A small hamlet with little in the way of attractions, Murchington is located around a mile and a half from Chagford, in the heart of a leafy green forest. It’s a typical Devonian settlement, with no amenities such as a shop, church, or pub, and the only way to reach the village is by car or on your own two feet.
Murchington first began life as a farmstead as early as six centuries ago and has grown house by house ever since. In total, the housing count now numbers around twenty. Three farms date back to the 16th century, while the oldest one of them all, Pleasant Farm, is thought to date back all the way to the 15th.
All are ancient and constructed of local building materials; rubble construction and rendering make these typical Devonian builds. With the exception of a few cars and telegraph poles, little has changed here in the past hundred years. One house was even selling plants ‘for the bees’ and fresh eggs outside its front door…
Victorian Missionary Chapel at Murchington
Today, the old chapel at Murchington has been transformed into a holiday cottage, which can be rented out to families, and to those wishing to stay in some quirkier accommodation when visiting Dartmoor National Park.
The chapel was first constructed during Victorian times and remains one of the most interesting architectural buildings in the village. Similar mission chapels were constructed in the area during the late 19th-century, including the part schoolhouse, part chapel of St Raphael’s at Huccaby.
Walks from Murchington
The pretty hamlet is located near the Mariners’ Way. Although it’s unclear as to whether this was ever a walk for seafarers, legend says that Mariners’ Way was a strenuous two-day hike that sailors would take when transferring ships between the North and South Devon coastlines during the middle ages.
Whether or not the Mariners’ Path is reality or fiction, it’s clear that humans have been navigating the area for millennia. In the hills above Murchington, evidence of Neolithic inhabitants is apparent in the well-preserved stone circles of Scorhill. Closer still, just below the village, you’ll find stepping stones on the Throwleigh Footpath that cross the weir and look as if they’ve been there for hundreds of years.
Attractions and Things to do Near Murchington
Visit Gidleigh: Gidleigh is not only the name of a luxury hotel situated in the heart of Dartmoor, but also of a quaint village with a centuries-old church, hiking trails, and even its own castle. Though the castle is sadly private and closed to the public, you can still wander through Gidleigh, enter the church and admire the snowdrops in early spring.
Visit Lustleigh: Often dubbed ‘the prettiest village on Dartmoor,’ Lustleigh is all thatched cottages, woodland walks and even has its own tea rooms, village shop, and pub named ‘the Cleave’. A perfect base for those wishing to easily access the high moors, it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking to embark on a walking holiday.
Visit Chagford: The quaint town of Chagford is one of four Devonian stannary towns and is filled with boutique shops, independent eateries and all the history. Head there if you want to head to one of its four pubs, soak up some history or admire some pretty architecture.