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The City of Exeter is the county town; seven other districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon are under the jurisdiction of Devon County Council; Plymouth and Torbay are each a part of Devon but administered as unitary authorities.Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km and its population is about 1.1 million.Devon derives its name from Dumnonia, which, during the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, and Early Medieval was the homeland of the Dumnonii Brittonic Celts.The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries.The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936.
Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England thereafter.
The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, and the county's bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns, and ports.
The inland terrain is rural, generally hilly, and has a low population density in comparison to many other parts of England.
Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England at 954 km its moorland extending across a large expanse of granite bedrock.
To the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor.
In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart, and the Otter.