"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 26 June 2016

East Devon: Day 2 - Sat 18th June - Part 1: Budleigh Salterton

On Saturday we decided to visit Budleigh Salterton. The town (formerly known as Salterton or Salterne) took its name from salt workings in the Otter Valley. During the 18th century the inhabitants of what was then a small hamlet were farmers, fishermen and lacemakers. By the mid 19th century it had developed into a town and seaside resort. The renowned Elizabethan, Sir Walter Raleigh, was born in East Budleigh in 1552 in a farmhouse called Hayes Barton. He would have played on the beach at Budleigh Salterton as a young boy and his father was church warden at All Saints Church, East Budleigh. The artist John G Millais lived for a time in a house called Octagon on South Parade where he painted his famous painting "The Boyhood of Raleigh".

Flowers galore sprawled up a hillside opposite to where we had parked the car and when the sun came out

so did the insects :)

Fat-thighed Beetle (Oedemera nobilis)

I could spend weeks studying the geology of the Jurassic coast World Heritage Site

The cliffs at Budleigh Salterton are 250 million year old Triassic rocks - the oldest to be found along the Jurassic coast. In Triassic times this coast was part of the super-continent of Pangaea - which would eventually split to form the continents of today. The coasts of Dorset and East Devon were located withing the arid centre of Pangaea in hot, desert conditions. Following the Mass Extinction at the end of the Permian the first dinosaurs evolved during the Triassic as did the first true mammals. The rocks are red because there is hardly any organic material in deserts and therefore iron forms iron oxides.

Sorry for so many photos looking the same but I was in seventh heaven over the fossilised roots :)

Another Fat-thighed Beetle.

Further along the sea front than we ventured the famous Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds occur. The pebbles, composed of hard quartzite, were originally formed and carried in a river that flowed into the Triassic desert. During the course of the last few thousand years the pebbles have been gradually eroded from today's cliffs and form most of the beach at Budleigh Salterton. The pebbles are found all along the south coast as they have been transported to other areas by the sea.

Whenever I see a wall I have to see what I can find growing there :)

The Fairlynch Museum and Art Centre was superb with displays on geology, smuggling, Sir Walter Raleigh, local history, lacemaking and exhibitions on the Art of Joyce Dennys. The building where the museum is housed was built in 1811 for ship owner Matthew Lee Yeates and was originally called Primrose Cottage.

D's take on Budleigh Salterton

Unlike my Fat-thighed Beetle photos, this one taken with the Canon is uncropped.

D taking a photo of me taking a photo of my ice-cream.

A few from the Museum - I do wish we could have had more time there as there was much to see.

In the Tourist Information Centre I had picked up a leaflet on the Lower Otter Riverside Walk at the mouth of the Otter Estuary and I was hoping we could pay the nature reserve a visit. But this was a family holiday and I was out-numbered as everyone wanted to return to visit the village of Otterton we had driven through on the way.

It was only when I got home and read the booklet on Budleigh Salterton I had picked up that I saw the headline "We have Beavers in Budleigh". Some of you will know that beavers have been living on the River Otter since 2007. No-one knows where they came from but when they started to breed the Government initially planned to remove them from the river (no comment!!!!!!) but, following a local campaign, and once they were proved to be fit and healthy Devon Wildlife Trust was given a licence to re-release them. I suspect The Riverside Walk we didn't go on may have been the best chance to have seen beavers during the holiday.

I'll do a short post on Otterton and the church tomorrow - I think I have uploaded more than enough photos for one post!!!


Margaret Adamson said...

Well certainly lots to seearound there adn what a lovely spot. I would also have loved seeing the Fairlynch Museum and Art Centre. Very interesting.I love al the immages of flwers adn insects, the rowing boat filledwith plants adn the Owl!

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks so much Margaret. The museum and geology were my favourite parts of the visit. The flower-filled boat was rather lovely :)

Pam said...

What a beautiful place to visit and so much to explore. The beach huts are gorgeous, usually they're painted in such bright colours!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much Pam. It was a nice seaside town and not over-commercialised :) I liked the beach huts too :)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Fat thighed beetle lol!!! It certainly is, lovely metallic green too. Visited Budleigh the odd time when I was down there at University. Very posh. Big houses on the sea front.

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - thanks Simon. The name is a hoot - I couldn't believe it when I first saw it. It is also known as the Fat-legged, Thick-legged or Swollen-thighed beetle!! :)I would imagine house prices are quite high in that part of Devon!

Stewart said...

Lovely Caroline, we saw our first Fat legeged Thick thighed Beetles in Suffolk the week before last. Nice little things...

Ragged Robin said...

Stewart - Thanks Stewart. I only saw my first last year some time. They are incredible - my son couldn't believe the common name - he thought I was making it up! :)

Ian said...

Another enjoyable tour around a part of England that we didn't get to see and particularly liked the details on the fossils of the area.

Ragged Robin said...

Ian - Thanks very much Ian. I am so glad you enjoyed the post :)

Millymollymandy said...

Enjoying your holiday so far.... now I see why you thought about visiting the nature reserve on the Axe estuary as you were quite close! I don't know any of the coast along where you visited, although the names are familiar as my mum has talked about various places she's been to over the years. The jurassic coast is very interesting. Thanks for the tour! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks very much Mandy. I think your mum probably lives fairly close to the area from what you said on your blog. Yes, I love the Jurassic coast - we had a couple of holidays in Dorset a few years ago (the first one by Lyme Regis) and the second by Swanage and we just loved the area. Although family now say we should have stayed further South (or North) in Devon as it was a bit too close to where we stayed in Lyme Regis and we did go back to Beer and Branscombe but everywhere else was new for us :)