Zeal Monachorum

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The wonderfully named Zeal Monachorum parish  had a population of 413 in the 2011 census. The majority, to the west of the river Yeo, lies within the Devon Character Area (DCA) known as High Taw Farmland. The Devon County Council (DCC) notes that it is,

centred on a watershed in the very heart of Devon at the junction of numerous character areas, this typical Devon farmed landscape comprises lush green pastoral farmland, visually dominated by the brooding mass of Dartmoor to the south. Rounded hills covered in hedged fields are separated by secretive valleys where rivers meander along their tree-lined courses. There is a strong perception of time-depth, with the landscape reflecting thousands of years of human history from the Neolithic to the present day. The landscape presents a rich tapestry of medieval features, including churches, villages, farms, field boundaries and narrow lanes with ancient wayside crosses.

The southeastern quarter is part of the DCA called Crediton Rolling Farmland, which DCC writes is,

a ‘typical’ Devon landscape characterised by a harmonious patchwork of fields, thick hedges, red soil, deep lanes and attractive villages. This productive, settled agricultural landscape contrasts with the looming mass of Dartmoor, which forms the southern horizon in many views, particularly from the south of the area. Views are often restricted by hedgebanks, but where they occur they are often panoramic. The landscape is diverse, with irregular, often rounded hills dissected by small but well-marked valleys, lending a small scale and intimate appearance to the landscape. The long east-west ridge of the Raddon Hills forms a distinctive landmark, particularly in views from the southern part of the Exe valley.

Zeal Monachorum

Copyright © Ditch Townsend and Devon Lanes, 2016

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