Modbury (population circa 1,500) is a bustling former market town which lies at the mid-way point between Plymouth and Kingsbridge. The attraction of its elegant Georgian facades, comprehensive range of amenities and accessibility have made it a popular commuter town and firm favourite for both retirement and vacations in the South Hams.
History of Modbury in Brief ...
Modbury (from the Saxon for ‘meeting place’) is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is believed to have been the earliest location of the highly influential Fortesque family. Records of their presence here date from about 1140. The town was the site of two Civil War battles, the last of which (on 21 February 1643) was pivotal in driving the Royalist forces down into Cornwall and to their ultimate defeat. Subsequent centuries saw Modbury develop and prosper as a wool trading and market town but mechanisation and the industrial revolution saw a gradual reversal of fortune, although monthly cattle markets in the town continued until 1944.
It's a Fact !
Eton has a lot to thank Modbury for. Henry VI dissolved its priory in 1442 and used the revenues to found the world-famous college.
The founder of the Stetson cowboy hat company, John Batterson Stetson, had roots here. His ancestors emigrated from Modbury to Massachusetts in the 1600’s. Yee ha.
Say no to plastic bags! That’s what Modbury did in 2007 to national acclaim, and they’ve been keeping it up ever since. Other towns have followed suit but Modbury lead the way.
Explore Modbury in South Devon
Plentiful parking in the centre of town provides travellers with the opportunity to while away a morning or afternoon browsing the unique gift shops, galleries and side streets, rounded off by a spot of lunch or afternoon tea in one of the cosy pubs or cafes.
In the wider area, Modbury’s well-marked green lanes, bridleways, and footpaths provide plenty of opportunities for cyclists, walkers and naturalists. There is also an enviable selection of quaint villages, blue-flag beaches and open moorland, all within a very short drive.
Food-lovers will not go away disappointed either; locally grown and organic ingredients are a hallmark of many of the fine cafes and restaurants in the area. As one local guide claims, Modbury can truly be seen to be ‘all of Devon in one town’.