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 7,500.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Feudal barony
* 2 Political representation
* 3 Military presence
* 4 Education
* 5 Sport
* 6 Transport
* 7 Nearby settlements
* 8 References
* 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).
Feudal barony of Okehampton
Feudal barony of Okehampton Remains of Okehampton
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 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
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 . Map of
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
South Tawton ,
North Tawton and
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
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.
A mural of
Dartmoor on the side of an
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 is on the former northerly rail route from
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, the
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 Devon
Belstone , noted for its location on the very outskirts of 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,
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
* ^ The medieval wool trade. World Timelines. Retrieved on 5 March
* ^ Some Descendants of the BRIONNE Family Related to George
Washington 1st US President. Washington.ancestryregister.com.
Retrieved on 5 March 2011.
* ^ 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.
* ^ http://www.okehampton-pri.devon.sch.uk/
* ^ "DNP fact sheet on the
Park Authority . Retrieved 29 September 2015.
* ^ Joint, Laura. (29 March 2010) BBC –
Okehampton to Exeter
railway 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.