We bid a fond farewell to Taunton and drove to Okehampton Castle which is about 30 minutes from Crediton. While a castle ruin, the structure was still impressive and exceptionally well maintained given its condition.
Even though the castle did not see any fighting, it still had an interesting history as provided by the audio guides (we love the audio guides). The Courtenay family ruled the castle for hundreds of years and was a powerful force in English royal politics throughout that time. One of their line served as the Archbishop of Canterbury so they were also a player in the Catholic church which served as their demise when Henry VIII broke from the church. The head of the family lost his, the castle stripped and fell into ruin.
Next stop was Crediton where we spent a lovely afternoon with Robin Langhorne who was my cooperating teacher when I taught at Queen Elizabeth’s School in 1981. Sadly, his wife of 55 years Jean (pictured in our blogs in 2008 and 2010) passed away in October of 2011. Robin is a wonderful man and it is because of him and Andrew that I developed my deep affection for the English.
Robin is a true historian and focuses his efforts on local history. No trip to his house would be complete without him bring out maps or documents or armor that are at least 300 years old. Below he is showing the boys hand drawn maps that date back to the 1500s. In this case, the documents being shown are not originals, but copies made by Robin. The restaurant where we ate has massive hedgerows leading to it and you can see hedgerows identified on the maps so they date back to the 1500s. Amazing.
This trip marks our third stay at the Great Park Farm Bed & Breakfast (seen in our 2008 and 2010 blogs) which is an excellent lodging and features Rosie, the working farm dog along with her pal Maddie. Rosie is the main reason Alex enjoys our Europe trips.
David enjoys the dogs as well and they spend the better part of the early evening playing with the dogs.