The Architecture reveals the history
Much of Sidmouth’s history is gleaned from the Blue Plaques on the buildings which mirror the era when the nobility and members of London Society built fine houses here. Many still exist, while others have become hotels without losing their Regency charm. The cob walled coffee shop (formerly the Old Ship Inn) originally thought to be a monastery, dates back to 1350 and it was certainly a smugglers’ rendezvous in the days of “brandy for the parson” and “baccy for the clerk”.
Fortfield Terrace is another example of the style of the day. Here, a double-headed eagle commemorates the stay of the Grand Duchess of Russia in 1831. She brought a retinue of 100 gentlemen, ladies and servants and among the guests at a reception she gave was the Sidmouth artist and historian, Peter Orlando Hutchinson (POH), whose diaries and sketches are a vivid picture of 19th century life in Sidmouth. Copies are among the treasures at the Museum next to the ancient parish church of St. Giles and St. Nicholas.
Look out for POH logos throughout the town.