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This walk: 2013-6-19. Riverside Car Park, River Tavy, weirs, old island, Still Tower, pinnacles, Abbey Place, Abbey Chapel, Misericord, Bedford Hotel, Betsy Grimbal's Tower, sarcophagus, cloisters, Church of St. Eustachius (Eustace), medieval gargoyle, Ordulph Arms, lower ground levels, milestone, stained glass windows.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.

Link to Google Satellite view of the area

Today's walk was led by Simon Dell, MBE.


Wall in the Riverside Car Park.


Looking up the River Tavy and its weirs.


One of the weirs, with a fish-pass on the far side.


Welcome to Tavistock sign.   Click the image to see a larger version


Looking down the river from the road bridge, with the Still Tower on the right, within the Bedford Hotel garden.


Looking from the same bridge up the river to the last remains of the old island that stood in the river .....


Zoomed view.


The pinnacles of Tavistock: Tavy (the river) + Stoc (Saxon for settlement).


Part of Abbey Place.


Zoomed view.


Welcome sign .....


Abbey Chapel, a place with a chequered history of some destruction and later rebuilding, evidenced by the remains of walls etc.


Sign in the Abbey Chapel garden .....


As previous photo.


Doorway with the trademark trefoil design of the Dukes of Bedford (see Earls of Bedford, 1551, under 5th Creation, and Dukes of Bedford, under 6th Creation, 1694): present and 15th Duke of Bedford.


Garden view.


There are many old headstones along the walls of the garden .....


To the memory of John Burgh. 


The Bedford ......


The Bedford Hotel.


Looking down at a much older ground level compared to the modern level of the ground in this area. 


The Still Tower, where the old Benedictine monks distilled spirits for medicinal purposes. The abbey was founded in 961 AD and dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538.


Bedford Hotel car park.


There is mention of Betsy Grimbal on this web page (look down to Tavistock). The real Grimbal may have been an Abbot of the Abbey? There is a list of the abbots where some went on to become bishops although Sihtric, circa 1043-1082 went on to become a pirate!


Nearby sign.


Betsy Grimbal's Tower. 


Artefacts under the arch including the roof timbers from the old Misericord, also the sarcophagus that contained bones that suggested the owner was around 7 feet tall, a giant, and were the bones of Ordulph - "..... ..... Ordulph appears in the Domesday Book as owning 22 manors, 19 in Devon, 2 in Cornwall and 1 in Somerset, he was described as a man of great strength and stature. His passion was hunting and it is said that his favourite hunting grounds were at Horton in East Dorset where he gave some benefactions to a recently founded abbey. Ordulph was so fond of this place that he expressed the wish for his mortal remains to be buried at the abbey. However, it is supposed that he actually died whilst out hunting on Dartmoor and once his remains were found the monks of Tavistock Abbey interred them alongside his ancestors in the abbey. ...... ..... "


Zoomed view.


Welsh poppy, growing in the cracks of the archway shown above. 


Cloisters sign ..... 


The surviving cloisters arch of the abbey.


Church of St. Eustachius, parish church of Tavistock, named after the Roman centurion who became a Christian. Montage of three photographs, I'm sure the roof ridge is not curved as it appears here, this is the result of the fish-eye effect of no zoom.  Click the image image to see a larger version. 


The tower .....


One of the abbey's old gateways .....


Old hopper into the down-pipe.

Was it really Paul Brooke whom we saw here?

The other side of the tower gateway, complete with a holy water well in the wall on the left .....


Zoomed view.


Bank sign. Is this Bath stone? There is a lot of Bath stone in this area.


Medieval gargoyle.


This is not the oldest area but nearby there are medieval buildings that are still in use, also buildings with overhanging fronts (to save on an old "footprint" tax) now "built under" to fill in the overhang.


The old Southern Railway line, the presence of which caused nearby land to be  built up to enable the road to reach the railway. Several photographs follow below to illustrate this having been done.


Another archway with the trefoil design of the Dukes of Bedford and the Ordulph Arms.


A more complete view.


A lower ground level garden resulting from the building up of ground level to get a road up to the railway station.


Nearby street sign.


A nearby property with a lower level area of garden.


A large area of lower ground level.


There were once buildings opposite the houses on the left! There is an old milestone in the centre of the photograph .....


The milestone - true aficionados belong to The Milestone Society.


Street sign.


Interior of St. Eustace's (Eustachius) church .....


Lectern .....


Pulpit .....


Part of a flower display .....


Stained glass - I couldn't read the inscriptions .....


Stained glass window at the east end of the church.     


Detail from the the window above. St. Eustace has been hyperlinked above, St Rumon originates from the name of the old Tavistock Abbey of St. Mary and St. Rumon (this link says quite a lot about Tavistock).


The font where it is thought that Sir Frances Drake was baptised.


Now, somewhere a long the trail today we encountered the architect, James Wyatt, who built and designed many famous buildings, including Queen's House (Buckingham Palace) before doing ########'s house here in Tavistock! That cheered her up!


Walk details

MAP:  Green = GPS satellite track of the walk.

© Crown copyright and database rights 2012  Ordnance Survey Licence number 100047373
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.


This walk was reached by driving from Plymouth, turning right into Pixon Lane and finding the car park.


Distance - 1.94 km / 1.21 miles.


All photographs on this web site are copyright ©2007-2016 Keith Ryan.
All rights reserved - please email for permissions

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