The Teign Valley is situated on the eastern boundary of Dartmoor and is a series of narrow wooded steep-sided valleys strewn with ancient small hamlets and villages. It’s an area of incomparable rugged beauty steeped in history, of which the local churches play an intrinsic part. Here’s your complete self-guided tour to the best churches of the Teign Valley!
About The Teign Valley
Despite the fact that it’s only about one-third of the length of the entire river, the region between Kingsteignton and Dunsford is generally known as the Teign Valley and is brimming with history and teeming with a diverse range of flora and fauna.
Up until the 19th century the small farming communities in the area, like the rest of Dartmoor, remained isolated from the outside world. Even today the road network is extremely narrow and the amount of vehicular traffic in the region remains, by today’s standards, relatively sparse.
From the early 1800’s mining and then later in the century quarrying were the main industries in the valley after agriculture. The stone quarry at Trusham remains operational to this day. Now, most of the villages of the valley are residential, with little by way of attractions (with the exception of several notable churches and pubs, of course!)
Churches of the Teign Valley
There are a number of small village churches in the Teign Area and each one has a distinctive feel. These Churches should be viewed not just as religious buildings but also as places of important archaeological value for the fabric found both within and without.
The existing records of births, deaths and marriages, as well as the graveyards, can also offer an intriguing insight into the lives of the ordinary people who lived, loved and died in the Teign Valley.
The Oldest Documented Church in the Teign Valley – St. Michael the Archangel at Trusham
On a hill in the highest point of Trusham, the church of St Michael the Archangel is the oldest documented church in the Teign Valley and is the only ecclesiastical building in the area to have been documented in the Domesday Book of 1086. Characterised by its hilltop location at the top of the village, highlights of the Church include an 11th/12th-century well and several stunning stained glass windows.
Read more: How to visit Trusham Church
Medieval Stained Glass at St. Michael’s Church, Doddiscombleigh
Home to one of the most unusually named pubs in the UK, The Nobody Inn, the pretty village of Doddiscombsleigh can be found five miles Southwest of the capital city of Devon, Exeter. Dating back to the 15th-century, the church was then heavily restored in the 1870s. However, what does still survive from the Middle Ages is pretty impressive; notably in the form of some stunning stained glass windows!
Read more: How to visit Doddiscombsleigh Church
The Best Roodscreen Paintings in Devon – Church of St. John the Baptist, Higher Ashton
High upon a hill and surrounded by lush green farmland, the village of Ashton is divided into two parts; Higher Ashton and Lower Ashton. And with quite literally no phone signal and reachable via only two or three winding lanes, Ashton is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Dominating the surrounding rolling hills, Ashton Church dates back to the 14th or 15th-century.
Read more: How to visit Ashton Church
The Nobody Inn, Doddiscombleigh – No visit to Doddiscombleigh can be complete without a visit to the 17th century Nobody Inn with its old-world charm. From the early 1600’s it was the ‘unofficial Church House’ until becoming an Inn in the 19th century.
The City of Exeter – Just a short drive from the Teign Valley, Exeter offers a wealth of places to visit too numerous to mention; the Cathedral, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Underground Passages and Gandy Street are just a few ideas.
Canonteign Falls – The highest manmade waterfall in England with beautiful woodland walks. Fun for all the family, this water attraction is best seen in the summer months when the sun is shining.
Haldon Belvedere – Built as a folly with stunning panoramic views across Devon. While the outside of the tower can be visited all year round (ample free parking can be found nearby), guided tors of Haldon Belvedere are available at select times during the high season (summer).