Local Attractions

There are many attractions to enjoy in Devon near Furzeleigh Mill

Furzeleigh Mill is situated close to the ancient stannary towns of Ashburton and Buckfastleigh and the medieval town of Totnes, midway between the city of Exeter with its magnificent Cathedral and the modern city of Plymouth with the Hoe and its historic maritime associations. It is within the Dartmoor National Park with unrivalled scenery , a paradise for those who wish to ride, walk, fish or admire the many picturesque beauty spots ... Dartmeet, Widecombe in the Moor, Becky Falls, Fingle Bridge, Hexworthy, Haytor Rocks, Lustleigh Cleave, Postbridge and many others.

Easy walking distance to the popular Buckfast Abbey, a living Benedictine Monastery on the banks of the river dart, with a magnificent Abbey Church with tranquil gardens and three unusual shops with produce from Buckfast and other European Abbeys, famous for honey and Buckfast tonic wine, open daily, free admission, also the Otter Sanctuary, the Butterfly Farm and the South Devon Railway which runs from Buckfastleigh to Totnes with links to River Trips from to Dartmouth.

Other places of interest for which Furzeleigh is perfectly placed include the South Hams, an area of immense natural beauty with its dramatic coastline, whitewashed cottages, lovely sandy coves and beaches, together with historic towns such as Kingsbridge, Modbury and Totnes with its medieval pagentry, the yachting havens of Salcolmbe and Dartmouth and the fishing harbour of Brixham. All this and an abundance of wild life provide endless inspiration for artists and daydreamers.

Torquay and Paignton with their complete range of resort activities, many National Trust Properties and gardens, and the Eden Project are all within easy reach. The South Hams enjoys the mildest climate in mainland Britain making a holiday or short break an attractive option whatever the time of the year.

Fore Street in winter

Buckfastleigh Town

The historic mill town of Buckfastleigh and the neighbouring abbey village of Buckfast, can be found nestling on the southern edge of eastern Dartmoor in Devon just off the A38, midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth.

The name "Buckfast" means "stronghold" – traditionally a place where deer and buck were held, and "Leigh" would have been the pasture belonging to Buckfast – hence the meaning deer held in a pasture (buck-fast-leigh). Buckfast probably existed before Buckfastleigh as it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and in 1018 a Benedictine Abbey was founded and endorsed by King Canute at Buckfast.

The historic mill town of Buckfastleigh and the neighbouring abbey village of Buckfast can be found nestling on the southern edge of eastern Dartmoor in Devon just off the A38, midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth.

The name “Buckfast” means “stronghold” – traditionally a place where deer and buck were held, and “Leigh” would have been the pasture belonging to Buckfast – hence the meaning: deer held in a pasture (buck-fast-leigh). Buckfast probably existed before Buckfastleigh as it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and in 1018 a Benedictine Abbey was founded and endorsed by King Canute at Buckfast.

Historically Buckfastleigh has grown as a mill town known for its woollen mills, corn and paper mills and a tannery supported by the rivers Dart, Mardle and the Dean Burn – water being an essential natural resource used in the manufacturing of wool and other products. Buckfastleigh is undoubtedly medieval in origin which is still evident in the original layout of the town. By the seventeenth century however, most of the properties had been rebuilt, but the medieval layout particularly in Fore Street is still visible today. Buckfastleigh town centre is now an area of mostly late eighteenth to early twentieth century buildings with an interesting collection of private dwellings, commercial and retail properties and public houses which retain many, if not all, of their original features, styles and character. The town centre during the first half of the twentieth century was a lively almost self-sufficient community with locally based employment and a large building programme of local authority housing initiated by Buckfastleigh Urban and District Council which commenced in the 1920′s and extended the town to the South West and the North West.

The most prominent benefactors of the town were the Hamlyn family who were the original owners of the woollen mills up until 1920 and, together with other philanthropists in the town, erected new cottages. In 1887 they were instrumental in the building of a new Town Hall and community building to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Land was also made available at this time for further public facilities which included Victoria Park, the tennis courts and the swimming pool.

The new primary school was built in 1875 and the railway line from Buckfastleigh and Ashburton to Totnes was opened in 1872. Today the town still retains much of its character and charm despite periods of hardship, and the popularity of a variety of local attractions and events has ensured that the communities of Buckfastleigh and Buckfast stay firmly on the map and attract visitors from far and wide.

The River Dart in Spring