Friday, 20 August 2010

An enchanting town...

Yesterday we headed over to Topsham, a lovely little town beside the river Exe. It was all decorated up with bunting ready for the carnival at the weekend.

As well as having some beautiful old buildings, it has a wonderful collection of really interesting shops too, I loved this one, and especially the gorgeous wire heart hanging outside.

This is the doctors surgery, well you wouldnt mind going to vist him in there would you

This charming little courtyard is at the back of a kitchen shop called `Cooks Aweigh`

It was full of the most delicious tin stars, metal planters, fabric hearts, and everything for the kitchen you never knew you needed....
after ohhing and ahhing at the delights of the shop, we crossed the road to visit St Margarets church..

It had these two handsome fellows guarding the arched front door

Inside it had that lovely old musty churchy smell I love

It had a wonderful carved vaulted ceiling..

and a beautiful gold and green Altar..

There was a beautiful tapestry kneeler running the whole width of the altar, stitched with a river scene, depicting all the various estuary birds, shelduck, avocets, redshanks, and swans..

presumably because the town lies beside the river..

It was also repeated on this lovely little elegant chair sitting beside the altar, how clever some people are..

Having enjoyed the peace of the church, we decided to walk through the churchyard to the steps at the back which lead down to the river, noting this lovely turrety window on a house opposite

The churchyard is full of beautiful old trees and stately firs, and lovely old crypts like this one

Theres also this wonderful painting on an old building in the graveyard, which depicts the fishing history of the town.

The view over the wall at the back of the church, is fabulous, looking over the reedbeds to the rolling hills in the distance..

The tide was low, and you could hear the fluting calls of the waders drifting over the water..

We walked down the steps and followed the windy road beside the sluggish river, theres some lovely old pubs and resturants in Topsham, this one has just been redecorated, I loved the pretty green theyd used.

We cut up through the narrow little back streets, where the houses jostle together, and found this beautiful ice cream pink house

It was so perfect, even down to the pink and white flowers in the hanging baskets

and next door `Shell House` with the wonderful white shell above the door

A lot of the houses are in the Dutch style as they date from the time when Topsham was an important cotton place.

Some of the houses running down to the river are huge, like this beautiful rambling one..

and high above flying over the gables a magic mermaid..

Leading off from the road were lots of little slipways..

this one was covered in a lovely autumnal coloured creeper

and from the bottom were lovely views down the river, and back across the gardens where samphire grew in great bunches from the garden walls

We carried on down the road, noting more signs of Autumn in the old mans beard woven round the pale blue railings of the museum fence

and the golden rod growing in the walled garden beside the road, where we found a lovely little furry friend

The road evenually finishes at the river, which spread out in a silvery grey expanse

Godwits were strung along the tidal edge like a feathered necklace..

and running beside the thick seaweed strewn mud, was a little path..

that you can trit trot...trit trot down (not over the bridge) but round the corner, and look right back down the river as it glides between the salty marshes, till it spills out into the sea at Dawlish

Having breathed deeply of the briny irish soft air, we headed back, down another little windy road, where there were houses with pretty french grey shutters...

and wee cotts with gardens by their front steps

and dainty ones with almond green doors and windows, and starfish in their windows

past old long disused iron pumps...

To the heart of town, with all its delights, what a truely enchanting place it is...


Piecefulafternoon said...

It simply takes my breath away.

Ramblings From Spain said...

What a gorgeous little place! So full of magic and intrigue and pretty things. Thanks for sharing :D xx

galant said...

One of our favourite small towns, too, and I love to visit the Antiques Centre on the quay!
Margaret P