Okehampton (/ˌoʊkˈhæmp.tən/ also /ˈoʊ.kæmp.tən/) is a town
and civil parish in West
Devon in the English county of Devon. It is
situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor, and had a population of
5,922 at the 2011 census. Two electoral wards are based in the town
(east and west). Their joint population at the same census is
1.1 Feudal barony
2 Political representation
3 Military presence
7 Nearby settlements
9 External links
Okehampton was founded by the Saxons. The earliest written record of
the settlement is from 980 AD as "Ocmundtune", meaning settlement by
the Ockment, a river which runs through the town. It was recorded as a
place for slaves to be freed at cross roads.
Like many towns in the West Country,
Okehampton grew on the medieval
wool trade. Notable buildings in the town include the 15th century
chapel of St. James and
Okehampton Castle, which was established by
the Norman Sheriff of Devon, Baldwin FitzGilbert(d.1090).
Main article: Feudal barony of Okehampton
Okehampton Castle today
Okehampton was the caput of a large feudal barony, which at the time
Domesday Book was held by Baldwin FitzGilbert. After his death
in 1090 the tenure of the barony is obscure for the next twenty years
after which it was held by the heiress Maud d'Avranches until her
death in 1173, which passed to her daughter, Hawise de Curci (died
1219), who married Reginald de Courtenay. His French possessions
were confiscated by the French King Louis VII, but were given,
together with the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth de Courtenay, to
his youngest brother Peter I of Courtenay. The Courtenay family
Okehampton Castle, until King Henry VIII seized the lands and
Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter
Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter executed for treason in
1539. Presently, the castle is owned by English Heritage and is
open to the public during the summer season. The town is also home to
the Museum of
Dartmoor Life, which has received notable visitors such
as Prince Charles.
Okehampton elected two members to the Unreformed House of Commons. The
Reform Act of 1832 abolished its representation as a rotten borough.
Okehampton from 1946
There is a substantial army training camp on
Dartmoor which can be
reached via Okehampton, and is commonly referred to as "Okehampton
Camp". It is managed by the Defence Training Estate, and used by a
variety of military units, including the Commando Training Centre
Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone, Devon, and many cadet training
Ten Tors event is run by the Army each year in early May
Schools in the town include
Okehampton Primary School and
Okehampton College. There are also a number of smaller primary schools
in the surrounding areas for children within the catchment area of
Okehampton that include South Tawton, Hatherleigh, Chagford, North
Tawton and Bridestowe.
The town's football team,
Okehampton Argyle F.C., is a non-league club
which was established in 1926 after the original side, Okehampton
Town, disbanded. The club competes in the South West Peninsula League
which sits at Steps 6 and 7 of the National League System; four
leagues below the top division of non-league football, the Football
Conference. The town also has a rugby club,
Okehampton RFC, which
is believed to have been founded in 1884.
Okehampton's location at the edge of the moor means that it has always
been a route centre. After years of uncertainty, the A30 trunk road
was finally re-routed in 1988 to bypass the town, which had
previously acted as a holiday traffic bottleneck at summer weekends.
Okehampton railway station
Okehampton railway station is on the former northerly rail route from
Plymouth via Tavistock. The line from
Exeter remains open
for freight traffic to and from Meldon Quarry, two miles (3 km)
west of Okehampton. In summer, and at weekends throughout the year,
Dartmoor Railway operates a heritage railway service between
Okehampton and Meldon Quarry.
Devon County Council revived a passenger rail service from
Exeter, on summer weekends only, in an attempt to reduce motor traffic
to the national park. In March 2010, the freight operator
Cornwall Railways announced plans to reinstate a daily passenger
service terminating in Exeter, but this has yet to happen.
In the wake of widespread disruption caused by damage to the mainline
Dawlish by coastal storms in February 2014, leaving Plymouth
and Cornwall with no rail connection to the rest of the country,
Network Rail are considering reopening the Exeter-to-
Okehampton and Tavistock.
Okehampton is served by various bus services from Exeter, Bude,
Newquay and Tavistock. Stagecoach service 6 links from
Exeter St Davids to
Okehampton and then to Bude. Other
Exeter Bus station include the 6A service via
Davids, which continues to Launceston.
Okehampton is surrounded by many smaller villages and towns including
the hamlet of Stockley. Notable examples are the villages of South
Zeal with its ancient burgage plots, granite thatched cottages and
Dartmoor Folk Festival; Belstone, noted for its location on the very
Dartmoor and links to Agatha Christie's The Sittaford
Mystery; and
Sticklepath which has an annual fire
show on Bonfire Night, 5 November. Other nearby villages and
settlements include Folly Gate, Northlew, Jacobstowe,
Devon County Council:
Okehampton Area Definition. devon.gov.uk.
Retrieved on 1 August 2017.
Okehampton West ward 2011". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
Okehampton East ward 2011". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
Okehampton Town Council. Okehampton.gov.uk. Retrieved on 5 March
^ The medieval wool trade. World Timelines. Retrieved on 5 March 2011.
^ Some Descendants of the BRIONNE Family Related to George Washington
1st US President. Washington.ancestryregister.com. Retrieved on 5
^ Sanders, I.J., English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, pp.69-70,
^ Historic England. "OKEHAMPTON CASTLE (440855)". PastScape. Retrieved
5 March 2011.
Ten Tors 2011. Events.exeter.ac.uk. Retrieved on 5 March 2011.
Okehampton RFC Google
^ "DNP fact sheet on the
Dartmoor National Park
Authority. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved
29 September 2015.
^ Joint, Laura. (29 March 2010) BBC –
line back on track. BBC News. Retrieved on 5 March 2011.
Network Rail chooses
Dawlish alternative route". BBC News. 10
February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Okehampton.
Okehampton Town Council
Okehampton at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Ceremonial county of Devon
Boroughs or districts
Ottery St Mary
See also: List of civil parishes in Devon
Devon County Council
Towns by population
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
South West Coast Path
North Devon's Biosphere Reserve
Settlements of Dartmoor, Devon