastline known as The Jurassic Coast due to the high incidence of fossils in the rock around these parts.

This area has seen a lot of smuggling activity in the past. East Budleigh acted as the headquarters of a smuggling gang courtesy of the enthusiastic collusion of two local vicars who offered out the vicarage to local people wishing to indulge in “free trading”. One of these people had taken on the identity of the late wife of one of the vicars, relying on stories of appearances by her ghost to keep people away from the vicarage after dark, so that smuggling operations could be planned without interruption.

For a list of events in Budleigh Salterton, see here.

Map of the area.

File:Budleigh Salterton - geograph.org.uk - 23417.jpg
Photo by Mick Melvin, via Wikimedia Commons

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