Devon

Devon ( /ˈdɛvən/; or archaically known as Devonshire, Dewnant in old Celtic devonian language -brythonic-, Dyfnaint in Welsh, Dewnans in cornish, Devnant in Breton) is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is a part of South West England, and bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the northeast, and Dorset to the east. The City of Exeter is the county town; seven other districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon are under the jurisdiction of Devon County Council; Plymouth and Torbay are each a part of Devon but administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon spans an area of 2,590 square miles (6,700 km2) and has a population of approximately 1.1 million people.

Devon has its historical origins in classical antiquity and derives its name from Dumnonia, which, during the British Iron Age and Roman Britain, was the homeland of the Dumnonii Celts. The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries, resulting in emigration of some Celts to Cornwall and Domnonee (in what is now Brittany). Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England thereafter, with the River Tamar forming the western boundary with Cornwall as set by King Æthelstan in 936.

Geographically, Devon is distinguished as the only county of England to have two separate coastlines (northern and southern), both of which are peppered by lofty cliffs and sandy shores; Devon's bays are typically used as fisheries, ports or seaside towns used for tourism. The inland terrain of Devon is broadly rural and hilly, and has a low population density in comparison to other counties of England. Dartmoor, the largest open space in southern England at 954 km2 (368 sq mi), is indicative of the Devonshire uplands, covered with wide moorland and underlying granite geology. In the valleys and lowlands the soil is fertile, traversed by rivers such as the Exe, the Culm, the Dart, and the Otter.

The economy of Devon is linked closely with tourism. The comparative mild climate and salubrious landscape give rise to Devon as a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with travellers particularlly attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks, the Jurassic Coast, the Braunton Burrows UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape and the ribbon of resort towns along the south-coast known collectively as the English Riviera.

Read more about Devon:  Economy and Industry, Geography and Geology, Politics and Administration, Cities, Towns and Villages, Place Names and Customs, Education, Cuisine, Sport, Devonians

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