Moretonhampstead is a small moorland town, a busy rural farming area that still retains a strong sense of community. Within its narrow streets and more remote corners there resides a wealth of talent – from potters to painters to felt makers and sculptors, shoemakers and photographers – all living in the beautiful landscape of the Dartmoor National Park. Green Hill, in the centre of the town, is a great showcase for the many talents of local crafts people, as well as being a wonderful repository of local history.
In 2011, the town’s old Victorian schoolhouse was transformed into an exciting mixed-use community resource called simply ‘Green Hill’. Situated next to the town’s church and a two-minute walk from the White Hart Hotel, it incorporates artist’s studios, offices and workspace, heritage archives and an art gallery called ‘Green Hill Arts’.
Green Hill Arts is an exciting art gallery centred on contemporary visual art on Dartmoor. It is an artist-led, community-owned and managed, contemporary space that’s light and airy with stunning facilities including state-of-the-art projection.
Exhibitions at Green Hill change regularly and are wonderfully varied with past exhibitions including: Down on the Farm – a celebration of Moretonhampstead’s farming heritage. Five Devon potters, Sculptor – Paul Devon Young, Local Open Air art show, Moreton on Wheels – the history of wheeled transport in the town, and Widdershins – Moorland Mythic Arts.
Part of the Green Hill project has been to show the history of Moretonhampstead with the foyer and upstairs areas featuring colourful displays of the town’s heritage. Moretonhampstead Development Trust together with the local Moretonhampstead History Society have drawn together archive photographs, artefacts and documentation to create a fascinating display. It portrays the development of Moretonhampstead from 700 AD to the present day. A variety of audio-visual materials – display boards, touchscreen presentations, banners and artefacts – introduces the visitor to the rich legacy of the town’s fascinating past.
As well as the gallery space and the archive materials, visitors are sure to want to linger in the gallery shop. This has a lovely mix of arts and crafts including artists cards and prints, beautifully handmade ceramics, stunning jewellery, leather, wood craft and even hand-made chocolate! It’s a great place for gifts, or to buy a memento to take home with you to remind you of your visit to this beautiful part of the country.
Green Hill is open 10am-4pm daily except Sundays and Mondays.