By Bus to the Buddleighs

This was a Monday and day 4 of the holiday,last month.  We caught a bus towards Buddleigh Salterton .  Four of us dismounted in East Buddleigh but Fred dismissed the village as unworthy of his time and continued to the coast.  East Buddleigh was the birthplace of the boy who was to become Sir Walter Raleigh.  We looked at his old school – now a rather fine walled farmhouse and yard.

Part of the wall around the old school of Walter Raleigh, with pleasing thatch protection and odd thatch details.  Who is the thatch man?

Part of the wall around the old school of Walter Raleigh, with pleasing thatch protection and odd thatch details. Who is the thatch man?

And stopped to admire his new statue beside the church.  In the afternoon a small exhibition about Walt would open, but we didn’t wait.  Instead we talked to three local residents for half an hour, then made our way to the Walter Raleigh pub for an early lunch and beers.

Walter and Steve both distracted by an event over my left shoulder.

Walter and Steve both distracted by an event over my left shoulder.

The village clearly makes a big thing of Walter Raleigh – you might even say it ‘Raleighs’ round him.  Well, you might, I couldn’t possibly.  The pub offered three real ales so I had halves of each: Cotleigh’s Nutcracker – a mild ale, Teignworthy’s Gun Dog – a pale bitter, and Launceston’s Strong Arms – a dark bitter ale.  An old chap in the pub told me he’d bought his parents a place in the village for their retirement (at their request).  They died 5 years back and he had moved into the house – but hates it.  Feels isolated from culture, and is lucky to have a cousin in London, he said, where he can spend a 5 day weekend once a month for theatres, art galleries and concerts.

Then we moved on to Buddleigh Salterton to look at the pebble beds exposed in the cliff face.  These water-worn pebbles were brought down from a long-gone mountain range to the south in seasonal rains during an otherwise arid period.

Spent time on the beach searching for ‘the best pebble’, and I found it, so you shouldn’t bother looking for it – here it is:

The best Buddleigh Pebble: about three inches across and beautifully marked by a migrating front of iron-rich water.

The best Buddleigh Pebble: about three inches across and beautifully marked by a migrating front of iron-rich water.

Home by 4pm and found real evidence of the cob construction of the cottage.  Cob is just mud and straw.  The buildings last because the walls are built on stone footings and are protected by overhanging thatch or other roof.  There is a local saying about cob walls which can be translated as, ‘give her good boots and a big hat and she will last forever’.

An old wall not protected by whitewash so we can see the stone lower part and the compacted Devon red clayey soil.  The whole is protected by a corrugated iron roof.

An old wall not protected by whitewash so we can see the stone lower part and the compacted Devon red clayey soil. The whole is protected by a corrugated iron roof.

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