The Birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh
The settlement of East Budleigh dates back a thousand years to the reign of Alfred the Great,
known then as the Royal Manor of Bodeleia. This was a most important part of the Budley
Hundred, extending to Withycombe and Littleham, across to Salcombe Regis along the coast
This did not find favour with the village elders and in 1600 the Sunday Market was suppressed and moved to Mondays. There were
difficult times as well. In 1347 boats returning from Spain were captured by pirates and Budley lost 141 men, an enormous tragedy for
and seven miles inland. In the centre, the jewel in the
crown, was Budley Towne and Budley Haven.
East Budleigh, as it is now called, was a most
prestigious town and a bustling port. Yes East Budleigh
was the original town and Budleigh Salterton a
desolate empty place, just a collection of huts used by
the workers panning for salt. Nearby Budley Haven
was a fine port serving the Continent, with a thriving
export trade in wool, a main industry in Devon in
Medieval times. Alas the river Otter gradually silted up,
despite many valiant attempts to maintain the
navigation and the trade moved around the coast to the
Life in those days must have been hard but
interesting. Every Sunday they used to hold a market
alongside the Church wall and down the High Street.
Stalls were set up and the local people sold their farm
produce, visiting peddlers would bring trinkets, lace
and ale flowed freely causing riotous behaviour.
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