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, butchers and dairy shop, independent mini-mart store, independent general store, sew vintage and gift shop, delicatessen dining café serving fresh bread and cakes, award-winning fish and chips takeaway and restaurant, pizza delivery and takeaway shop, pharmacy shop, medical practice surgery, NHS dental surgery, private dental surgery, post office, two hairdressing salons, dog grooming parlour, veterinary surgery, three car repair, parts, service and MOT garages, blacksmiths and fabrication engineering, award-winning cheese creamery, estate agent, bed and breakfast accommodation, social groups and organisations for all ages, sports clubs, four public house and dining establishments, and recently refurbished public toilets facility which includes disabled toilet.
North Tawton amenities include Devon mobile library service parking up in The Square opposite the Town Hall.
North Tawton monthly Mobile Library Timetable for North Tawton, Bondleigh, Sampford Courtenay and Bow.
North Tawton life-saving Defibrillators situated in the town for public access; please read Defibrillator and CPR information page.
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 and aquatic centre.
- Crediton town is located 12 miles from North Tawton.
- Okehampton town is located 7 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 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
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.
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.
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