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Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. The town is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria or drowned river valley that runs inland as far as Totnes. It lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and South Hams District, and has a population of 5,512.

Dartmouth was of strategic importance as a deep-water port for sailing vessels. The port was used as the sailing point for the Crusades of 1147 and 1190, and a creek close to Dartmouth Castle is supposed by some to be named for the vast fleets which assembled there (Warfleet Creek). It was a home of the Royal 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. Originally Dartmouth's only wharf was Bayard's Cove, a relatively small but picturesque area protected by a fort at the southern end of the town.

Notwithstanding the town's connections with the crown and respectable society, it was also a major base for privateering (state sanctioned or licensed piracy) in medieval times. John Hawley or Hauley, a licensed privateer and sometime mayor of Dartmouth is reputed to be a model for the "schipman" in Chaucer's “Canterbury Tales”.

The town contains many medieval and Elizabethan buildings and is a patchwork of narrow lanes and stone stairways. A significant number of the historic buildings are listed.

The above was extracted from a longer article on Wikipedea. The full text can be read by clicking here:

This series of pictures was originally captured on slide film, which has recently been digitised and cleaned up.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6111 W: 61 N: 17754] (79973)
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