TOTNES & WEMBURY

Castle behind houses

I thought you might like to see this view of Totnes Castle, as seen from my front door! Turning left at the street corner seen here, I very soon reach the heart of Totnes – and Happy Apple, the shop that’s open all hours and sells virtually every food item you can imagine. Don’t know where I’d be, without Happy Apple virtually on my doorstep!

In a complete contrast from Totnes, I walked with the U3A walking group at Wembury – near Plymouth – today and here’s a house that caught my imagination. How would you feel, living here and enjoying this view on a daily (and ever-changing) basis?

How would you like to live here?

How would you like to live here?

After our longish walk, and before the rain that had threatened all morning really set in, we finally reached this idyllic cafe – where we had a well-earned rest and a lovely lunch:

OldMillCafe

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of Totnes and Wembury! Have a great weekend.

TOTNES CASTLE – TANTALIZING GLIMPSES!

Totnes Castle, dating back to Norman times, can be seen in tantalizing glimpses from virtually all over town. Here it is, giving you rather more than a glimpse:

Totnes Castle from foot

Its circular stone keep has walls fifteen feet thick and the mound (or motte) on which it is built rises over fifty feet from the bailey below. The inner bailey was once surrounded by a deep moat and there used to be a chapel and a large hall within the bailey. There was plenty of space to accommodate a large contingent of men and horses, along with all their stores, but by the fifteenth century it was solely used as an occasional administrative centre for Totnes. For example, The Assize of Bread and Ale took place in the castle.

In case you’re wondering, an assize was a 13th century statute in late medieval English law, regulating the price, quality and weight of the bread and beer manufactured and sold in hamlets, villages and towns.

As I live within a few yards of the Castle, it is a useful landmark to tell my visitors who are new to Totnes to look out for when trying to find my house in the slightly bewildering traffic system we have here! It is the one building that you’d think nobody could possibly miss as it dominates the town from its lofty height. (But some people do manage to miss it!)

In an earlier post I told of the way May Day is celebrated up there at daybreak annually on 1st May, so I won’t go into that again here. I’ll just mention that I don’t always welcome the steep climb up to the Castle at 5.30 am!

Here are a few of the tantalizing glimpses of Totnes Castle from here, there and everywhere:

Glimpse Totnes Castle

How would you like to have a haircut here?

Chrissys & Castle (2)

A stranger in town? There it is again, on the horizon:

Roundabout Castle

And finally, over the tree tops from China Blue:

Castle from China Blue

One thing’s certain – being a near-neighbour of Totnes Castle, I should never have a problem finding my way home!

TOTNES CASTLE

I have this view of Totnes Castle through my kitchen window. Its distinctive stone circular keep (with walls 15 feet thick) has stood here since Norman times and can be seen for miles above the town’s rooftops.

At 5.30 am on 1st May I climbed the 50 or so feet up to its inner bailey to watch the Morris Men heralding the dawn, as they do each year on May Day. Ideally we should have seen the sunrise, but – surprise, surprise – all we saw (apart from the distinctive dancing) was rain and then more rain!

I love having the Castle – and Totnes itself – virtually on my doorstep, as their proximity helps me feel ‘in the thick of things’. Yet my small walled garden is usually an oasis of calm where I can imagine myself to be in the heart of the country.

I can also imagine the goings-on of long ago – especially on summer Tuesdays, when many Totnes traders and some residents dress in Elizabethan costumes to bring gaiety and a taste of yesterday to the market place! Which reminds me that it’s Tuesday again tomorrow …