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, butchers shop, independent general store, fancy goods and gift shop, dog grooming parlour, pharmacy shop, medical practice surgery, two dental surgeries, veterinary surgery, three car service and repair garages, two hairdressing salons, café and delicatessen, award winning fish and chip takeaway and restaurant, pizza takeaway, estate agents, post office, bed and breakfast accommodation, social groups and organisations for all ages, sports clubs, four public houses, and recently refurbished public toilets facility.
North Tawton Fire Station is located in Barton Street. In the event of an emergency, dial 999.
The small ancient historic town of North Tawton location:
- Bow village is located 4 miles from North Tawton, and boasts an impressive garden centre and aquatic centre.
- Crediton town is located 12 miles from North Tawton.
- Okehampton town is located 7 miles from North Tawton.
The ancient market town of North Tawton is well-known with regard to William Budd, who was born in North Tawton, September 14, 1811.
William Budd was born into a strong medical family. His father, Samuel Budd, was as a medical 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.
“There are few things which concern the people of this country more deeply than to know the exact truth touching the mode in which this fatal fever is disseminated amongst them. Every year, on an average – take the United Kingdom through – some fifteen thousand or more of their number perish prematurely by it: a population equal to that of a considerable city every year swept into the grave by a single, and, as I hope to show, a perfectly preventable plague.”
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 then 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