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About Bovey Tracey

Bovey Tracey is a small market town, built of cob and granite and known as The Gateway to Dartmoor. It is the ideal location for exploring the southern edge of Dartmoor and is close to the famous Haytor Rock, one of the high points of Dartmoor.

Bovey Tracey has a long and colourful history and takes its name from the river Bovi or Boui, which passes through the town and is now known as the River Bovey. The de Tracey’s who settled in the area after 1066 were the old Lords of the Manor. One of them, Sir William, who had a share in the murder of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, is said to have built the Parish church of St Peter, St Paul & St Thomas of Canterbury (which was dedicated to St Thomas) as a penance for his crime. The unbroken list of vicars dates from 1258. The present church, with its fine coloured rood screen and carved stone pulpit, dates mainly from the later 14th and 15th centuries.

De Tracey later added his name to that of Bovey, thus renaming the town Bovey Tracey. He is said to have lived in the Manor House in East Street, built about 1200. In 1260 a Fair and Market Charter was granted by Henry III and there is still a Farmers’ Market on alternate Saturdays. 

The restored Riverside Mill building in the centre of Bovey Tracey is home to the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. The building was never used as a mill but was built in 1850 as a stable. The waterwheel simply collected water from the river for use in the stables and Bridge House, which is now the Riverside Hotel. The old Market Cross, close to the Town Hall, has been restored as a War Memorial. This was the original site of the village green and the Town Hall was opened here in 1866. Courtenay House was the original site of Bovey Grammar School. It later became a Mission House and was used for parish relief work.

The Devon House of Mercy, for reclaiming fallen women, was established here in 1861, and was formally opened in a temporary residence in 1863 at nearby Chapple Farm. The foundation stone of the present building was laid by the Earl of Devon in 1865 and contained accommodation for 72 inmates being supported by voluntary contributions. The members of the Clew Sisterhood had the management of it. Following the Second World War, Devon House was converted into residential accommodation.

At nearby Parke is the headquarters of the Dartmoor National Park Authority. This large house and estate was left to the National Trust in 1974 and the house is leased to the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

All information provided by the Bovey Tracey Town Council website. For more information click here.

Dartmoor Whisky is now available

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Shop Address:

The Old Town Hall, Town Hall Place, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon, England, TQ13 9EG

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

This funding was to support our project to renovate and develop our distillery.