The Butterwalk - Dartmouth

Francis Drake

Joined November 2010

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Artist's Description

Built in 1623AD. Dartmouth, Devon, England. As the name suggests behind the colonade were shops, (0-en fronted in those days), selling milk products. Today it is still shops, with glass; however, when I was a lad Mrs Cranch’s fresh-fish shop had no glass. There were white marble slabs heaped with ice and the fish, lobsters and crabs laid out. I got the shock of my life when I poked a lobster, which got up and slowly walked away.

The street is the main road out of town climbing a steep hill to Townstal and the vaillages of the South Hams and eventually Plymouth or Exeter. This all reclaimed land. The first street beyond the Butterwalk is Fosse Street, oddly it is very like the Roman word Foss – as in Foss Way. It was first built as a barrier to the incoming tide in the 14th century with a sluice; the inrushing water and outgoing was used to power a waterwheel for a mill. An early example of utilising renewable energy. The River Dart has a very high and low tide so the force is considerable. The only remnat of the inlet of the Dart today is the ‘Boatfloat’. A large area that fill at high tide and is mud at low; small boats are moored her. It is accessed under the embankment road just behind the railway station seen in the Royal Naval College image, (No rails, no trains – ever, only tickets for the trains at Kingswear opposite on the other side of the river.

Dartmouth when there was the tidal inlet was divided into two boroughs, Hardness and Clifton.

The oldest part of Dartmouth is not the attractive town you see today, but the area on the hill above known as Townstal, granted to one of William the Conquerors men. The church of St Clement there dates from late 11th to very early twelth century where I was, for a while, a chorister.

Camera: Pentax K5 Lens 18-55mm

Artwork Comments

  • Roy  Massicks
  • Francis Drake
  • John  Kapusta
  • Francis Drake
  • Kasia-D
  • Francis Drake
  • Frank Kapusta
  • Francis Drake
  • EdsMum
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