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Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes. Dartmouth was of strategic importance as a deep-water port for sailing vessels. The port was used as the sailing point for the Crusades. The narrow mouth of the Dart is protected by two fortified castles, Dartmouth Castle and Kingswear Castle. Originally Dartmouth's only wharf was Bayard's Cove, a relatively small but picturesque area protected by a fort at the southern end of the town. The town contains many medieval and Elizabethan streetscapes and is patchwork of narrow lanes and stone stairways. A significant number of the historic buildings are listed.One of the most obvious is the Butterwalk, built 1635 to 1640. Its intricately carved wooden fascia is supported on granite columns. Charles II held court in the Butterwalk whilst sheltering from storms in 1671 in a room which now forms part of Dartmouth Museum.Much of the interior survives from that time.
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