Riddalls Families Lewis Families Kellaway Families Eastlake Families Aller/Haller/Halls and Cross Families Acton Families

The Pannier Market The River Tavy The Parish Church of St Eustachius
Pannier Market River Tavy Parish Church
Tavistock Spring 2005


Tavistock is today an attractive market town on the banks of the River Tavy. It is on the western fringes of Dartmoor surrounded by beautiful contryside. The centre is Bedford square built in 1859 by the Duke of Bedford. Central buildings include the Town Hall, Pannier Market, The Guildhall, St Eustachius Church and the Bedford Hotel. There is a pleasant walk through gardens and Abbey ruins along the bank of the Tavy. It is an ancient town which started about 800 AD as the Saxon Settlement of Tavy-stoc.

The present town developed round the Benedictine Abbey which was begun by Ordgar, Earl of Devon in 974 AD. It was dedicated to St Mary and St Rumon and held 1000 monks. The Vikings raided Tavistock in 997 AD and razed the Abbey to the ground. However, it was rebuilt and prospered until the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. Its revenues were then granted to John Russell the first Earl of Bedford. His descendants became the Dukes of Bedford

Tavistock became a Market town in 1105 and was a centre for wool production. Tavistock was also an early tin mining centre and it became a Stannary town in 1305.

Sir Francis Drake was born in Tavistock in 1542

Mining boomed in the 19th century and the Devon Great Consuls Mine was one of the richest producers of copper in Europe.

The mining boom brought a huge increase in population and there was considerable overcrowding in parts of the town during the mid-1800s. The then Duke of Bedford built several hundred workers cottages when the town centre was re-modelled in mid-1800s.

The Parish Church of St Eustachius was dedicated in 1318 but most of the building dates from the 15th century. The Parish Registers begin in 1614. There were several non–conformist churches whose records have been entered into IGI.

There are several villages close by which have strong ties to Tavistock. In particular there are Lifton, Mary Tavy, Peter Tavy and Whitchurch. The Local Villages Page

Six Families Who Lived in Tavistock and the Surrounding Villages

RIDDALLSTavistock and Peter TavyRiddalls Information
LEWISTavistock and WhitchurchLewis Information
KELLAWAYTavistock, Whitchurch and LiftonKellaway Information
ALLER/HALLERTavistock and Peter TavyAller Haller Halls Information
CROSSTavistock and Mary TavyCross Information
EASTLAKETavistock, Peter Tavy and Mary TavyEastlake Information
ACTONTavistockActon Families

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Tavistock Page
Last updated April 2014
Web Page by Les Haigh. Email: (les.haigh at

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