"Home sweet home"
Stick a pin in the exact centre of Devon and you just about hit the location of Okehampton. Its my home town so I swing between rose-coloured glasses and wanting to get the hell out! But its a good little town (7000 ish pop), located on the northern fringes of Dartmoor and a great base for exploring the rest of Devon and Cornwall. You can reach both the north coast and the south within an hour. This area is where people come to holiday.... national parks (Dartmoor & Exmoor), great beaches, picturesque fishing villages, beautiful scenery and of course, good pubs!
"Dartmoor on my doorstep"
From my house I can be on the moor in about 5 mins (uphill all the way),Oke is on the northern edge of the moor , which covers over 360 sq miles-- (a large part of Devon)and is bleak, windswept and a great place to walk and clear your head.... the weather here, though, can change suddenly and dramatically....I've been on the moor on a hot summers day when the mist has descended and it can get very cold and down to zero visibility quickly, so if you're planning a long hike, go prepared, and tell someone your route...(note that mobile phone reception is bad up here.) That aside, its a spectacular place to be, wild and rugged, and Mother Nature at her best....
"History of the town"
There is evidence of iron-age dwellings around the area where the town of Okehampton is now but it was the building of a castle here by Baron Baldwin de Brionne, one of William the Conquerors knights, that established the basis of the present town. Baron de Brionne was Williams' Sheriff of Devonshire and is the only castle in Devon mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The present castle was enlarged and rebuilt during the 1300's by Earl Hugh Courtenay. In 1539 the owner, Henry, Marquis of Exeter was found guilty of conspiracy andexecuted by order of King Henry VIII and the castle gradually fell into disuse... see my homepage for the story of Lady Howard who allegedly still haunts this area...