About 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 amenities include:
Frank Henson Gibbings Memorial Park with children’s play equipment and picnic tables.
Traditional butchers and dairy shop, local mini-mart store, post office and newsagents, sew vintage fabrics and gift shop, delicatessen café serving fresh bread and cakes, award-winning fish and chips takeaway and restaurant, pizza delivery and takeaway shop, estates agency.
Pharmacy shop, medical practice surgery, NHS dental surgery, private dental surgery, two hairdressing salons, dog grooming parlour and pet supplies store, veterinary surgery, three car repair, parts, service and MOT garages, blacksmiths and fabrication engineering, award-winning cheese creamery, transportation and storage.
Social groups and organisations for all ages, sports clubs for all ages, four public house and dining establishments, and recently refurbished public toilets facilities – accessible for disabled people and their carers.
Devon mobile library service parks up in The Square opposite North Tawton Town Hall. The Mobile Library Timetable for North Tawton, Bondleigh, Sampford Courtenay, and Bow, is updated each month.
North Tawton has three life-saving defibrillators situated in the town for public access. Defibrillator location points featured on the Defibrillator and CPR information page.
North Tawton Fire Station is situated on Barton Street. The fire station covers an area of about 60 square miles. In the event of an emergency, dial 999.
North Tawton is located near to rural A3072 road:
- Bow village is situated 4 miles from North Tawton and boasts an impressive garden and aquatic centre.
- Whiddon Down, Dartmoor National Park, is situated 6 miles from North Tawton.
- Okehampton town is situated 7 miles from North Tawton. The Museum of Dartmoor Life is worth a visit.
- Crediton town is located 12 miles from North Tawton.
William Budd – Epidemiologist
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 an active medical family. His father, Samuel Budd, was as a medical doctor in North Tawton.
William Budd, physician, and epidemiologist; is known for recognising the contagious nature of infectious diseases. William Budd recognised the poisons involved in infectious diseases, and how the poisons 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
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
Ted Hughes – Poet Laureate
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, North Tawton; during the year 1961.
Ted Hughes Memorial Walk event focused on Ted Hughes memorial stone, situated above the River Taw on Dartmoor, was organised by local Farms for City Children charity on June 15, 2015. Guided memorial walk map available to download.
Ted Hughes was honoured with a memorial in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner: a stone bearing his name with lines of Hughes’ poetry set in place below the stone for his 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.
The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, Lumb Bank is an 18th-century mill owner’s house in West Yorkshire, which once belonged to Ted Hughes. The house stands half a mile from the historic village of Heptonstall and two miles from Hebden Bridge.
Jam and Jerusalem
Jennifer Saunders’ BBC television series Jam and Jerusalem 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 throughout the series which ran from 2006 to 2008.
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.
North Tawton Tarka Trail postcode: EX20 2DT
FREE Tarka Trail Circular Routes Maps pdf booklet, provided by Devon County Council, available to view and download: Tarka Trail Circular Routes