Archive for the ‘Devon’ Category

This monument to Sir Francis Drake, Elizabethan explorer, privateer, slave-trader and naval Admiral can be found on Plymouth Hoo.

In a story, which may be apocryphal, it is recorded that Drake received the news of the approaching Spanish invasion fleet, the Armarda, whilst playing bowls on the Hoo. He is reported to have told his companions that there was plenty of time to finish their game and still beat the Spaniards too. A combination of the English navies tactics and the weather conspired to force the fleet to sail north up the English coast and around Scotland in order to escape. More than a third of the fleet of 130 ships never made it back to Spain.

Statues and Monuments: The Anchor

Posted: August 6, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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The Anchor from HMS Ark Royal, an aircraft carrier was presented by the Royal Navy to the City of Plymouth in April 1980

Statues and Monuments: The Messenger

Posted: August 2, 2019 in Devon, UK
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The Messenger is a large bronze statue of a crouching woman which stands outside The Theatre Royal in Plymouth. It is by the Cornish sculptor Joseph Hillier.

It is based on an actress in the play Orthello, which Hillier observed when attending a rehearsal at the theatre. Others have been less kind dubbing it as a skateboarder, a surfer or even a female sumo wrestler.

The National Maritime Aquarium in Plymouth is based around 3 large tanks. The first depicts the coastal region off the British coast, the second the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the third which contains sharks. In addition, there are a number of other displays of sea-life from around the world.

Around the Sound

Posted: July 30, 2019 in Devon, UK
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The harbour trip around Plymouth’s harbours leaves from Sutton Harbour near to the place from where the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to the new world in 1620 in the ship Mayflower, where they founded the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Sutton Harbour
The Citadel

Making our way past the Hoo, where Frances Drake is reputed to have been playing bowls in 1588 when he heard that the Spanish Armada fleet was approaching England.

Crossing Plymouth Sound, a large natural harbour, we first pass the Old Dockyard and Provisioning centre, which has now been converted to residential and business use.

We then pass the current Naval Harbour with ships being maintained or awaiting decommissioning.

Travelling back across the sound there are views of HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the two new Aircraft Carriers in the Royal Navy, which is moored outside the harbour.

The entrance to the Royal Citadel

Just outside the entrance to the Royal Citadel at Plymouth Hoo stands the memorial to 29 Commando Royal Artillery, who are based at the Citadel. It was unveiled in 2011 and commemorates the men of 29 Commando who have died in service since the regiment was formed in 1962.

St Martin, Exeter

Posted: March 27, 2019 in Devon, History, Medieval History, UK
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The site of an ancient church in the Cathedral Close, most of the current church dates to the 15th century. Its furnishings reflect the 17th and 18th-century low-church tradition.

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St Stephen, Exeter

Posted: March 25, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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This church on the High Street was founded in Anglo-Saxon times but has been remodelled over the centuries, the latest being in 2012 when the church interior was redesigned to enable it to function as a space for community activities as well as church services

Cirl Bunting

Posted: March 21, 2019 in Birds, Devon, Natural History, UK
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The Cirl Bunting is at the northernmost edge of its range in the UK and is found in the south-western counties. 10 years ago they were restricted to one or two isolated areas in Devon and it was feared that they may die out. The introduction of supplementary winter feeding programmes has boosted the number of birds that survive through the winter months and so are able to breed the next year and this has been responsible for a significant upturn in the population, such that they are now expanding into the neighbouring counties of Somerset and Cornwall.

Cirl Bunting

It is now estimated that there are around 900 breeding pairs in the UK.

Purple Sandpiper

Posted: March 20, 2019 in Birds, Devon, Natural History, UK
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This medium-sized wading bird is a winter visitor to the UK. It is mostly found in the north of the country but although not common it has established winter roosts in the south at places such as Southsea Castle and Brixham Harbour.

A few pairs (possibly up to 3) nest in the far northern islands of Scotland but it is estimated that the wintering population in the UK is around 13000 birds.

They are usually found on rocky outcrops where they probe for winkles , crustaceans and spiders, although also eat the plants that grow on the rocks.

These photos were all taken on our recent trip to Devon near Brixham Harbour.