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South Hams
South Hams
is a local government district on the south coast of Devon, England. It is administered partly by South Hams
South Hams
District Council, which has its headquarters in the town of Totnes, and partly by Devon County Council in the nearby city of Exeter. The area also contains the towns of Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe
Salcombe
and Ivybridge, the last of which is the largest, with a population of 11,851. To the north, it includes part of Dartmoor
Dartmoor
National Park, to the east borders Torbay, and to the west Plymouth. It contains some of the most unspoilt coastline on the south coast, including the promontories of Start Point and Bolt Head
Bolt Head
The entire coastline, along with the lower Avon and Dart valleys, form most of the South Devon
Devon
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The South Hams, along with nearby Broadsands
Broadsands
in Paignton, is the last British refuge of the cirl bunting.[citation needed]

Contents

1 History 2 Geography 3 Settlements 4 See also 5 References

History[edit] The South Hams
South Hams
were originally part of the Brythonic (Celtic) Kingdom of Dumnonia
Dumnonia
later reduced to the modern boundary at the River Tamar
River Tamar
as Cornwall
Cornwall
presumably during the tenth-century reign of Æthelstan. Post-Roman settlement on coastal promontory hillforts, such as Burgh Island, follows the established pattern of trading—of tin in particular—found across the western, so-called 'Celtic', Atlantic coastal regions. In the later Anglo-Saxon era, the South Hams
South Hams
was a feudal estate consisting of all of the land between the River Plym
River Plym
and River Dart
River Dart
and south of Dartmoor
Dartmoor
with the English Channel
English Channel
forming the southern boundary. There is some evidence that Cornish was spoken and understood in the area until the late Middle Ages.[1] In 1917, the village of Hallsands
Hallsands
was abandoned after much of it was lost to the sea. This happened because the shingle bank protecting the shore was removed to help build Devonport dockyard.[2] In 1944 several villages were evacuated so that training for D-Day could be carried out in secret. The area was chosen because of the resemblance of its beaches to those of Normandy. Preparations were disrupted, and secrecy nearly compromised, by a devastating E-boat attack during Exercise Tiger. In 1967, the suburban towns of Plympton and Plymstock
Plymstock
were amalgamated with the City of Plymouth.[citation needed] The current district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of:

Borough of Dartmouth Borough of Totnes Kingsbridge
Kingsbridge
Rural District Kingsbridge
Kingsbridge
Urban District Plympton
Plympton
St Mary Rural District Salcombe
Salcombe
Urban District Totnes
Totnes
Rural District

In the 2016 EU Referendum it was one of few rural areas to vote to remain with a very high (80.3%) turnout.[3][4] Geography[edit] Geography divides into three unequal, fuzzy bands, one with bays, headlands, the birdlife, fishing and small harbour towns' estuaries and rias; an unequal wide-ranging elevations middle band with the main, well-conserved towns and; a sparsely populated, upland National Park moorland in the north. For over a century its tourism was concentrated around the railway, with most stations built here from 1847-1872 so tourism to its beaches and fishing villages began in earnest much later than to the 'English Riviera' east of the area. South Hams' widespread tourism multiplied on the dualling of the A38 and time-cutting construction of the M5 and A303 across other parts of south-west England.

In the north, there is...the "wildscape"—...[a new] bypass [to the A30, the A38]...cut[s] through some of the most beautiful country in Britain, that of the Dartmoor
Dartmoor
national park....while in the south-west there is extensive mining of china clay...[an abortive] tungsten mine in the Shaugh Prior
Shaugh Prior
Sparkwell
Sparkwell
area will be [would have been] amongst the largest in the world and probably the largest in Europe. The wildscape band runs from Cadover Bridge and Shaugh Prior
Shaugh Prior
in the west right over to the other side of Dartmoor, to the Avon dam, Shipley Bridge and South Brent, touching the outskirts of Buckfastleigh. The second band is the agricultural belt of lush, fertile farmland which produces some of the finest milk and Devon
Devon
cream. Within that belt are the medieval towns of Modbury
Modbury
and Totnes
Totnes
and small hamlets and villages such as...Holbeton, Marldon
Marldon
and Berry Pomeroy, which would no doubt produce very fine wine if it were French. There are fruit farms and vineyards and the land flows with milk and honey. The third band is the Heritage coast [and South Devon
Devon
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty], running from near the fishing port of Brixham
Brixham
through Churston, Kingswear, Dartmouth, Slapton Sands, Torcross, East Prawle, Salcombe
Salcombe
and Bigbury Bay almost to the boundaries of Plymouth
Plymouth
in Heybrook bay. That area is filled with rivers such as the Erme, the Plym, the Avon and the Dart. [There is] an island in the shape of Burgh Island. There are rolling hills, deep wooded valleys, estuaries full of fish and a coastline full of crab, lobsters and oysters. The climate is warm and mellow. Some regard it as a garden of Eden. We even have a naturist beach and hotel. ...forgive me if I wax lyrical about this beautiful, delightful area. Tourism is an important livelihood...the other is farming...for many.[5] — Anthony Steen, MP for this area (1983-2010), South-West Region potential and current public priorities debate, 1983)

