February 3, 2015

1436 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - Map of South Devon

Devon (archaically known as Devonshire) is a county in South West England, reaching from the Bristol Channel to the English Channel. It is divided informally into North Devon and South Devon. In a narrower sense "South Devon" is used to refer to the part of Devon south of Exeter and Dartmoor,  including Plymouth, Torbay and the districts of South Hams, West Devon and Teignbridge. Its name derives from Dumnonia, the homeland of the Dumnonii Celts. The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the 8th and 9th centuries. The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD. The county town is Exeter, in antiquity the most south-westerly Roman fortified settlement in Britain.

According to the Historia Regum Britanniae, the coast of Totnes was where Brutus of Troy, the mythical founder of Britain, first came ashore on the island. Set into the pavement of Fore Street is the Brutus Stone, onto which, according to local legend, Brutus first stepped from his ship. Plymouth was the home port for  Sir John Hawkins, who led England's first foray into the Atlantic slave trade, as well for Sir Francis Drake, born not far, at Tavistock, and Mayor of Plymouth in 1581 and 1593. It was also the last port in England for the iconic Mayflower, who departed here for New World on September 16, 1620 and reached on November 19, 1620, at present-day Cape Cod. Also Sir Walter Raleigh was born in Hayes Barton in c.1552, and his parents are buried in All Saints churchyard in the village.

South Devon is more precisely defined as a natural region. The South Devon National Character Area is bounded by the River Tamar in the west, the coastline from Plymouth to Torquay in the south, the southern boundary of Dartmoor in the north. The landscape of South Devon consists of rolling hills dotted with small towns. Another notable feature is the coastal railway line between Newton Abbot and the Exe Estuary: the red sandstone cliffs and sea views are very dramatic and in the resorts railway line and beaches are very near. Exmouth marks the western end of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the definitive series about which I wrote here.

South Devon - Wikipedia
Devon - Wikipedia

Sender: Sarah / sarah4_740 (postcrossing) GB-622318
Sent from Portsmouth (England / United Kingdom), on 25.01.2015

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