1st June 2016
A group of South Devon College History and English lecturers recently embarked on the first stage of a 12.5 mile walk which is steeped in history. The walk, known as the Orange Way, is a 350 mile long distance walk that follows the march of the Protestant Prince William of Orange and his army from Brixham to London in 1688.
To many this event was known as the Glorious Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the Catholic monarch James II being replaced by William and his wife Mary as co-regents. The Glorious Revolution had important, lasting political and religious consequences for the rest of Britain and the modern world.
Jon Baldwin, Lead Lecturer for the History with English Foundation Arts Degree at South Devon College, said: “We decided to do this walk for a number of reasons. The significance of the original event left its mark on Torbay, particularly Brixham and the surrounding local communities. It was the people of Brixham who welcomed a Dutch Protestant invader who would go onto be King of England, Scotland and Ireland. It felt perfect, because we teach a History with English degree that focusses on local history and larger national events such as this. This is history right on our doorstep.”
William of Orange’s original march set off from Brixham, through Churston, Galmpton, Waddeton and down what is now known as Long Road which passes South Devon College. The first stage of walk uncovers many interesting spots of history such as Aish where William of Orange was rumoured to have stopped and held his very first parliament. Local prominent families came out in support of William to welcome him in England, including the owners of Berry Pomeroy Castle.
Dave Wildman, history lecturer at South Devon College said, “It was great fun to do the walk and gain historical understanding of the event as well as a geographic perspective. An army of 40,000 swept through Torbay, navigating these roads as it advanced out of the West Country towards London.”
The team of lecturers now plan to do a series of talks outlining the Glorious Revolution and its impact on Torbay. The first of these talks – ‘William of Orange and his Impact on Torbay’ – will be held at South Devon College in the University Centre on Friday 10 June at 12.30PM. This is a free event and the lecturers will be providing an overview of the walk, the historical significance of William of Orange, as well as an investigation into the local myths that have developed since the late 17th century.