Welcome to North Tawton
North Tawton is a small ancient market town situated amid beautiful West Devon countryside and perfectly positioned alongside the river Taw, close to Dartmoor National Park.
North Tawton includes: chapel and two churches, community primary school, town hall, youth and community centre, park with children’s play equipment and picnic tables, independent greengrocery and grocery store, independent general store, butchers shop, fancy goods and gift shop, pharmacy shop, doctors surgery, two dental surgeries, veterinary surgery, three car service and repair garages, estate agents, natwest bank, post office, two hair salons, café and delicatessen, award winning fish and chip takeaway and restaurant, pizza takeaway, bed and breakfast accommodation, sports clubs, social groups and organisations for all ages, four public houses, and public toilets facility.
The ancient market town of North Tawton is well-known with regard to William Budd, born in North Tawton, September 14, 1811.
William Budd was born into a strongly medical family. His father was a doctor in North Tawton.
William Budd, physician and epidemiologist, is known for recognizing the contagious nature of infectious diseases. He recognized the poisons involved in infectious diseases, and how they could be transmitted to the healthy through their consumption of contaminated water.
William Budd was instrumental in vastly reducing the number of deaths caused by cholera and typhoid fever.
William Budd is credited with decreasing the incidence of deaths from epidemics of cholera from 2,000 (out of a population of 140,000) in 1849 to 29 in 1866, having taken measures to protect the water supplies in Bristol.
The Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine, JRSM, has published an insightful article on the life and work of William Budd and typhoid fever by Robert Moorhead
The late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes (1930-1998), together with his wife Sylvia Plath, a fellow poet, novelist, and short-story writer, acquired a house, Court Green, in North Tawton in 1961.
In 2005, a memorial walk was inaugurated, leading from the Devon village of Belstone to Hughes’s memorial stone above the River Taw, on Dartmoor.
In 2011, Ted Hughes was honoured with a memorial in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner. A stone bearing his name and lines of his poetry set in place below the stone for Ted Hughes’s mentor, TS Eliot. Fellow poet Seamus Heaney unveiled the memorial in front of more than 300 guests, on December 6, 2011.
The six hundred year tradition of honouring the greatest poets of the age with a tomb or a stone in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner includes; Chaucer, Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Blake and Eliot.
Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, West Riding of Yorkshire.
Jam and Jerusalem
Jennifer Saunders’ BBC television series Jam and Jerusalem was filmed in North Tawton, and on nearby Dartmoor, with local people engaged as acting extras. St Peter’s Church and North Tawton Town Hall feature prominently.
The Tarka Trail, 180 miles long, follows in the footsteps of the character Tarka the Otter from Henry Williamson’s famous novel and passes through North Tawton.
Sat nav postcode: EX20 2DT
FREE Tarka Trail Maps booklet provided by Devon County Council
available to view and download: Tarka Trail Circular Routes