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Dartmouth is a major tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes. It lies within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Historically, Dartmouth was of great strategic importance as a deep-water port for sailing vessels. The port was used as the sailing point for the crusades of 1147 and 1190, and a creek close to Dartmouth Castle is still named for the vast fleets which assembled there (Warfleet Creek). It was a home of the English navy since the reign of Edward III and was twice surprised and sacked during the Hundred Years' War, after which the mouth of the estuary was closed every night with a great chain. The narrow mouth of the Dart is protected by two fortified castles, Dartmouth Castle and Kingswear Castle.
The town is dominated by the Royal Navy Officer Training college (Britannia Royal Naval College) and all officers of the Royal Navy, as well as many foreign navies, are trained there. The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta takes place annually over three days at the end of August.
No railway has ever run to Dartmouth, but the town does have a railway station, although it is now a restaurant. The original plans for the Dartmouth and Torbay Railway line took the line across a bridge and into the town. Opposition from local seamen and merchants saw the route diverted to Kingswear on the opposite side of the river, but this occurred after the station had been built at Dartmouth. The railway terminated at a station called "Kingswear for Dartmouth" (now on the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway) and a ferry took passengers across the river to the station at Dartmouth, which had a dedicated pontoon. It is believed to be the only place in the world with a purpose built railway station which has never seen a train.
- The population of the Dartmouth Devon Town area for 2009 is 9555
- In the last 10 years, the population has decreased by 2.10%
- Claimant counts for November 2008 were approximately 15 people
- Job Seekers Allowance for the area reached 0.26% of the working age population in November 2008
- District claimant count figures for 2008 showed a claimant count of 1.33% of the working age population
- The Average income in 2008 for the Dartmouth Devon Town area is £30714.31 per household
- Average house price for the area in 2007 was recorded as £397,822.27
- There were 77 year 11 pupils in this area
- 58.44% of year 11 pupils attained 5 A*-C grades at GCSE
- There are 81 year 6 pupils throughout the Dartmouth Devon Town area
- 86.0% of pupils attained KS2 Level 4+
- For statistical profiles on Dartmouth please click here