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The name Devon derives from the name of the Britons who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain known as the Dumnonii, thought to mean "deep valley dwellers" from proto Celtic *dubnos 'deep'.In the Brittonic, Devon is known as Welsh: Dyfnaint, Breton: Devnent and Cornish: Dewnens, each meaning "deep valleys." (For an account of Celtic Dumnonia, see the separate article.) Among the most common Devon placenames is -combe which derives from Brittonic cwm meaning 'valley' usually prefixed by the name of the possessor.The inland terrain is rural and generally hilly, and has a lower population density than many other parts of England.Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England, at 954 km its moorland extends across a large expanse of granite bedrock.The arrival of William of Orange to launch the Glorious Revolution of 1688 took place at Brixham.Devon has produced tin, copper and other metals from ancient times.
The comparatively mild climate, coastline and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with visitors particularly attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; its coasts, including the resort towns along the south coast known collectively as the English Riviera; the Jurassic Coast, and North Devon's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; and the countryside including the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.Danish raids also occurred sporadically along many coastal parts of Devon between around 800AD and just before the time of the Norman conquest, including the silver mint at Hlidaforda Lydford in 997 and Taintona (a settlement on the Teign estuary) in 1001.Devon was the home of a number of anticlerical movements in the Later Middle Ages.The Met Office, the UK's national and international weather service, moved to Exeter in 2003.Plymouth hosts the head office and first ever store of The Range, the only major national retail chain headquartered in Devon.