Note: The aforementioned Brixham
Brixham
and Churston
Churston
are in neighbouring Torbay, rather than South Hams. Settlements[edit]

Ash, Aish, Allaleigh, Ashprington, Aveton Gifford Badworthy, Bantham, Beesands, Beeson, Berry Pomeroy, Bickleigh, Bigbury-on-Sea, Bittaford, Blackawton, Blackpool, Bolberry, Brixton, Broadhempston, Buckland-Tout-Saints Charleton, Chillington, Chivelstone, Churchstow, Cornwood, Cornworthy, Curtisknowle Dartington, Dartmouth, Dean Prior, Didworthy, Diptford, Dittisham, (Dodbrooke, neighbourhood of Kingsbridge) East Allington, East Charleton, East Portlemouth, Ermington Ford, Frogmore Goveton Hallsands, Halwell, Harberton, Harford, Hemsford, Heybrook Bay, Holbeton, Holne, Hutcherleigh Ivybridge Kingsbridge, Kingston, Kingswear Landscove, Ledstone, Lee Moor, Littlehempston, Loddiswell, Lutton Malborough, Marldon, Michelcombe, Modbury, Morleigh Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo, North Huish Rattery, Revelstoke, Rew, Ringmore, Roborough Salcombe, Scorriton, Shaugh Prior, Sherford, Slapton, Soar, South Brent, South Huish, South Milton, South Pool, Sparkwell, Start, Staverton, Stoke Fleming, Stoke Gabriel, Stokenham, Sutton Thurlestone, Torcross, Totnes, Tuckenhay, The Mounts Ugborough, Uphempston Washbourne, Wembury, West Alvington, Woodleigh, Woolston Green, Wotter Yealmpton

See also[edit]

Grade I listed buildings in South Hams Grade II* listed buildings in South Hams

References[edit]

^ "When was Cornish spoken in Devon". BBC
BBC
H2G2 Conversation Forum. 18 July 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2011.  ^ "Recalling the disaster at Hallsands". BBC
BBC
Devon: History features. 1 July 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2011.  ^ http://old.southhams.gov.uk/eureferendumresults ^ http://www.dartmouth-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=104052&headline=South%20Hams%20votes%20to%20Remain,%20but%20UK%20as%20a%20whole%20votes%20Leave&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2016 ^ "LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 19 December 1983. col. 278–291. 

v t e

Districts of South West England

Devon

East Devon Exeter Mid Devon North Devon South Hams Teignbridge Torridge West Devon

Dorset

Christchurch East Dorset North Dorset Purbeck District West Dorset Weymouth and Portland

Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Cotswold District Forest of Dean District Gloucester Stroud District Tewkesbury Borough

Somerset

Mendip Sedgemoor South Somerset Taunton Deane West Somerset

Unitary authorities

Bath and North East Somerset Bournemouth Bristol Cornwall Isles of Scilly North Somerset Plymouth Borough of Poole South Gloucestershire Borough of Swindon Torbay Wiltshire

v t e

Ceremonial county of Devon

Devon
Devon
Portal

Unitary authorities

Plymouth Torbay

Boroughs or districts

Exeter East Devon Mid Devon North Devon Torridge West Devon South Hams Teignbridge

Major settlements

Ashburton Axminster Bampton Barnstaple Bideford Bovey Tracey Bradninch Brixham Buckfastleigh Budleigh Salterton Chagford Chudleigh Chulmleigh Crediton Cullompton Dartmouth Dawlish Exeter Exmouth Great Torrington Hartland Hatherleigh Holsworthy Honiton Ilfracombe Ivybridge Kingsbridge Kingsteignton Lynton Modbury Moretonhampstead Newton Abbot North Tawton Northam Okehampton Ottery St Mary Paignton Plymouth Plympton Salcombe Seaton Sidmouth South Molton Tavistock Teignmouth Tiverton Topsham Torquay Totnes See also: List of civil parishes in Devon

Rivers

Ashburn Avon Axe Barle Bovey Bray Burn Clyst Creedy Culm Dart East Dart West Dart Erme Exe Heddon Lemon Lew Lumburn Lyd East Lyn West Lyn Meavy Mole Okement East Okement West Okement Otter Plym Sid Swincombe Tamar Tavy Taw Teign Thrushel Torridge Walkham Wallabrooke East Webburn West Webburn Wolf Yealm

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