Colyton & Colyford

10:41 15 April 2010

Picture postcard Colyton village

Picture postcard Colyton village

Known locally as ‘the small town with a big heart and a warm welcome’, Colyton is situated amid beautiful countryside where the Axe and Coly valleys meet.

The town itself is full of history, and its centre is a conservation area, full of narrow street often referred to as a maze, and a joy to browse around. The surrounding countryside is perfect for either walking or cycling, and there are lots of ideal picnic spots giving beautiful views.

Colyton is linked to nearby Seaton by a unique and famous tramway, the perfect way to enjoy the scenery, and from the Tram Stop restaurant at the Colyton terminus you can enjoy a relaxing ride aboard a superb horse-drawn wagon, taking you into the town centre where you can relax at your leisure and return when you wish.

Colyton features a wide range of shops and businesses that beg to be explored. You are sure to find that special souvenir and you will always get a truly friendly welcome. There is the last tannery in the country to use the traditional oak bark method of tanning hides with a leather shop and garden shop alongside in the market place.

The striking Church of St Andrew is well worth a visit, notable for its 15th century octagonal lantern tower, and a superb Saxon cross. Also of note are the unusual statues of John and Elizabeth Pole, a prominent local family, each resting on an elbow but lying back to back.

Colyton always has an excellent choice of social events, many of them centred at the Town Hall. There are flower shows and craft fairs, plus performances by the Colyton Theatre Group. Dont miss this year's fabulous carnival week, starting on September 3 with the crowning of Royal Family and climaxing with the grand procession on September 10. There is a fun-packed week of events for all the family, celebrating the granting of a fair to be held seven days yearly by King John in 1208.

Colyton originated as a Saxon settlement indeed, the Saxon parliament was held there in 827 AD.

The town was bestowed on the first Lord of the Manor by William the Conqueror, and changed hands several times until 1546 when the then-Lord Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, had a disagreement with King Henry VIII the King was obviously most displeased as Henry Courtenay was executed, and his lands confiscated. Their return was later achieved by a group of local merchants and yeomen for the princely sum of 1,000.

When the Duke of Monmouth landed in Lyme Regis in 1685 it is said that no town in Devon provided more volunteers to fight for their religious freedom suppressed by the Catholic King James II than Colyton. After the Duke's army was routed at Sedgemore, the infamous Judge Jeffreys sentenced many to be hanged at his Bloody Assizes. There is now a new history and visitor centre situated in the car park and run by volunteers from the local history society.


Colyford is Colytons pretty sister village with a long main street featuring ancient thatched cottages and character houses.

There are spectacular views as you drive down the road towards Seaton, and Colyford is the ideal place from which to explore the beautiful Axe Valley. It is a popular area for birdwatchers, and the network of footpaths traverse some lovely secluded countryside. Colyford now has a newly opened nature reserve which is well worth a visit. Colyford is also a stopping place on the scenic Seaton to Colyton tramway. The interesting St Michaels Church will reward you with a view of a high relief modelled on Bartollemeos famous masterpiece The Entombment.

One of the highlights of Colyfords social calendar is the annual Goose Fair, which dates back to medieval times, and is held this year on September 24. Great fun for all the family, it starts with a colourful procession to the main events area, which features sideshows and stalls and lots of medieval activities. The highlight of the day is the traditional Mummers Play, and the whole event is really colourful with lots of people in costumes of the time, so dont forget your camera.


More from Exmouth Journal

Exmouth Players' in Curtain Up On Murder. Photo: Ian Whilden.

Preparations are well in hand for the Exmouth Players’ forthcoming production Curtain Up On Murder by Bettine Mantkelow. There’s very much a family feeing around the theatre as the group moves closer to the opening night this coming Monday (October 12).

Read more

Exmouth’s Colony has seen a 60 per cent increase in recycling after wheelie bin collections were reduced to only once every three weeks, district bosses have said.

Read more
Action from Somerset Rebels versus Glasgow Tigers

A week ago the ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels had pulled of a stunning victory when they produced a brave and gritty second leg performance to lift the Premier League Knock Out Cup at the home of the defending Champions, Edinburgh, writes Dave Thompson.

Read more
N1 Tri Club members were in action in Barcelona

Ten members of the East Devon N1 Tri Club travelled to Spain to compete in The Ironman Barcelona Triathlon 2015, writes Dennis Elliot.

Read more
Norm Croucher climbed four mountains in The Alps for charity

A Topsham double leg amputee braved high winds to climb three mountains to raise funds for Hospiscare.

Read more
Film producer Michael Knowles (left) and TV writer David Quantick (right) with Exmouth Community College teacher John Panton.

An Emmy-award winning TV writer and a top film producer have given some inspirational advice to students at Exmouth Community College.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:32
Members of Exmouth Art Group who held their annual art exhibition at Ocean. Ref exe 1045-41-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Exmouth Art Group’s 69th annual exhibition – which runs at Ocean until Sunday, October 18 – is proving a big success, with some strong work, good footfall and encouraging sales.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
Proud staff at Lewis Pharmacy who recently won three awards. Ref exe 1033-41-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth pharmacy is celebrating after completing a hat-trick of national awards.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
County Hall in Exeter.

A lethal mixture of alcohol and medication caused the death of a Budleigh Salterton pensioner, an inquest heard.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:05
Exmouth V Bournmouth. Ref exsp 0224-40-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Exmouth head to Brixham on Saturday (October 10) for their latest National League Three (SW) fixture.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Most read

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications