Mary Tavy Code of Conduct 2019

Please find attached Mary Tavy Parish Council Code of Conduct 2019

Chairman’s Report

My final report is attached, which includes projects from the last four years. Just click and read you’ll be really surprised what has been accomplished. We’ve under spent by 8% on our 2018/19 approved Budget. That is with the Allotment fence all paid for!  

Cllr. John Hill


Mary Tavy Parish Council

Public Access Defibrillator for Mary Tavy

Mary Tavy Parish Council were recently awarded a grant of £1,249 from the Town & Parishes fund. The money has now been used to purchase a Public Access Defibrillator for the village. Located on the outside wall of Mary Tavy PO &Stores the device is available to anyone who has need of it.Mary Tavy Parish Council would like to thank West Devon Borough Council for awarding the grant. Greater thanks go to Martin and Tracey Bradford, owners of Mary Tavy PO & Stores for agreeing to locating the device on their wall. Please take the time to have a look next time you’re passing.

William Crossing – Hundred Years On Dartmoor


William Crossing (1847–1928) was a writer and chronicler of Dartmoor and the lives of its inhabitants. He lived part of his life here in Mary Tavy and was buried here at St. Mary’s Church in the village.

He’s considered to be one of the best authorities on Dartmoor and its antiquities, having made it the subject of his life’s work.

Of his 18 books, his most famous work was the book ‘Hundred years on Dartmoor’, a book you won’t want to put down! You’ll be amazed at how people lived on and around this fantastic landscape.

‘William Crossing’s’ Grave is located at the Church of St. Mary’s. Go to the top of the church yard, when you get there turn left, walk along the row for about 40 to 50 meters you should be there.




Notice of Vacancy



Two vacancies have occurred on Mary Tavy Parish Council caused by the resignation of Michael Allen and Martin Robins.

A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held if within 14 days of the date of this Notice (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Bank Holidays) ten electors from the Parish give notice in writing to the Returning Officer requiring that such an election be held.

The address of the Returning Officer is West Devon Borough Council, Kilworthy Park, Drake Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0BZ.

If no such notice is given, the Parish Council will fill the vacancy through co-option.

For further information please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council

Dated: 9 May 2014

Environment Agency Guidance on Flood Protection

Flood protection guidance

Mary Tavy Victory Memorial Recreation Ground Trust

This is a very attractive amenity at the centre of the village just off the A386.  It has a well-maintained Children’s Play area, Tennis Courts, Football facilities (with changing rooms and showers) and a wooded area for the exercising of dogs.

Post Office & Stores

Mary Tavy Post Office & Stores
Tel:- 01822 810422
Opening Hours
Mon – Fri     8.00 am – 6.00 pm
Sat              8.30 am – 4.00 pm
Sun             8:30 am – 12.00pm
Your local village shop is much more than just a Post Office and newsagents.  Recently re-furbished and modernised we are proud to offer an ever increasing range of stock and produce.  Martin and Tracey are delighted to offer local fresh milk and over dairy produce, local bread, cakes and pasties, local ciders and beers as well as a a wide range chilled, frozen and general produce.   We love the question ‘I don’t suppose you have…?’ Because often we do; and if we do not stock it, then we can order it for you.
We are Calor gas stockists and also sell coal, wood and kindling.
Our pet food section is ever expanding.
A large range of birthday and greeting cards are always available, most of which are reasonable priced at £1.55.
Newspapers, milk and groceries are delivered on a daily basis to the The Mary Tavy area.
Check out our face book page for our latest deals and offers.
Martin Bradford
Director and Sub-Postmaster


Mary Tavy PO & Stores Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales
Company No: 8759531
Mary Tavy, Tavistock, Devon  PL19 9PA   


Power Station

Manager: Karl Jones
Contact Tel No: 0800 169 1144

2012 is our 80th anniversary year of  producing energy from water.  For further information on the power station please download the attached leaflet.  Link:  Mary Tavy Power Station

© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Mary Warne on Mary Tavy & Peter Tavy

Welcome to Mary Tavy & Peter Tavy. We are twin villages and you may have wondered how we got our names. Well it is quite simple really. St. Mary’s Church on the river Tavy and St Peter’s Church (also on the river Tavy). The two churches are a mile apart and you can reach them by walking along a pretty bridle path with a bridge over the Tavy called the Clam – Mary Tavy Clam if you live in Peter Tavy and Peter Tavy Clam if you live in Mary Tavy. Each village has a famous beauty spot. There is the Peter Tavy Coombe, where the villagers have dammed the Colley Brook to make a swimming pool and the beautiful Tavy Cleave.

Years ago mining was the main industry and the whole are around the Coronation Hall and much further afield was a hive of activity, with many deep shafts and seventeen huge water wheels working the heavy machinery to process the ore and to pump the water from underground. Many hundreds of men and women were employed. The women were called Bal Maidens and their job was to break up the mundic with hammers for which they were paid one shillling a day. (Mundic is also known as pyrite or iron pyrites and was sometimes found in tin and copper mines. A waste product used as aggregate in concrete, when the desired mineral was tin, copper, silver or lead but once mined out of the more valuable ores, mundic, also known as arsenical pyrites, was and the source of another valuable mineral – ed.) Bal is the old word for mine and we still have a Bal Lane in Mary Tavy.

The Largest Mine in the World. Wheal Friendship was at one time the largest copper mine in the world. Later on arsenic was processed and you can still see the flues and calciners on the hillside to the East outside the Coronation Hall.

There was a huge market for the arsenic in the Southern States of America to kill the Bol Weavil in the cotton fields. They say that there is enough arsenic clinging to the inside of the flues to kill millions of people. (A recent report tells that the crops being grown on these fields in the USA now contain traces of that arsenic, a progressive poison that once ingested does not get removed as waste matter. The build up over years of eating contaminated food has been sited a possible cause for many illnesses – Ed)

In earlier times the copper and tin ore was taken by pack horse through Peter Tavy and out on the old road to Tavistock that comes out by Mount Tavy on the Princetown Road. Then on through tracks to Morwellham where it was shipped to all parts of the world. John Taylor, when he was manager of Wheal Friendship, built the Tavistock canal to make transport easier. that was completed in 1817.

The Ancient Right of Common

Those of us who own land in our village have an ancient right of common which means we can graze ponies and cattle and cut peat and turf on Dartmoor.

The whole of the village of Mary Tavy was at one time owned by the Buller family until it was sold of in 1891. The name of the Bullers Arms was recently changed to the Mary Tavy Inn. The old mine shafts called after the families of the mine owners or their captains. There was a Wheal Hope, Wheal Caroline, Stephen’s Shaft, Curtices Shaft, Brunton’s, William’s and Maddock’s. There is also a Wheal Jewel, Kent’s Shaft, Taylor’s and Bennett’s. Most of them had huge water wheels and one, ‘Buller’s Wheel’, was the largest in the world.

In the close-knit community of the village where lots of people had the same name, nicknames were common and were carried on for generations, succeeding generations adding to the old one. They still continue with some of the older families. There was a Billy Go Deeper, Sammy Knacky, Kingy, Tibbet, Neil Weep, Joe Buck, Weeze Buck and Arch Buck Feedo, Jan Scuse, Gentle Annie, Beat Chank and today there is still a Romeo Chank.

World Travellers Made Wealthy

For many years folk had travelled the world as miners or mine captains. My husband’s father started the first mine ‘Tarquo and Obosso’ on the Gold Coast of West Africa. His grandfather mined in America. Other families had their men go off to Mexico, India, Brazil and Malaya. The women folk left at home in the villages reared their families with their husbands away for a year, then home for three months and then of again for another year. They became quite wealthy by village standards and bought houses for themselves, naming them after the foreign places they had worked. There is a Wyoming and an Ohio, and Mrs. Sargents house ‘Broomassie’ is named after the gold mine in West Africa where her father-in-law and other Mary Tavy men worked. They travelled out in the big liners that used to stand off the breakwater at Plymouth Sound. They went aboard by tender and then had a perilous journey journey ashore in rowing boats when they reached Ashanti. The natives had never seen working tools and when they had been taught to use them they were paid a silver three penny bit a day. Most of the men who travelled to those far corners of the world had never previously been further afield than Tavistock!

Our village of Mary Tavy is very scattered and spread over a wide area. there is the original settlement around the church and there is the much larger development both sides of the main road. Of course, until 1817 there was no main road, that was made to relieve stress when there was a period of great unemployment.

Tokens for Money

There were two distinct communities in the Village – Mary Tavy & Blackdown and both names were on the railway station The chapel was of course, Blackdown Chapel. Then there is Zoar Chapel and St, Joseph’s Church at Horndon. Harford Bridge is part of our parish and then there is the West Blackdown area near Brentor. The cricket field has now become Felling field and I can remember when there was no Warren Lane or council houses in Bal Lane or bungalows in the Brentor Road. A community of gipsies used to camp every winter on the Burrows and there was no Body’s Garage. The present shop was there but the Post Office was in a house near the War Memorial called Birches. there was also a shop where the present restaurant is (This has since closed and become a private house). That had been there for many years and used to ake mine tokens instead of money in the old days. The Smithy for shoeing horses was at the top of Lane Head Hill, now part of the Mary Tavy Inn.

A doctor held a surgery twice a week in the sitting room of one of the station road houses. The butchers shop was up past the Royal Standard and we had several carpenters and masons The Duke family ran their newsagents business from No.1 Standard Court. Com. Hare lived in what is now Moorland Hall and started D.M.T – Devon’s early buses. My uncle, Herbie Minhinick, ran a coal and forge business from Laburnam House (now renamed after him) with large sheds in the fields at the back on what is now Laburnam Villas.

At the top of Mary Tavy was the silver and lead mine, Wheal Betsy. The old engine house is still there. The mine was once called Prince Arthur and the mine Captain lived in Prince Arthur House. The Royal Standard provided refreshements for Queen’s son, Prince Arthur, in 1862.

All of the mines had gone ‘scat’ as we say, by the nineteen twenties and the last one to work was the Devon United on the Peter Tavy side of the Tavy in 1925.

The Cholwell Brook winds its way down through the village from Wheal Betsy until it enters the Tavy at the power station. That is worked from an old mine leat that starts at Tavy Cleave.

On the western boundary is the Burn River, along the valley which used to run, and then we had a station. This area is the Manor of Warne and the old manor house was once an orphanage.

How the Elephant Gots Its Nest

I know a lot of pubs, having been brought up in the Peter Tavy Inn and keeping the Royal Standard for 25 years but I know the story of how the Elephant’s Nest at Horndon got its name. My husband was visiting the then landlord, Charles Ossington, and he said to Charles (he was a great big man sitting behind his tiny counter) “You look like an Elephant sitting on a nest”. So there and then Charles decided to change its name from “The New Inn” which it was then called to “The Elephant’s Nest” and it has been famous for its unusual name ever since.

You will probably have heard of William Crossing and his famous book “Guide to Dartmoor”. Well, he wrote that and several other books while living in a house at the top of the main road now called “Crossing”. He also lived in a house in Brentor called “Sunnycroft”, and when my husband was a small boy bringing the cows home to be milked, he often used to stop and talk to him. Crossing was a tutor to Mr. Collin’s sons at “Sunnycote” and the family have many momentoes of the famous writer who is buried in our churchyard.

We had our own postman and policeman and people still took their apples to Wringworthy Farm to be made into cyder. Down’s Garage started up and at Peter Tavy, the first local bus – the Eddystone Bell’ was run by Cole’s Garage.

Our twin villages have some interesting houses. At Peter Tavy there is the lovely old inn, two very old mill houses and their first Chapel, now part of ‘Shula’. There is also ‘Harewood’, where Virginia Holgate’s family lived.

A Gold Pencil from the Prince

In Mary Tavy we have Bryn Tavy, where members of John Taylor’s family used to live. There’s our one thatched cottage, Dowerlands Cottage, and Eastlands Farm, which used to be a house of correction for fallen women. Then there is Kent House where Captain Kent, the manager of wheal Friendship, lived. In 1862, Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Clarence, visited Mary Tavy and he was conducted around the mines by Captain Kent, to whom he presented a gold pencil case.

In the middle of the Burrows is the old Court House which used to have a balcony from which (the rights to mine) the underground faces used to be auctioned.

To end on an eerie note, years ago there used to be a gate by the cattle grid on the Brentor Road, known as the “Iron Cage Gate” where they used to keep the prisoners (until) they hanged them at the top of Gibbet hill.

Mary Warne