Pictures of England


Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Wooler United Reform Church


in the county of Northumberland

Pictures of Tavistock

a Historic Market Town in the county of Devon

About Tavistock

This pleasant market town plays host to what is possibly Devon's most entertaining annual fair, the Goose Fair, normally celebrated in the second week of October.

Interest in the town centres on the fast flowing River Tavy, whose banks straddle most of the area. The areas other waterway the Tavistock Canal can be followed on foot along its tow-path until it disappears into a tunnel. The canal was closed in around 1880, its barge trade being overtaken by the development of the railways. However, today its paths are impressive, offering a wonderful way to explore the picturesque Tamar valley.

Early history of Tavistock focuses on tin mining, this had given the region stability for many years before the 14th-century, when in 1305 the town rose to the importance associated with a Stannery Town established by Royal Decree.

The town gained its market charter in 1105 from King Henry I, this continues to this day and adds to the vibrancy and popularity of Tavistock, drawing in visitors from far and wide.

Earlier still a great abbey was founded here, this was in 974 AD. The abbey was founded by Ordulph, Earl of Devonshire, it was sited beside the River Tavy as a community house for Benedictine monks. Despite raids by Vikings when parts of the abbey were destroyed by fire, the abbey was later repaired and grew to be one of the most magnificent and influential religious houses in the West Country. All this ceased with Henry VIII's desire to marry Anne Boleyn, which brought about the Dissolution. Today there remains only fragments of the abbey, and apart from the medieval parish church of St. Eustachius, Tavistock is almost entirely of 19th-century build.

Tavistock is the birth-place of that great sea-faring hero Sir Francis Drake, who was born at Crowndale farm just south of the town in 1542. Close to the town visitors can see a fine statue of him, this is situated on the road to Plymouth, the port where he famously played a genteel game of bowls before setting out to beat the might of the Spanish Armada.

The town stands on the western edge of Dartmoor, in what is mostly an area of outstanding natural beauty, as such it offers a wealth of scenic beauty, lively places to visit including the famous indoor market and has many specialist shops to explore. It is rich in atmospheric inns and has plenty of restaurants, a fine theatre and entertainment complex, plus a lovely riverside park.

Tavistock, with its easy access to the treasures of the Dartmoor National Park, makes an ideal base for exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside, quaint Devonian villages, the rivers Tamar and Tavy, several National Trust properties, and Morwellham Quay which was once the centre of tin and copper mining, but is now transformed to offer a pleasant, informative family day out.

Tavistock lies between Launceston and Plymouth, it is therefore ideally situated for both coast and country holidays.

Recommended towns & villages near Tavistock

2nd Winter picture of Postbridge Clapper.

Postbridge (19 Pictures) in the county of Devon

(10.8 miles, 17.4 km, direction E of Tavistock)

Postbridge is a tiny hamlet, yet this richly wooded area, at the heart of the moor has become a natural starting point for the thousands of visitors who annually come to explore the splendour and wonders of the moor...

Peaceful waters

Dartmeet (14 Pictures) a Picturesque Village in the county of Devon

(11.6 miles, 18.7 km, direction E of Tavistock)

A popular tourist and beauty spot on Dartmoor. It is the meeting point of the two major tributaries of the River Dart: the East Dart and West Dart...

Royal Albert Bridge, Plymouth

Plymouth (134 Pictures) in the county of Devon

(12.5 miles, 20.0 km, direction S of Tavistock)

This is a city that evokes stirring memories of England's great maritime past...

Okehampton Castle in Devon

Okehampton (14 Pictures) in the county of Devon

(14.3 miles, 23.0 km, direction NE of Tavistock)

There has been a settlement at Okehampton since the Bronze-Age, later it became a prosperous Saxon town with the Saxon Lords being overthrown at the time of the Conquest...

Newton Ferrers, Devon

Newton Ferrers (13 Pictures) a Picturesque Village in the county of Devon

(17.0 miles, 27.3 km, direction S of Tavistock)

A place of sheer enchantment with narrow streets crammed with characterful properties, leading down to the estuary where many small boats are beached and moored...

All towns & villages in Devon
Complete A to Z of towns & villages in England

Nearby attractions..

Merrivale rows also know has the Plague Market, - On Dartmoor

Merrivale Prehistoric Settlement (3 Pictures)

(4.5 miles, 7.2 km, direction E)

Set in a dark, brooding corner of Dartmoor, the Merrivale Rows show a vast variety of shape and formation. The site is also.....

The Tower, Buckland Abbey, Devon

Buckland Abbey (4 Pictures)

(4.8 miles, 7.7 km, direction S)

Buckland Abbey is situated near Yelverton at the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. It was built as a 13th century Cistercian.....

Lydford Castle, Lydford, Devon

Lydford Castle (1 Pictures)

(6.5 miles, 10.4 km, direction N)

A simple square keep is all that remains of Lydford Castle. The castle, standing on a small mound in the shadow of the church.....

Bridge over the river at Lydford Gorge, Devon.

Lydford Gorge (49 Pictures)

(6.5 miles, 10.5 km, direction N)

A picturesque stone bridge crosses the River Lyd just south of the village of Lydford. At this point the river often falls fast.....

Looking down the Okement, Dartmoor National Park, Devon

Dartmoor National Park (801 Pictures)

(10.6 miles, 17.1 km, direction E)

An exploration of the hauntingly beautiful Dartmoor National Park cannot be under-taken in just one short visit. To truly explore.....

Grey Wethers Stone Circle, near Okehampton, Devon

Grey Wethers Stone Circle (1 Pictures)

(11.0 miles, 17.7 km, direction NE)

This unique double ringed circle is less dramatic than most and is interesting for the fact that the circles lie side by side.....

Launceston Castle, Cornwall

Launceston Castle (9 Pictures)

(11.5 miles, 18.6 km, direction NW)


All attractions in Tavistock
All attractions in Devon
Complete A to Z of attractions in England