Colyton’s Historical Past

JCM CHC St.Andrew's.D .Clarke

Lying within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Colyton is an historic medieval town set in the Axe Valley, whose fortunes were based on the rich wool trade of the 14th and 15th centuries. The circular street arrangement is typically Saxon and along its winding streets many interesting buildings dating back to these times can be seen.

At the heart of the town is Market Place and St Andrews Church, which dates back a thousand years to Norman times. The large West Window is a jewel, and the lantern tower, added in the 15th century, is thought to be based on the Bruges Cloth Hall Tower. There is an interesting range of individual shops, owned and run by local people who are happy to welcome you. Traditional inns and tea shops offer a wide variety of refreshment and food.

The Colyton Heritage Centre is located in the historic Merchant’s House, in Market Place. This house was once the home of a wealthy cloth merchant and has many fine features including an elegant decorative ceiling, Tudor fireplace and medieval wall mural.

During the season there are exhibitions of local interest, a gift shop, and a Family History Service Point with local experts to help you with research. History Walks are on a Thursday at 2pm beginning April 2nd.

Part of the scenic walking route, the East Devon Way, passes through Colyton as it follows the lovely Coly River valley towards Farway. At Chantry bridge, take a stroll through the meadows by the side of the river where an abundance of bluebells, orchids and aromatic wild garlic grow. Kingfishers can often be spotted and other inhabitants of the riverbanks. The last remaining oak bark tannery in England sits on the banks of the Coly River by Chantry Bridge in Colyton.

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