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28 October 2014
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Home Town Ilsington

The happy couple John and Sadie Mathews

Many years ago John Mathews and his wife Sadie moved from the industrial Midlands to run a guest house in sunny Devon.

They also found time to be entertainers, working in the Torbay area in cabaret and charity concerts. Let John and Sadie take you on their tour of Ilsington......

It was our love of horses that brought us to a riding school near the village of Ilsington. When we bought our own horses we stabled them there and then we decided to move into the village ourselves.

Ilsington's a small village about four and a half miles from Bovey Tracey and occupies an elevated and pleasant situation within the Dartmoor National Park area. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, there are views right down to the south coast and the sea. Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay are all easily accessible from the village.

The Carpenters Arms is the local pub
Enjoy a warm welcome at the local pub called the Carpenter's Arms

As in many small communities the local pub, the Carpenter's Arm's in the heart of the village, is a meeting place for locals and visitors alike. We love to drop into this welcoming bar for their real ales and bar meals and in winter for the warmth of the log fire burning in the hearth.

The Church provides the spiritual centre of the area, together with the Chapel which is just a short distance from the village. The nearby Ilsington Hotel formerly the Haytor Hotel provides accommodation for visitors to Devon. Our Village has excellent recreational facilities - we have a football pitch, tennis courts, all-weather bowling green and childrens playground not to mention the well-stocked village store.

Places to walk around the village of Ilsington

Take a walk and smell the
clean country air

There's an abundance of interesting walks around the area covering open countryside, woodland and moorland where plenty of wild life can be watched.

Some of our favourite walks with our dog Suzie were around Ilsington and Haytor Down.

Silverwood, a little way from the village got it's name because of the mining that used to take place there as far back as the 16th century.

Lead, tin, ochre and traces of silver were mined and plant life still doesn't grow on these heaps due to the presence of arsenic. The mine workings are reputed to be as deep as 1800ft and reach out under the surrounding lands.

There are many interesting areas around Haytor which is about two miles from the village. For example the remains of ancient settlements and Haytor quarry with it's huge spoil heaps.

The old flooded Quarry at Haytor
The old flooded quarry at Haytor attracts walkers and tourists

The quarry itself is now partly flooded, creating a peaceful wild-life haven, but the evidence of old workings and even the remains of quarrying machinery can still be seen.

The nearby granite railway, now an official antiquity, was built by George Templar and opened in 1820. It was used to convey the quarried granite to the Stover canal where it was loaded on to barges to be transported to Teignmouth docks for shipment. Some of the granite was used to re-build London bridge in 1825.

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