Modbury, population 1,700, is a small country town in the South Hams district of Devon, rich in history and character. It lies midway between Dartmoor National Park and the some of the most unspoilt beaches on the South Devon coast. Plymouth is 12 miles to the west.
In its pre-industrial revolution heyday Modbury was a thriving market town centred on the wool trade and exporting textiles to the low countries of Europe. Much of that prosperity is reflected in the town’s architecture which boasts some 103 of the Parish’s 131 listed buildings
The history of Modbury has been researched in depth by the Local History Society and Unique Heritage of Modbury website has a wealth of information and pictures.
A town that feels like a village
Modbury is unique within the South Hams, having all the amenities of a small town yet retaining the community spirit of a village. While its rural setting, conservation areas and undoubted historic charm make it very appealing, it is the welcoming spirit and sense of community, shown by the people of Modbury, that makes the town such a desirable place to enjoy family life.
The town is also a centre for people from the outlying farms and villages who make good use of the fine selection of local shops and services as well as the pubs and cafés.
The primary school and church are well supported as are numerous functions and activities, many of which take place in the town’s two public meeting halls. A sports and recreation centre provides many opportunities for keeping fit while playgrounds provide safe opportunities for younger children to work off some excess energy. The annual May Fair and the switching on of the Christmas Lights are two highlights of the Modbury year when most of the town turn out.
Modbury prides itself on being a walker-friendly location. There are numerous, well maintained and well signposted footpaths through and around the town that take in both the splendid natural environment and the town’s history. So strong is Modbury’s concern for environmental matters that in 2007, the retailers were inspired to band together to become the first town in Europe to go ‘Plastic Bag Free’ (in May 2007) – well ahead of similar declarations in Wales and the subsequent imposition of the 5p bag charge in the UK. You can find out more about the damage plastic bags do to the environment by looking at these links plasticbagfreeday.org and Marine Conservation Society
When it comes to quality of life, Modbury is happy to lead the way.