Although they bear the Dartington name, the Dartington glass works are in fact located in Torrington, around 50 miles from Dartington, in North Devon. However they are very closely linked to Dartington, as they are the result of work by the Dartington Hall Trust.
Dartington Glass works was established by Dartington Hall Trust in 1967 as a means to establish new craft industries in rural Devon, and a means for economic regeneration of rural areas.
For over 40 years, Dartington Crystal has been and continues to be a widely recognised name for beautiful crystal; why not visit the glass works if in the area?
The history of Dartington Hall is well documented in many sources and much more information can be found on the web. In summary, Dartington Hall was built in 1388 for John Holand; half brother to Richard II. Ownership by the Holand family was somewhat short lived after the premature beheading of John Holand and stability in the Halls ownership was not to be found until 1559 when it was bought by the Champenowne family. This family lived in the Hall for over 300 years, firmly establishing the Champenowne name in local history.
The next big change came in 1925 when Dartington Hall was purchased by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst. The work of the Elmhirsts brought the Hall firmly back into the local scene with their plans to rejuvenate the estate. Their planned rejuvenation led to the setting up of a textile mill and sawmill, planting of orchards, establishing woodlands and setting up of forestry and agriculture.
These programmes led to an effective rural regeneration and Dartington became a model for the advocating of sustainable rural industry, providing employment for local people.
The Dartington Hall Trust which grew out of these regeneration programmes is, today, a charitable status with works in sustainable development and the arts. The famous Dartington Glass is a result of the Trusts work.
There is a lot of material on Totnes Castle from many sources; a Norman motte and bailey castle, it dates from around the 11th century following the Norman conquest. In the 13th and 14th centuries the castle was remodelled from a wooden surround on earth/ rock/ clay to a stone shell keep.
Today the castle is maintained by English Heritage. The ditch which originally surrounded the castle has been filled with cottages but there are still fine views from the castle across the town and down to the River Dart.
To find the castle walk up the High Street. Castle street leads off to the right, shortly before the road bears to the left. Walk down Castle Street, a short way, and the castle is on your left.
Totnes castle is now owned by English Heritage (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server.php?show=conProperty.317)
Totnes Butterwalk, Frith postcard 19c
The Totnes Butterwalk is on the right going up the hill, after passing under the East Gate. The Butterwalk is an old shopping arcade with the first story overhanging the footpath below to afford some protection from the weather, and no doubt to protect goods for sale, dairy products from the weather.
The Butterwalk dates from Tudor times. Stone pillars support the story above.
This image of Totnes’ Butterwalk is taken from a 19c Fritch postcard.