Fingle Bridge dates from the 16th or 17th Century. As a river crossing point it is even older, joining the two great prehistoric hill forts of Prestonbury Castle and Cranbrook Castle, one on either side of the river. The Teign rises from high on Dartmoor and flows around the eastern side of Dartmoor to the sea at Teignmouth. The middle section including the Teign Gorge is one of Devon’s landscape gems. Watch out for dippers in the river and notice the thick covering of moss and lichen on the rocks and trees, a good sign of clean air.
Above and on the left can be seen part of the outline of Castle Drogo. Described as the “last castle to be built in England” it was designed by the famous architect Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe, millionaire owner of the Home and Colonial Stores. Drewe thought of himself as the descendant of the medieval landowner Dru, who gave his name to Drewsteignton. Described by English Heritage as to be “regarded as one of the finest 20th Century houses in Great Britain” it is now in the ownership of the National Trust and is well worth visiting.
Near the path in the bottom of the valley is a sculpture by the internationally renowned local artist, Peter Randall-Page. This carved local stone is one of a number commissioned by the charity Common Ground to be placed by public paths in the area. There is also another very different carved stone which commemorates the opening of the Two Moors Way in 1976, one of four along the Way erected at that time.
Drewsteignton is very picturesque, and the unusually early 16th and 17th Century cottages around the village square, together with the 17th Century Drewe Arms and the church all go to make up an exceptionally scenic location.
To the north is Veet (or Vete) Mill, a 17th Century farmhouse, although it may have a much earlier origin. You may well see more sculptures by Peter Randall-Page around here, in the gardens and adjacent to the path.
Another carved stone is also the work of Peter Randall-Page, this one was erected in 2004 to commemorate the life and work of Joe Turner, founder of the Two Moors Way. The design is based on “natural geometry” and is on one face of half of a boulder – the other half with a mirror image design is at the southern edge of Exmoor.