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New Dartington Hall director names architects selected to ‘bring estate back to life’


In my Totnes schooldays of the 1950s and 60s both the town and Dartington seemed to be doing really well - but the subsequent challenges to the future of Dartington were paralleled by drastic change in the economy of Totnes. Long gone are the largest employers - the sawmills down by the river at the Baltic Wharf (now housing, where ships unloaded timber from Archangel); the Harris bacon factory down near the Plains (now the site of a supermarket); the wharf side warehouses (converted to housing, including the cider barrel store that started life as a Wesleyan chapel); the classic boat builder on the Bridgetown side of the river, beyond the Steamer Quay (for many years abandoned by the Dartmouth paddle steamers, but the last one has now returned); the creamery out by the railway station (mostly rezoned for housing) and the Dartington enterprise of Staverton Builders at Staverton (they constructed many of the modernist buildings at Dartington, and more recently specialised in office furniture and fitouts before being taken over and departing Devon). Likewise, the the Arts College established at Dartington departed, and although Totnes seems to be inhabited by just as wide a variety of people as ever, the character of the place has been 'sanitised' - by a combination of industrial consolidation and the all-powerful market forces generated by the way in which the national demand for housing is handled, or rather mishandled. Go out of Totnes in various directions and you'll find young people living on the verges of the wider 'green' lanes - and not just a few people - Steinbeck would recognise the scene.

Posted date

8 May, 2017

Posted time

5:22 pm


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