Dartmouth, Devon

Long an important naval base; many voyages of exploration began here or stopped here on their outbound voyages, e.g. Captain James Cook (1728-1779) on his way to Australia. Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) was born here and is commemorated by a street with a plaque; one of his engines may be seen working at the Newcomen Engine House and Visitor Centre, Mayors Avenue (across from The Butterwalk), Dartmouth TQ6 9YY; tel: 01803-834224. (Different sources give the engine's date as c1725 or end of the 18C.

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George Parker Bidder (1805-1878) bought Paradise Point, just north of Warfleet Creek, Dartmouth, in 1855 and built a house there over the next few years which he named Ravensbury, after his Mitcham property. He died in this house while waiting to move into a new house at nearby Stoke Fleming The house is still standing and the entrance way leads off the main road to the south of Dartmouth and has name plaques of Ravensbury Lodge and Ravensbury Drive. A bit further south on the main road, just before the entrance to Creekside, is a commemorative plaque on the wall saying he lived here in 1860-1878 mentioning him as the Calculating Boy and famous civil engineer, pioneer of the steam trawler and electric telegraph. On the other side of Warfleet Creek, St. Petrox Church is adjacent to Dartmouth Castle. The east window of the church is a memorial to Bidder, donated by his daughter Bertha.

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An extract from The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles created by David Singmaster

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