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Drewsteignton


Drewsteignton is yet another charming moorland town with its 15th century church, thatched cottages and pub set around a picturesque village square, which also has several works from the renowned sculptor Peter Randall-Page that the inquisitive walker can locate.

 

A protected conservation area of cob cottages, the Thatched Drewe Arms pub (at time of writing awaiting new ownership) sits next to the pretty Trinity churchyard in the centre of the village. 

 

For those staying over, an evening stroll could include a Neolithic burial chamber at Spinsters Rock or an amble down to the Iron Age Hill fort at Prestonbury Castle before a nightcap at Fingle Bridge at the nearby Teign Gorge. The Old Inn is highly recommended for its food in the Michelin guide.

 

Castle Drogo, a stunning grade 1 listed building, sits just along the lane, now owned by the National Trust and well worth a visit. A remarkable granite structure set high above the gorge, this was the last castle built in England when it was commissioned by the tea magnate Julius Drewe, who made his fortune in trading tea from India. Having returned to England and finding this superb plot hanging 1000ft above the Teign gorge, he set about his dream claiming that the land heralded from a Norman baron named Drogo de Teign a distant relative of his.  

 

A bizarre mix of the grandiose and modern, this family home design was created by the admired architect Edwin Lutyens.  The interior mirrors the architecture, mixing 17th century tapestries and eccentric family heirlooms. Power was supplied from two early type turbines in the river far below. The whole thing is set in stunning gardens with rhododendrons and superb views out of the gorge and away to brooding Dartmoor beyond the valley.  Designed around 1910, the project took nearly 20 years to complete and Drewe, whilst living there for several years, sadly only lived on for a solitary year after completion. Well worth a visit, Castle Drogo won the silver award in the Best Large Visitor Attraction in the South West Tourism 2010 Awards.

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