Explore Tiverton

Explore Tiverton

Explore Tiverton

Situated in Devon, in South West England, Tiverton is a great destination for a short break or as a base to explore the many attractions throughout Devon.

On this page you can find out about the history of Tiverton throughout the ages.

650 AD

Founded early in the Saxon settlement and was a Royal estate from the beginning.

880 - 5

Tiverton referred to as "Twyforde", the place being reached by a ford over each river, in King Alfreds Will.


The Royal Manor of Tiverton belonged to Gytha, Danish born widow of Earl Godwin. Their daughter, Edith, had married the saintly Edward the Confessor. When he died without an heir in January of this year, Gytha's son, Harold, was chosen by the parliament to succeed him.

William of Normandy laid claim to the throne and having defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings, proceeded to subdue the kingdom of Wessex. Exeter had closed its gates against the advancing army of William but was forced to surrender within days. Tiverton was now at the mercy of William the Conqueror.


Henry 1 gave the large and valuable manor to Richard de Redvers whose son Baldwin was created Earl of Devon. Tiverton Castle was built by Richard de Redvers on the orders of Henry 1

1193 - 1217

A Borough was founded at Tiverton by William de Vernon, 5th Earl of Devon.


The de Redvers family line died out and the Royal Manor passed to a kinsman by the name of Hugh de Courtenay.

1348 - 50

Black Death.


John Greenway's Chapel and South porch added to St Peters Church.


John Greenway's Almshouse in Gold Street founded.


Cranmore Castle, the ancient earthwork was the scene of a fierce battle in this year arising out of a dispute as to whether a child should be baptised by Protestant or Roman Catholic rites.


Waldron's Almshouse erected for eight old men.


Spanish Armada.


The plague wiped out one tenth of the population.


Great fire (frying pan fire) burnt town from end to end.


Blundells school founded by Tiverton woollen merchant, Peter Blundell. The old school built in 1604 still stands near the Lowman bridge at the South East end of the town. Converted into dwelling houses in 1880.


Great fier nicknamed the "Dog fight fire" (due to a do fight which distracted attention away from a furnace) destroyed everything with the exception of the Church, Castle, schools, almshouses and a few poor hovels. Because of this fire, James 1 granted Tiverton its first Royal charter on 10th August 1615.


Tiverton was incorporated and at the same time made a parliamentary borough with two representatives.


Tiverton occupied by Essex and the main parliamentary army but was regained by the Royalists after the parliamentary defeat at Lostwithiel.


During the English Civil War, Tiverton Castle was beseiged by General Fairfax of the Roundhead army and the Castle's life as a military stronghold was over.


The Oliver Cromwell charter states that market day would no longer be held on Mondays, but as today, would be held on Tuesdays to avoid the profanation of the Sabbath by traders preparing their wares which had provoked God's wrath, which manifested in the two Great Fires of 1598 and 1612. This charter is displayed at Tiverton Museum.

1714 - 30

St Georges Church, in the middle of town was built and is the only notable Georgian church in Devon.


Third Great Fire in June. 300 houses destroyed and over 2000 people were made homeless.


Act of Parliament passed decreeing that in future all Tiverton houses must have roofs built of tiles or slates, not of thatch.


John Heathcoat was born.


Grand Western Canal built for transporting Lime from the quarries to the kilns.


One of the last woollen mills taken over by John Heathcoats, a lace manufacturer from Leicestershire.


The Pannier Market opened on the site of the old bowling green. The following years pens for cattle, sheep and pigs were provided at the Newport Street End.


Grand Western Canal completed to Taunton.


Tiverton Junction railway station built on the main Exeter to Bristol line. Today this is known as Tiverton Parkway.


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