Tavistock Travel Guide

Browse 2 travel reviews, travel blogs and 5 travel photos from real travelers to Tavistock.

Tavistock Locals

Ben Chris

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Tavistock Overview

Tavistock is West Devon's main market town and nestles in the lush valley of the River Tavy on the Western edge of Dartmoor. The place has a rich history, becoming a major town just before the turn of the first millenium when its Benedictine Abbey was built.
It got its charter as a market town in the early 1100's and became a stannary town (where the local tin miners had their metal assayed and sold) in 1281.

Henry the VIII's Dissolution of the Monastaries resulted in the Abbey being demolished in 1539 and the town being essentially gifted to the Russell family who later became the Dukes of Bedford. During the 19th Century the town prospered as an important copper mining centre whilst maintaining its position as a major market town. The 7th Duke of Bedford, who did quite well out of all this, ploughed much of his profits into the town's development and was responsible for the building of the Town Hall, the new bridge, the Pannier Market and much of the town's other solid stone buildings.

The modern town has seen very few changes since the 7th Duke rebuilt it (many of the buildings are now listed). The railway came and went, leaving behind its magnificent viaduct towering over the top end of the town, and apart from the rather hideously incongruous new supermarket not much else has changed. This isn't a stagnant timelessness though. The town is busy, buzy and is even quite trendy with a lively arts scene, excellent independent shops and with public spaces and sporting facilities galore.

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