Templer Way

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Templer Way

Templer Way
This is a historic route by which granite and clay were transported to the port of Teignmouth before being shipped around the country.The route is named after the Templer family who built the tramway and canal.
Exeter-born James Templer was brought up as an orphan and ran away to sea.
He returned a rich man, having made his fortune with the building of Madras Docks in India.
In 1765 he purchased the run-down Stover estate near Newton Abbot, where he built the new Stover House and ste about renovating his estate.
In 1792, his son, also called James, built the Stover Canal from Teigngrace to the tidal River Teign at Newton Abbot, in order to transport clay from his land. The clay was then exported from Teignmouth docks.
Then, in 1820, his son George Templer built a granite tramway from Haytor to link with the canal in order to export the granite being extracted from his Dartmoor quarries. He sold the tramway to the Duke of Somerset around 1842 and built Sandford Orleigh House, which overlooks jetty Marsh Local Nature Reserve.
Once the granite quarries became uneconomic during the 1850`s the tramway was no longer used.
In 1862 the Duke sold the tramway to the Moretonhampstead and South Devon Railway. Part of the railway was built on top of the tramway beside the canal. The canal carried on operating until the Second World War.
The Templer Way is 18 miles long and covers a wide range of scenery including open moorland, woodland, meadow, historical tracks, urban land and estuary foreshore.
This walking route takes you from Haytor on Dartmoor to the mouth of the Teign. It follows where ever possible the route of the Granite Tramway, the Stover Canal and the Teign Estuary.
Anyone wishing to complete the Templer way in one day should allow up to 10 hours. You must check the tide tables before setting out, as it is only safe to walk the estuary section within 2 hours of low tide.
To obtain a route map you can either download a copy from Teignbridge District Council`s website, or contact the Teignbridge Rangers for a paper copy
Using a mixture of rights of way, permissive routes and minor roads, the Templer Way follows as closely as possible, the route of the Templers ventures. Except on the open moorland at Haytor Down, where the granite rails of the tramway can be followed. The route is waymarked in both directions, and may be tackled in short stretches or in one go. The waymarks show the Templer Way logo, a tramway whell and the tiller and rudder of a barge. There are also a series of information baoards along the route.
It can be split into six sections, the first is from Haytor to Edgemoor, a four mile walk, and downhill all the way, so make sure you have a car at each end, if you do not wish to make the return journey on foot.

Stage 1

The granite tramway starts at the old quarries behind Haytor, and you cannot get lost because you simply follow the track.The main quarry is worth a visit, too. It gives you an idea of how deep the quarrying went, and it has some industrial remnants of its mining days. From Haytor, you get fantastic views down the the south coast. With Haytor on your right, you head downwards – and just keep on going.At times, the tramway isn’t visible, but there are Templer Way signs to point you in the right direction.You’ll reach Yarner Wood, where there is a fabulous section of the tramway through a beech-lined avenue.The next part of the walk takes you along a permissive path on Natural England land, and you’ll walk through a restored apple orchard featuring many Devon varieties.At the end of the orchard, there is a minor road. Turn left here and walk along the road for a short distance.Follow the Templer Way signs until you reach Edgemoor, and the end of this particular section of the route.

Stage 2

This section of the route starts along the section of the original tramway, through a small decidous woodland before following minor roads and bridleways through Brimley on the edge of Bovey Tracey.In some places the granite rails are still visible with an original milestone that gives the distance to the Stover Canal. Near Chapple the tramway crosses the Bovey Pottery Leat, at its only surviving bridge. A short distance afterwards, the route passes close to Pottery Pond. the Pond was constucted in the eighteenth century as a holding reservoir for the water supply that powered machineryin the nearby Bovey Tracey potteries. It is now a small and peaceful tree fringed wildlife haven. Kingfishers, Mallards, Coot, Moorhen and various Dragonflies can be found here.

