The village of South Brent, within the boundaries of Dartmoor National Park, was once a thriving market town with a bustling trade in wool and annual fairs. Today you could imagine it as the perfect film location for a feelgood period drama about a local doctor, policeman or vet – imagine Doc Martin without the cliffs and Atlantic swell and instead with a dramatic moorland backdrop and a swirling morning mist.
There would be plenty of dramatic locations nearby for filmmakers – the Avon Dam reservoir is surrounded by grassy moorland where sheep, ponies and cattle graze all year round. The Zeal Tor Tramway, now dismantled, is a nod to the area’s industrial past. Historians will appreciate reminders of the past with several Bronze Age sites nearby. On the road to the Avon Dam is the Eastern White Barrow, a burial cairn – a large granite heap with a circle of stones. It looks very impressive and worth the cross-moor trek.
If you are looking for community spirit, look no further than SSB – Sustainable South Brent – which has a range of initiatives and projects, including a communal compost scheme which takes local garden waste, turning it into compost to sell, and a community energy project.
All the things you’d expect in a town – a Post Office, supermarkets, shops, pharmacy and places to eat and drink – can be found in South Brent which enjoys the atmosphere of a large village.
The local primary school moved to a purpose-built site which opened in 1997 and has excellent facilities for the school population of around 170 children. It’s rated good by Ofsted and is in the catchment area for Ivybridge Community College, King Edward VI Community College, and South Dartmoor College.
For commuting, South Brent is just minutes away from the A38 Devon Expressway, around 18 miles from Plymouth and 30 miles from Exeter.
When the new school building opened, locals bought the Old School which first welcomed pupils in 1877 as a community centre. It is now home to a gallery space for local artists, a bike bank and a variety of classes. The Art House has two studio rooms here and run some creative courses… try your hand at basketry, art, ceramics, mosaics, bookbinding or carpentry, are amongst those available.