Work to restore views at historic Shute lookout

Seaton Bay will be visible again from Armada Beacon

ONE of the Axe Valley’s finest hilltop vistas is to be restored.

For years visitors to the Armada Beacon in Shute Woods were able to look down across the Axe Valley to Seaton Bay – just as the watchmen did in the 1500s.

But in recent times pine tees have grown up to obscure the stunning views.

Now, after a two year campaign, locals have persuaded the wood’s owners, W A Nicholls & Sons, to agree to thin out some of vegetation this spring.

Local resident, Brian Lavender, who organises the popular church services at the Beacon each Easter, is delighted they will be getting back their view.

He said: “In the 1560s, watchmen were on duty permanently in daylight hours at the Beacon to look out for the Spanish Armada and to give warning of its approach.

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“Details of pay and conditions are recorded in historical records from St Giles’ Church at Kilmington and are repeated on a sign by the Beacon.

“In 1993, a new Beacon was erected among the ruins of the old one, designed by the children of Shute Primary School assisted by Top Design, Teignmouth. Funding was provided by the Devon county and East Devon district councils, the parishes of Kilmington and Shute, and W A Nicholls and Sons.

“But For the last three years or so, the view of Seaton Bay from the Beacon has been totally obscured because of the growth of pine trees with the result that walkers, visitors and children, in particular, have failed to understand the significance of the site.

“As one of only two remaining Armada Beacon sites in the county, we can look forward to a restored view in the Spring at this spectacular location in East Devon, accessible along permissive paths from the car parks in Shute Road.”