- NEW YEAR IN DEVON -

Hope Bay

LINKS to other pages in the 'Devon' site and to the Travelling Days series:

1 : Home from Home
2 : Dartmoor
3 : Widecombe
4 : South Coast
5 : Exeter Cathedral

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Kingsbridge 'estuary' (left and below) is actually a ria or drowned valley caused by rising sea levels rather than a true estuary: its size is out of proportion to the few streams which discharge into it. It may have been carved out by glacial melted water at the end of the ice age.


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Towards the mouth of the estuary is the Bar, a spit of sand protruding from the east bank which is exposed at low spring tides. In this state of tide and with strong southerly winds the bar can make the entrance to the estuary nearly impassable.

It is believed that Lord Tennyson's famous poem "Crossing the Bar" was inspired by a visit to nearby Salcombe during the 19th century. The poem begins with the lines:

     Sunset and evening star
     and one clear call for me!
     And may there be no moaning of the bar,
     When I put out to sea.

The moaning refers to the noise of the water breaking over The Bar. In 1916 the Salcombe lifeboat, an open rowboat, was capsized crossing The Bar resulting in loss of life.

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A short distance through narrow Devon lanes leads to Hope Cove.

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The following description is condensed from Wikipedia and the local Hope Cove websites:
Hope Cove is a beautiful coastal sanctuary, a place to relax and unwind. Once a favourite haunt for smugglers, now a charming holiday destination.

Hope Cove has a long and fascinating history. First mentioned in the Azzise Rolls for 1281, Hope is comprised of two small villages, Inner and Outer Hope, which are linked by a road and footpath. For much of its life as a rather remote fishing village the principal means by which its inhabitants supplemented their incomes was by smuggling and plundering wrecked ships.

The main (legal) source of income here was once from fishing. The locals still talk about the days when 'Pilchard Cove' lived up to its name with a thriving industry based on the fish which has now mysteriously disappeared. In the 1750's, Jeremiah Milles, a future Dean of Exeter, wrote that upwards of 20,000 mackerel were taken in one draught by a boat fishing not far from the shore. Fishing still provides a boost in income for a few, mainly from crab and lobster pots.

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Hope Cove was the only place in England where Spaniards came ashore during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.   'St. Peter the Great', one of the ships of the Spanish Armada, was wrecked on the Shippen Rock in 1588 and number of buildings in the South Devon area incorporate old beams salvaged from Armada wreckage.

In 1760 more than 700 people lost their lives when HMS Ramilles was wrecked upon the rocks at the base of Bolt Tail. Another famous wreck was that of the Finnish Barque, 'Herzogin Cecilie'. The 334 foot four masted training ship ran aground on the Ham Stone on the 25th April, 1936.

During WWII Hope Cove was home to numerous RAF men and women who operated the radar and radio stations in the area. Many aircrews were boarded at The Cottage Hotel prior to flying dangerous missions throughout Europe.

Emperor Haile Selassie spent part of his exile here and the village square was featured in the opening sequence of the film, 'A Queen is Crowned' made in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II.

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A visit to Exeter Cathedral commences on the following page.
Please click on the 'Next' button (below right)

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