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Totnes

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Devon  /  Totnes
(4/5 based on 2,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, shopping, outdoors
Totnes is a market town and civil parish at the head of the estuary of the River Dart in Devon, England within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is about south of the city of Exeter and is the administrative centre of the South Hams District Council.Totnes has a long recorded history, dating back to AD 907 when its first castle was built; it was already an important market town by the 12th century. Indications of its former wealth and importance are given by the number of merchants' houses built in the 16th and 17th centuries.Today, the town is a thriving centre for music, art, theatre and natural health. It has a sizeable alternative and "New Age" community, and is known as a place where one can live a bohemian lifestyle. Two electoral wards mention Totnes . Their combined populations at the 2011 census was 8,076.HistoryAncient and medieval historyAccording to the Historia Regum Britanniae written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in around 1136, "the coast of Totnes" was where Brutus of Troy, the mythical founder of Britain, first came ashore on the island. Set into the pavement of Fore Street is the 'Brutus Stone', a small granite boulder onto which, according to local legend, Brutus first stepped from his ship. As he did so, he was supposed to have declaimed:Here I stand and here I rest. And this town shall be called Totnes. The stone is far above the highest tides and the tradition is not likely to be of great antiquity, being first mentioned in John Prince's Worthies of Devon in 1697. It is possible that the stone was originally the one from which the town crier, or bruiter called his bruit or news; or it may be le Brodestone, a boundary stone mentioned in several 15th century disputes: its last-known position in 1471 was below the East Gate.
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