For thousands of years people have lived and worked in the AONB landscape, forming the landscape we see today and our cultural heritage – fossil hunters, farmers, smugglers, Romans and rebels have all played a part in forming the rich history and heritage of our AONB.
Our local tales and traditions, ancient monuments, historic buildings and artefacts all give a glimpse of the past and help us understand how people, interacting with the land, has shaped the landscape.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Human activity in Devon became well established from 250,000 BC onwards, at a time when a land bridge existed with the continent and bands of hunters migrated with the seasons, and the retreat and advance of glaciers.
Many stone hand axes originating from dates between 250,000 and 30,000 BC have been found on the Devon/Dorset border, some of which can be viewed at the Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
Around 3500 BC (the Neolithic Period) hunter gatherer lifestyles gave way to settled farming communities and permanent settlements, in addition to ceremonial monuments being built.
Thereafter, human activity continued to advance, with evidence of Bronze Age ‘tumuli’, Iron Age hillforts, Roman military bases and architectural features from the Saxon and Norman times.
Places to visit
Also known as tumuli, some evidence of these ancient burial grounds remains within East Devon. The barrows at Farway provide some good examples and can be viewed from surrounding footpaths.
Delve into the history and cultural heritage of our outstanding landscape at one of our local museums and connect the past with what we see in the landscape today.
Learn more about our towns and villages, their people, traditions and trades, as well as the rich natural and archaeological history within the local area.
Find out what’s going on at museum or gallery near you; family fun days, talks and lectures, exhibitions, events and activities or look up the latest news from Devon museums
Find out more
THE JURASSIC COAST
The Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO world heritage site that stretches 95 miles from Exmouth in Devon to Dorset.
Whether you want to hunt for fossils, visit a museum, or simply take in the stunning scenery on a good walk, you’ll find there are plenty of things to do, whatever the time of year.
Jurassic Coast Cruises
Sit back, relax and sail through time with Stuart Line Cruises as you enjoy stunning views of this 185-million-year-old coastline.
Whether you are on holiday in Devon or live in the area, this cruise is the perfect way for friends or groups to see this World Heritage Site from its best perspective.
More to Explore
We lead, partner and support projects that focus on a wide range of themes, including landscape and heritage, environmental quality and climate, biodiversity, recreation and tourism.