Dartmouth, Devon

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The town seen from the River Dart
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The town seen from the River Dart

Dartmouth is a town in Devon in the south-west of England. It is a major tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal fjord that runs inland as far as Totnes. Historically, Dartmouth was of great strategic importance as a deep-water port for sailing vessels. It was a home of the English navy since the reign of Edward III and was twice surprised and sacked during the Hundred Years War, after which the mouth of the estuary was closed every night with a great chain. The narrow mouth of the Dart is protected by two fortified castles, Dartmouth Castle and Kingswear Castle.

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Part of the town's river front

The town is dominated by the Royal Navy Officer Training college (Britannia Royal Naval College) and all officers of the Royal Navy, as well as many foreign navies, are trained there.

Henry Hudson put into Dartmouth on his return from America, and was promptly arrested for sailing under foreign flag.The Pilgrim Fathers put into Dartmouth's Bayard's Cove, en-route from Southampton to America. They rested a while before setting off on their journey in the Mayflower and the Speedwell on the 20th August 1620. About 300 miles west of Land's End, they realised that the Speedwell was unseaworthy and returned to Plymouth. The Mayflower departed alone to complete the crossing to Cape Cod.

Thomas Newcomen, the inventor of the Steam pumping engine was born in Dartmouth in 1663.

Kingswear seen from Dartmouth
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Kingswear seen from Dartmouth

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