Newton Bushel was also a convenient place for travellers to stay. Torre Abbey was dissolved in and ownership of Wolborough was granted to John Gaverock who built himself a new house at Forde. The twin markets of Newton Abbot and Newton Bushel continued until they were merged in as a Wednesday weekly market under the control of Bradley Manor.
By it had been joined by a smaller Saturday market and three annual fairs — a cattle fair on 24 June, a cheese and onion fair in September, and a cloth fair on 6 November. The markets continued to expand, and in a new market place was built. Over the next 50 years, the buildings became dilapidated and were replaced in by a substantial new market.
The buildings included a Pannier Market , a corn exchange and a public hall — the Alexandra now a cinema. The River Lemon was covered over. Further enlargement took place in , as a new cattle market and corn exchange were built. In medieval times Devon was an important sheep-rearing county. Many towns had their own wool and cloth industries and Newton Abbot had woollen mills, fullers , dyers, spinners, weavers and tailors. In particular, fellmongering where wool is removed from the sheepskin was well established in the town.
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The annual cloth fair was the town's busiest fair. Over the 19th century, Vicary's mills became an important employer in the town and by the s was employing over men. However, by business had declined and the works closed down. Associated with the woollen industry was the leather business. Hides left after the fellmongering process were made into leather. Tanners, boot and shoemakers, glovers and saddlers were all in business in Newton Abbot.
As with the wool industry, business flourished over years until after the Second World War. In Humphrey Gilbert , a local adventurer landed at St. John's in Newfoundland and claimed the area as an English colony. The fisheries quickly developed. Between and there was a steady trade between Newton Abbot and the cod fisheries off Newfoundland. Every year men from the town would gather at the Dartmouth Inn or Newfoundland Inn in East Street in the hope of being hired for a season's work.
In the autumn the dried cod was stored in depots and sometimes used as payment. There was a considerable economic spin-off from this trade. Fish hooks, knives, waterproof boots and rope were all made in the town. Just 2 miles 3. The main workings are on the eastern outcrop of the deposits at Kingsteignton , which can lay claim to being the centre of Britain's ball-clay industry.
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The Bovey Basin took millions of years to fill from rivers that flowed out of Dartmoor. The sediments included clay derived from the decomposed granite. The natural deposition has resulted in clay that is purer and more refined than many others. Clay is used in a wide range of products such as bricks , tyres , porcelain , glossy magazines, medicines and toothpaste. Kingsteignton clay was being used to make pipes around By , it was being shipped from Teignmouth , and its utilisation by the famous potter Josiah Wedgwood bred success. The clay was extracted by simply digging out the lumps on courses — rather like peat cutting.
The bulky clay was transported by packhorse to Hackney Quay at Kingsteignton, then loaded onto barges for shipment down the Teign Estuary, where it was transferred to small ships bound for Liverpool and other ports. Towards the end of the 18th century, the ball-clay industry was steadily expanding. A local landowner, James Templer , built the Stover Canal in to help ship clay along the canal and the Teign Estuary from the Bovey Basin to the port of Teignmouth.
Coal, manure and agricultural produce was also shipped along the canal. Granite from Hay Tor was used to build Stover House which was completed by George Templer , son of James Templer the second and brother of Rev. John Templer, rector of Teigngrace , built the Haytor Granite Tramway , which had rails cut from granite, connecting the granite quarries of Haytor to the canal. This was completed by and enabled large quantities of granite to be transported for major works like the new London Bridge which opened in The canal was extended to cope with this, and the industry fared well until when they were out-competed by the more economic Cornish coastal quarries.
The Stover canal reverted to shipping ball clay, but had ceased to do so by The ball clay industry is now highly mechanised and successful. Most of the clay is now transported by road and transferred to ships at the nearby port of Teignmouth. The Stover Canal Society was formed after a public meeting in February , with the aim of preserving and restoring the canal. Work then continued to restore it as an amenity. Newton Abbot railway station stands at the east end of Queen Street.
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It provides both local and long-distance train services. The South Devon railway reached Newton Abbot in ,  and changed it from simply a market town with associated trades leather and wool into an industrial base. A branch to Torquay was added on 18 December , and one to Moretonhampstead on 26 June , although the latter has since closed to passengers. The experiment failed, but the remains of Brunel's pumping house survive at Starcross and the old Dairy Crest milk processing factory in Totnes. In the Great Western Railway bought up the railways and developed the repair and maintenance sheds into a substantial works that employed over people to start with and by over 1, men.
The large clock was a gift from the people of the town. During the late s, the number of passengers platforms was reduced from around nine down to five, only three of which still see use by scheduled trains.
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The remaining platforms were shortened on the southern side and the number of lines reduced to make way for a new station car park. Of the two buildings that survived into the 21st century, only one remains intact, as the old sheds burned down on 21 October Many other industries were set up beside the railway station, including a timber yard, iron and brass foundries, and an engineering works. Newton Abbot power station was built adjacent to the line on the Moretonhampstead branch. The town's population increased from 1, in to 12, by Terraced streets were built to house the workers and attractive villas sprang up around the town for the wealthier.
Over the course of the two world wars, more than Newtonian men gave their lives for the British Empire.
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They are remembered on the town's war memorial. The town was bombed from the air twice during World War II , killing a total of 21 people. There was a severe flood on 27 December , the latest in a long series, when the River Lemon burst its banks after prolonged rain. Tucked into a corner of the racecourse, Newton Abbot's stock-car track flourished for nearly 30 years and attracted fans and drivers from all over the South of England.
The rooms are all on one level and their occasional upstairs exhibitions can be accessed by lift. The museum offers a Newton Abbot Town Trail, which highlights the most important historic buildings around town. Set in beautiful countryside on the edge of Newton Abbot, Decoy Country Park provides walking, wildlife, duck feeding, picnics, a lake and pond plus a Discovery Centre. Ideal for your doggy best friend and flat paths allow wheelchair access.
Open year round with car parking and on bus route. A charity helping disabled people, it has studio shops, a bistro in the Edwardian Quadrangle, an art gallery, and a public hydrotherapy pool — it also runs numerous fun family events all year round. You can drive or take the bus or train in around 15 minutes from the English Riviera. Indulge yourself with a fabulous scenic tour round the English Riviera and have a Devon Cream Tea to soak up the spectacular scenery. Company number Telephone enquiries englishrivierabid.
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