Ashburton's Maritime Legends

Local legend has it that Sir Francis Drake was a regular patron at the Old Exeter Inn as was Sir Walter Raleigh

Ashburton has many claims to fame - not least of which is that it played host to Sir Walter Raleigh as he travelled between London and Plymouth.


On one trip in 1603 Raleigh was arrested at the Exeter Inn and charged with treason. His sentence was commuted and he served 12 years in the Tower of London. Following his release a failed expedition sealed his fate and he was beheaded 15 years after his arrest on the original charges. Some leniency was shown as he was to be beheaded rather than hanged, drawn and quartered as originally sentenced.


A mural of Sir Walter Raleigh can be seen on the wall of a house next to the Exeter Inn.


The Exeter Inn was built in 1130 to house workers building St Andrews church. Local legend has it that Sir Francis Drake was a regular patron at the inn as was Sir Walter Raleigh who was arrested at the Exeter Inn before being imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1603.

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