BOVEY TRACEY (/ˌbʌvi ˈtreɪsi/ ) is a small town and civil parish
Devon , England, on the edge of
Dartmoor , its proximity to which
gives rise to the "slogan" used on the town's boundary signs, "The
Gateway to the Moor". It is often known locally as "Bovey". It is
about 10 miles south-west of
Exeter and lies on the A382 road , about
Newton Abbot and
Moretonhampstead . The village is at
the centre of the electoral ward of Bovey. At the 2011 census the
population of this ward was 7,721.
* 1 History
* 2 Geography
* 3 Notable features
* 4 Historic estates
* 5 Sport
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Bovey Tracey was an established Saxon community and takes its name
River Bovey . The name first appears in
Domesday Book as Bovi
and possibly earlier as Buui. The town gained its second name from the
de Tracey family who were lords of the manor after the Norman Conquest
, and was first documented as Bovitracy in 1309.
One member of the family,
William de Tracy , was implicated in the
murder of Archbishop
Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. It
is thought that he rebuilt the parish church of St Peter, St Paul and
St Thomas of Canterbury as penance for the murder. In the early 13th
century Henry de Tracey created a borough here and in 1259 was granted
the right to hold a weekly market and an annual three-day fair.
English Civil War
English Civil War on 9 January 1646,
Oliver Cromwell and a
contingent of his Roundhead army entered
Bovey Tracey after dark and
caught part of Lord Wentworth\'s Regiment by surprise, catching a
number of officers playing cards in an inn. Many of Wentworth's
Royalist troops escaped, but Cromwell did capture about 400 horse. If
local legend is to be believed, the Royalists escaped by throwing
coins from the windows in order to distract the poorly paid Roundhead
troops. The next day a battle was fought on nearby
Bovey Heath ending
in victory for Cromwell's army.
The name of Cromwell lives on in the town today in both the public
house "The Cromwell Arms" and the remains of a nearby stone arch,
known locally (and incorrectly) as "Cromwell's Arch". The arch is
actually what is left of a priory that stood previously on the site of
the nearby Baptist Church.
Bovey railway station was opened on 26 June 1866 with the new
Moretonhampstead and South
Devon Railway on a site to the west of the
town. It closed to passengers on 28 February 1959, but goods trains
continued to operate until 6 July 1970.
The town is twinned with
Le Molay-Littry in
Bovey Tracey lies in the valley of the
River Bovey at the junction of
the A382 road (between
Newton Abbot and Moretonhampstead) and the
B3387 road (
Chudleigh Knighton to
Haytor Vale ).
Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas of Canterbury
Original paintings of apostles and prophets on the wainscot of the
rood screen , restored by Anna Hulbert, dated to the early 16th
The town has over a hundred listed buildings . The parish church, at
the top of the town, is grade I listed. It has a tower dating from
the 14th century, many 15th-century carvings including three
misericords , and a screen described by
Arthur Mee as "one of the
finest in this county of fine screens". The church has an unbroken
list of vicars from 1258. On Hind Street, the East
Church was built in 1824 and is now grade II listed. Original support
for the church came mainly from workers in the Bovey Potteries.
Since 1986, the
Devon Guild of Craftsmen contemporary crafts gallery
has occupied a building known as Riverside Mill, on the bank of the
River Bovey. The building, dating from 1854, has an undershot
waterwheel that was used to pump water up to a tank in its tower. The
stored water was used as the supply for a nearby house owned by John
Divett and to water its stable yard and gardens. Nearby, the Bovey
Tracey Heritage Centre in the old
Bovey railway station is run by
volunteers and is open in the summer months.
On the outskirts of the town are the House of Marbles, a visitor
attraction on the site of the historic pottery; and the headquarters
Dartmoor National Park Authority at Parke, a large house which
is leased to the authority by the National Trust. Also nearby are a
Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve at
Bovey Heath and the Haytor
Granite Tramway , the route of which runs through the parish, west of
According to the town council the town has a "good mixture of shops"
and there is a farmers\' market on alternate Saturday mornings.
Within the parish of
Bovey Tracey are various historic estates,
* Indio , long a seat of the Southcott family, later of Bentinck.
The Indeo Pottery was established here between about 1766 and 1785.
* Parke , seat of Nicholas Eveleigh (d.1620) whose monument with
effigy survives in
Bovey Tracey Church. His widow married
Elize Hele ,
whose monument and effigy faces that of Eveleigh. There are several
inscribed tablets to later owners in
Bovey Tracey Church. Now the
headquarters of the
Dartmoor National Park Authority.
Bovey Tracey is the start point of the
Dartmoor Devil bicycle ride,
an annual Audax UK Brevet Populaire event held in late October that
takes in over 2,000 m of climbing and over 100 km around and across
Dartmoor . The ride ends in nearby
The town has a
Non-League football club
Bovey Tracey A.F.C.
Bovey Tracey A.F.C. who play
at The Western Counties Roofing Ground in the South West Peninsula
* ^ "Bovey ward population 2011". Retrieved 18 February 2015.
* ^ Watts, Victor (2010). The Cambridge Dictionary of English
Place-names (1st paperback ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 74.
ISBN 978-0-521-16855-7 .
* ^ Hoskins, W. G. (1972). A New Survey of England:
ed.). London: Collins. pp. 340–1. ISBN 0-7153-5577-5 .
* ^ Andriette, Eugene A (1971).
Exeter in the Civil War.
Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 159. ISBN 0-7153-5256-3 .
* ^ "Listed Buildings in Bovey Tracey, Devon, England".
britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
* ^ "Church of St Peter and St Paul and St Thomas of Canterbury,
Bovey Tracey". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 22 January
* ^ Mee, A. The King's England:
Devon (Hodder and Stoughton, 1965),
* ^ "East
Dartmoor Baptist Church, Bovey Tracey".
britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
* ^ "About the Guild: Frequently asked Questions".
Devon Guild of
Craftsmen. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 22
* ^ Minchington, Walter (1974).
Devon at Work: Past and Present.
Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 23. ISBN 0-7153-6389-1 .
* ^ "
Bovey Tracey Heritage Centre".