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PRINCETOWN.CO.UK

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Princetown Village Centre
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Princetown
Princetown (Devon)
Princetown

Princetown shown within Devon
OS grid reference SX588736
Parish Dartmoor Forest
District West Devon
Shire county Devon
Region South West
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town YELVERTON
Postcode district PL20
Dialling code 01822
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
European Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Torridge and West Devon
List of places: UKEnglandDevon

Coordinates: 50°32'42?N 3°59'39?W? / ?50.54507, -3.99422

Princetown is a town situated on Dartmoor in the county of Devon in England.

Princetown is best known as the site of the notorious Dartmoor Prison. It is the highest town on the moor, and one of the highest in the United Kingdom. The branch railway to the town, closed in 1956, was also the highest railway line in England, its Princetown terminus being 435 metres above sea level.

Tor Royal Lane leads down from the town to the site of the disused Whiteworks tin mine, which overlooks Fox Tor Mires, the presumed site of the Grimpen Mire to be found in Arthur Conan Doyle's tale The Hound of the Baskervilles. Conan Doyle stayed at the Royal Duchy Hotel in the town before writing the book. The hotel has long since closed and the building now houses the High Moorland Visitor Centre which provides a wealth of information and exhibits for those visiting the moor.

Other points of interest in the town include the prison museum and the town churchyard which houses the graves of French and American prisoners of war who were originally housed at the prison. The church has the distinction of being the only one in the UK constructed by POWs and is dedicated, as are many churches in high locations, to St. Michael. It was taken out of use due to structural problems and damp and is now maintained by the Redundant Churches Fund, although the building has been stabilised and made safe. Services are held nowadays in the Methodist chapel at the other end of the village.

In terms of tourism, Princetown tends to be extremely popular with walkers and the sight of large groups of young people with rucksacks is especially common during the summer months. Bunkhouse, bed and breakfast and camping facilities are available in the town and there are also a handful of local shops where visitors can stock up on essential items.

Princetown has its own brewery producing the appropriately named Jail Ale and Dartmoor IPA. This used to be housed in the Prince of Wales pub, but now occupies a modern purpose-built building on the edge of the village. The two other pubs are the Railway and the Plume of Feathers and there are also a couple of cafes, one of which is situated in what used to be the town's police station.

A summer bus service, the Transmoor link from Plymouth to Exeter and vice versa, passes through the town and there is a daytime service linking Princetown to Yelverton and Tavistock, but in general public transport is poor and any visitors hoping to visit Plymouth or the nearby town of Tavistock via bus in the evening will be disappointed. The Transmoor link operates in the winter, but only on Sundays.

Climate chart for Princetown[1]
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
219
 
6
1
 
 
168
 
6
1
 
 
162
 
7
2
 
 
109
 
10
3
 
 
100
 
13
6
 
 
116
 
16
9
 
 
112
 
18
11
 
 
133
 
18
11
 
 
156
 
15
9
 
 
215
 
12
6
 
 
234
 
8
4
 
 
251
 
7
2
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm

North Hessary Tor overlooks the town. The tor can be easily identified by the large television mast on top of it, a structure which provides a useful guide point for walkers from miles around.

Princetown is the most deprived ward in Devon, as when the Home Office changed its rules on where prison wardens should live, staff moved out of the town and much housing became available, which was then offered to the disabled, the unemployed and one parent families. With few facilities and little public transport these people became isolated. A charity has been formed, called "High Moorland Community Action", which aimed to improve the situation. This now appears to be bearing fruit, as a considerable quantity of new housing has been built and more is under construction on the vacant lots where council properties used to stand, some of considerable size. This influx of private housing has had a beneficial effect on the village as a whole, as has the relocation of the Post Office to new premises (at a time when many villages are losing their POs).

The latest plans for rejuvenation are the construction of a community centre, supplying Princetown with a village hall, which it has long lacked, and a 'craft complex' housing workshops and a gallery on the site of the old village shop (now demolished due to structural problems) at the entrance to the village.

[edit] References

  1. , Princetown 1971-2000 averages. Met Office. Retrieved on 2008-04-10.

(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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