Stage 3
This section of the Templer Way passes by a conifer plantation, meadow, woodland, lake and river. You will will rejoin the tramway at Ventiford Basin. This is where the Templer`s Stover Canal and Haytor Granite Tramway met.
The granite was taken fron here and put onto barges down the canal, to continue its journey to the port of Teignmouth.
Stover Country Park sits in the middle of this section and formed part of James Templer`s Stover Estate.
The lake was constructed and the grounds landscaped in the late 1700`s. (Click Here for more details about Stover Counrty Park and its history )
The ground is fairly flat and runs along off-road tracks, some unsurfaced, woodland paths and fields. There is a short road section along quiet lanes at Ventiford.
Follow the Templer Way signposts through the Great Plantation to Drumbridges Roundabout. In the plantation you may be lucky to spot a shy roe deer, see or hear the great-spotted woodpecker.
Care must be taken when crossing the busy Drumbridges roundabout which divides the Great Plantation from Stover Country Park.
Follow the Templer Way signs along the pavement circumnavigating the roundabout. Access on this section is through a set of large gates.
You will now find yourself in Stover Country Park. If you are in no hurry take some time to explore this wildlife paradise.
Here you will find wildfowl and in the summer dragonflies, you may even spot kingfishers, herons and sand martins.
Follow the way signs until you reach Locks Bridge.
You will pass through the village of Teigngrace, take a moment to visit the church, which was built from granite by the Templers
Stage 4

The top of this section of the Templer Way follows the Stover Canal past two old locks. Much of these upper stretches of the cnal no longer hold water but form areas of damp woodland. Further downstream the canal emerges into the Jetty Marsh Canal Basin, the end of the canal.
This section is fairly level and even, and there is a safe crossing over the busy B3195 to Wharf Road Sidings. However there is a stepped bridge over the River Lemon, you can avoid this bridge if you follow the cycle route along the Avenue, turning left into Templers Way to rejoin the route.
This section of the Templers Way is a great place for bird spotting.Kingfishers, heron stealthily hunting near the reeds, the call of the tiny Cetti`s Warbler. Otters use these waterways for night time fishing.

Stage 5

This section follows the Teign Estuary shore and should only be walked within 2 hours of low tide. It is uneven and can be slippery after heavy rain or high tides. Never leave the path or you may get stuck in the estuary mud.
At Netherton Point there is a heronery in the top pine trees, and a beautiful, but fragile salt marsh with sea pinks and sea lavender.
The River Teign was once one of the most important shellfish production areas in the Uk.
The shellfish beds were downgraded in 1998 causing the cessation of shellfish production, at that time many of the fishermen left the industry. Recent projects along the Teign Estuary have been trying to restor the shellfish industry.
Along this stretch of the walk you will have good views of waders, ducks and pure white little egrets.

Stage 6

Like the previous section this also follows the Teign Estuary shore and should only be walked within 2 hours of low tide.It is uneven and can be slippery after rain or high tides. Never leave the path or you may get stuck in the estuary mud.
The estuary shore is full of interest, with a shellfish farm. an old lime kiln, as well as the watercraft that go back and forth along the river.
At Ringmore Strand the Templer Way leaves the shore and passes through the village of shaldon to the ferry crossing to Teignmouth. Once across the other side walk northwards along Teignmouth `back beach` and you will find the historic and picuresque New Quay, built in 1821 by the Templer family. Here clay was transhipped to the potteries and granite to London.

Stage 1

Haytor to the Edgemoor Hotel 4 miles/6.4 Km
Stage 2

The Edgemoor Hotel to the Grat Plantation 2 miles/3.2Km

Stage 3

The Great Plantation to Locks Bridge Teigngrace 4 miles/ 6.5Km

Stage 4

Locks Bridge Teigngrace to Newton Abbot Town Quay 2miles/3.5Km

Stage 5

Newton Abbot Town Quay to Coombe Cellars 2.5 miles/3.8Km

Stage 6

Coombe cellars to Teignmouth 3miles/4.5Km


The Templer Way goes through a variety of habitats, including Country Wildlife Sites and Local Nature Reserves. At Haytor Quarry you will see Dragonflies and Water-lilies as well as the famous Dartmoor Pony.

The Stover Country Park is a designated SSSI, due to its importance for Dragonflies. At Jetty Marsh Local Nature Reserve you will find a vast variety of plants and animals. The Aller Brook Local Nature Reserve is home to Bee Orchids, Kingfishers, the occasional otter and a variety of estuary birds, which include Egrets, Herons and Swans.

Faclities (found along the route)

* Picnic Benches
* Car Parks
* Bus Stops
* Dog Bins
* Information Signs
* Local Shops/pubs/cafes

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