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Art Deco in Devon

By Linda Tancs

Burgh Island is a tidal island on the coast of South Devon in England located opposite the beach of the small seaside village of Bigbury-on-Sea. A strip of sand leading from the beach is all that will get you there during low tide; otherwise, the sea tractor will have to do. The island’s landmark is its Art-Deco inspired hotel, famously a retreat for mystery writer Agatha Christie. The island also served as a retreat of sorts for smugglers and pirates in the 14th century. Their hideout, the Pilchard Inn, is reputedly haunted. Speaking of pilchard (sardines), the story goes that fishermen would keep watch for pilchard at a chapel on the island (remains of which are known as “Huer’s Hut”). When shoals were sighted, they would cry out to other fishermen on Bigbury. The phrase “hue and cry” is said to originate from this practice.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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