- About this route
The village of East Budleigh, and the parish church of All Saints in particular, is very much connected with the Elizabethan statesman, Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) who was born at nearby Hayes Barton (not open to the public) and whose father, Walter Raleigh senior was a Church Warden. Sir Walter, a statue of whom stands at the top of the village High Street, funded expeditions to North America and led two expeditions to South America in search of El Dorado. He also took part in the Spanish Armada campaign of 1588. A ship that he had commissioned, Ark Raleigh, was purchased by the crown and became Lord High Admiral Howard’s flagship, Ark Royal.
The church, which stands high above the road, is mainly 15th century in origin; it retains a good set of 15th century roof bosses in the nave and a much-restored 15th century oak screen. However, parts of the chancel may date from an earlier 13th century church on the site. The church was restored in 1884 at which time the chancel was lengthened and a new vestry added. A piscina in the south wall of the chancel marks the former position of the altar. The stairs to a former rood loft survive within the buttress between the chancel and the north aisle. The nave has a flagstone floor within which are set grave slabs. The oldest, in a prime position at the front of the nave, is to the memory of Joan Raleigh, who was the first wife of Walter Raleigh senior. The pride of the church though is its set of Elizabethan carved oak bench ends including one with the Raleigh family coat of arms (now defaced), dated 1537, at the front of the nave. On the north wall is a copy of a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh; the original dated 1588 hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Sir Walter Raleigh’s tomb (he was executed in 1618 on the orders of James I) is in St Margaret’s, Westminster.
- Getting Around
By road: There is a car park in Hayes Lane, off High Street opposite the Sir Walter Raleigh Pub.
By bus: East Budleigh is served by the No. 157 from Exmouth to Sidmouth. Timetables are available at Travel Devon.
- There are public conveniences in the car park. The Sir Walter Raleigh pub serves food.