Properly know as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, it is an Anglican church dating back to 1050BC. However, the present building was not completed until about 1400BC. It as the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England — over 300 feet — that immediately took by breath away.
Canonteign has a long history that starts with the first Viscount Exmouth, Edward Pellew. Having achieved naval honors and knighthood, he bought the Canonteign Estate. He went on to win more honors, was made a Baron and took the title Lord Exmouth and the distinction of Vice Admiral of All England. The latter title he shared with his peer Lord Horatio Nelson.
Though Sir Edward preferred living near the sea at Teignmouth, his son Pownall (second Lord Exmouth) and his wife took residence at Canonteign. During the mining boom a London banker and entrepreneur opened a mine on the Estate, the waterfall was diverted from its original course to power the mine. In 1880, after the mining boom ended, the 3rd Lady Exmouth decided to re-divert the water to cascade over a nearby massive rock formation, forming the waterfall.
The roads are narrow, winding and thanks to our GPS generally lead us on adventures. This time, we find ourselves on a dirt track where we encounter a tractor head on — thankfully it is noisy and Gypsy is driving very slowly and cautiously. The encounter requires only a short back up on our part, as the tractor heads off on a different track. Next, we meet an equestrian, who eyes us with a look that makes us think perhaps this route is not advisable. Soon, however, the landscape opens up to reveal pastureland with grazing cows that come over to say, "hi!" when we stop to photograph them and stretch our legs. Then sheep. After a time, the dirt track meets up with pavement and we find ourselves on a familiar road that leads us back to Highfield House.