At first sight Cullompton appears to be a quiet backwater, a small town a few miles north of Exeter and Honiton, a town that people drive past to obtain access to the M5. A leisurely walk down the high street reveals several interesting shops and a whilst we were there, a banner stretching across the road inviting the local population to a meeting about upgrading the town. There are several impressive buildings of age and architectural interest. The Walronds is one such handsome neglected period building facing onto the high street. In this day of supermarket domination and closure of local independent shops, Cullompton can still boast of 2 bakers shops with a good selection of cakes and bread, two tea shops and an Egon Ronay listed hotel and pubs.
There is still a family butcher, a delicatessen and a rare and well-stocked fabric shop with cavernous depths selling dress fabrics and curtain materials. Another shop has sweets for sale in old-fashioned glass jars. Another striking aspect of the town is the number of churches of various denominations; religion appears to thrive here. The church of St. Andrew is a historical treasure. It lies down a lane back from the high street, and unusually, is open to the public, although you may have to open the front door first because it's kept closed to prevent birds from flying in and nesting. The church has a unique golgotha or carving made from a single tree trunk. The carved and painted rood screen is simply beautiful. The impressive painted organ is perched on a Jacobean gallery. Above are ornate painted ceilings, each section slightly different and representing a certain period in time. The section nearest the altar was repainted most recently a couple of centuries ago. Other works of art include a beautifully carved wooden pulpit, richly coloured stained glass windows, carved columns, each with a differently decorated top. Not only is St. Andrews full of historical treasures but it appears to be a thriving church with a very much alive congregation continuing to pass the Christian message down the centuries.
There are several tourist attractions near Cullompton; a quad biking arena, an interesting Wool Museum, and the National Trust house and gardens at Killerton featuring a varied programme of events, including concerts and classic car shows. The gardens at Killerton are magnificent and merge formal beds with wildflower meadows seamlessly. There include several tall Californian redwoods among the wide variety of trees. The rhododendron displays are best during early May.
Country cottages and self-catering accommodation near Cullompton, Devon.
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