Seaton, Devon


Seaton, Devon

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude = 50.70465
longitude = -3.07762
official_name = Seaton
population = 7,111 (2004)
shire_county = Devon
region = South West England
postcode_district =EX12
postcode_area = EX
dial_code = 01297
constituency_westminster= East Devon
os_grid_reference= SY239900

Seaton is a seaside town in East Devon on the south coast of England.

The town faces onto Lyme Bay, to the west of the mouth of the River Axe with red cliffs to one side and white cliffs on the other. Axmouth and Beer are nearby. A sea wall provides access to the mostly shingle beach stretching for about a mile, and a small harbour.

Seaton stands on the 95-mile Jurassic Coast of the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Coastline. From here it is possible to visit three eras of rock strata in this 185 million-year ‘geological walk through time’.

History

A farming community existed here 4,000 years before the Romans arrived and there were Iron Age forts in the vicinity at Seaton Down, Hawkesdown hill, Blackbury Camp and Berry camp. During Roman times this was an important port although the town's [http://www.seatonmuseum.co.uk/roman_seaton.htm roman remains] have been reburied to preserve them. In Saxon times Seaton was know as "Fluta" or Fleet, the Saxon word for Creek. The town of Fleet was founded by Saxon Charter 1005 AD. The first mention of Seaton was in a Papal Bull by Pope Eugenius in 1146.

Seaton was an important port for several centuries, supplying ships and sailors for Edward I's wars against Scotland and France. In the 14th century heavy storms caused a landslip which partially blocked the estuary, and the shingle bank started to build up. In 1868 the arrival of the railway reduced the use of the harbour. Seaton was served by a branch line from Seaton Junction some 6 miles to the north on the London and South Western Railway main line from London Waterloo and Salisbury to Exeter For many years coaches were taken off the Exeter services and then taken down the branch line, giving a through service to London. The line closed in 1967, and part of the trackbed was used to construct the Seaton Tramway to Colyton which has become a tourist attraction bringing in around 185,000 visitors a year.

In the 19th century Seaton developed as a holiday camp resort and many of the town buildings are Victorian. Today a camp still exists (Lyme Bay Holiday Village) which caters for 800+ short stay visitors every week. It is one of the major employers in the town.

The church on the edge of town was built in the 14th century, with a squat tower dating from the 15th century. Seaton is also notable for having one of the worlds first concrete bridges, built over the River Axe in 1877.

Present

There are 3,300 homes in the parish, of which approximately one third are of single person occupancy. The majority of those persons are of pensionable age. Politically, Seaton is a civil parish and town, in the district of East Devon.

The area around Seaton is rich in wildlife. The agricultural landscape supports areas of ancient woodland (often withdisplays of bluebells), important networks of hedges, unimproved grassland and springline mires .

Around Beer there are remnants of flower-rich chalk grassland, a rare habitat in Devon. The Axe Estuary, with its areas of grazing marsh, and the River Axe itself, are of international importance for their aquatic communities. To the east lies the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve. This large area of coastal landslides and cliffs supports important woodland and grassland habitats and is of considerable significance for its geology, as witnessed by its inclusion in the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Otters are present on the River Axe, and dormice are present throughout the area. To the west, near Beer, are man-made caves of importance for a diversity of hibernatingbats, including the very rare Bechsteins bat. The Axe Estuary and its marshes are important for wintering wildfowl and waders, such as curlew and redshank, while in the summer butterflies and dragonflies abound.

The bird-watching and wildlife areas of the Axe Vale have been enhanced by the establishment of the Seaton Marshes Local Nature Reserve, work to establish it was carried out by the Axe Vale & District Conservation Society. In 2007 an Audouin's Gull was seen here - one of very few British sightings of this bird.

The area to the east of the retail area to the River Axe (mainly floodplain) has been the subject of a regeneration plan formulated in 2003. As of late 2006 only one of the developers involved has submitted a plan for the development of this area. There is resistance to this proposed development from some of the community and it is unlikely the development will proceed in its current form.

Attractions

Beside the Tramway which takes visitors across country to Colyford and Colyton, Seaton now has its own LandTrain which is 56-foot long, carries 50-60 passengers [including dogs] and runs every few hours seven days a week between Seaton and Beer for the summer season.

Technology

Visitors often need to maintain links with home/office/friends or family. Seaton has the largest concentration of Wi-Fi hotspots in the South West of England and is probably the most advanced rural town in the United Kingdom in this respect. The town is 85% covered by wi-fi access via SEATONNET's implementation of 802.11 technology with over 20 hotspots. HotSpot locations are found from [http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=101459384490908248690.0004394f64ad4a4c468e5&om=1&ll=50.714776,-3.080378&spn=0.031684,0.093555&z=14]

Night Life

Pubs in Seaton include The Hook and Parrot, The Vault, The Cellar Bar, and The Famous George. Seaton's only night club is The Grove Niteclub which draws people from further away on rave nights; also, The Smugglers Underground Bar hosts live bands most weekends. Seaton has a lively night life for such a small town, albeit mainly restricted to weekends. The Seaton Town Social Club is a CIU member.

Industry

Traditionally a tourist town, Seaton has not developed a strong business identity.Its position next to floodplains and hemmed in by hills on either side means expansion is difficult and has hampered growth of local employment. The main employers are tourism-based and, to a large extent, seasonal.

Twin town

flagicon|France Thury-Harcourt, France

Gallery

External links

* [http://www.seaton.gov.uk Town Council]
* [http://www.seatontic.com Seaton Tourist Information Centre]
* [http://www.SeatonVisitorCentreTrust.org Seaton Visitor Centre Trust]
* [http://www.axevaleconservation.co.uk Axe Vale & District Conservation Society]
* [http://www.standup4seaton.blogspot.com Stand Up For Seaton]
* [http://www.seatondistricttwinning.blogspot.com Seaton & District Twinning Association]
* [http://www.seatonnet.co.uk SEATONNET, WIFI Community HotSpot company]
* [http://www.seatonbusinessforum.co.uk Seaton Business Forum]
* [http://seatonbay.com/ Seaton Bay]
* [http://www.seatonmethodist.co.uk/ Methodist Church]
* [http://www.seatonmuseum.co.uk/roman_seaton.htm Museum]
* [http://www.crossroad.org.uk Crossroad Christian Fellowship]
* [http://www.tram.co.uk/ Seaton Tramway]


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