Walking the main road towards Shaldon Bridge from the railway station I caught a glimpse of what looked like a castle on a rise in the middle of a housing estate. I didn't think Teignmouth had a castle and so a bit of investigatory digression was required.
It turns out that the building is in fact a church, dedicated to St James and that its tower, the red sandstone structure, is the town's oldest building, dating back to the 13th century. The original church was built in 1236 as a "chapel of ease" in what was then the Parish of Bishopsteignton.
In the early 1800's the church, despite now being the main church for West Teignmouth, had fallen into disrepair. However Teignmouth at the time was becoming fashionable, and especially so with senior naval officers, serving and retired. One such was the Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, who had bought Bitton House in 1813. Fresh from his success in leading the fleet during the Bombardment of Algiers in 1816, after which he was created 1st Viscount Exmouth, he agreed to fund the church's rebuilding, basing his octagonal design on the fortified port buildings of Algiers.
This was completed in 1831 with the original tower incorporated into the work.
Favorite thing: You need never get lost in Teignmouth, nor wonder what you are looking at. Teignmouth is emminently walkable and all around the town, and along the seafront, the local authority provides useful maps and information signs. The maps are accurate and easy to read and the signs informative, giving a bit of historical and local background (and even directions to the nearest pub - pic #2).
For all your tourist queries such as things to do, public transport information, assistance with accommodation etc the Tourist Information Centre is located on Den Crescent, opposite the pier. Staff are friendly and helpful and as well the usual freebie leaflets there are guides, maps, souvenirs and postcards for sale. The TIC also acts as ticket agents for local theatre performances and for boat trips.
The office is open 7 days a week during the summer and 10-4 Monday to Saturday during the winter. Website is HERE and phone number is 01626 215666.
Around the back over looking the docks is a stretch of sandy beach known by me as "The backwater". This is where most people park thire boats for the night, & is also where people come to chill out the rest of the evening air. There are many houses along here which must be wonderful to live in, all of the walls are different colours like Ireland. There is a bench I like to sit on by a pink House, where the Hook family have lived for many generations. There is some lettering made out of red painted sea shells which are stuck on the walls, forming the name Hook. take a look at the front door, & u will see that it's surrounded by the frame of a hollowed out rowing boat. Here are wonderful views of the bay streatching all the way across to Shaldon & the bridge beyond. Here you can watch the boats bobbing on the tide, other boats as they come in, & the larger fishing boats as they prepare to leave the docks for the night. Occasional dog walkers come by, & the birds as they settle on the bird feeders. lights on the distant new Abbot rd can be seen, its so very peaceful.
Fondest memory: The sound of the seagulls is the first thing I have always remembered waking up to ever since I was a child. I used to play on the jetty's, & there were numerouse places to hide as a kid I found it so very exciting.