Chagford, in the heart of Devon, lies on the edge of legendary Dartmoor National Park and is close to the beautiful River Teign. Easily accessible from Exeter, it is an important stopping point for visitors venturing to the picturesque South West of England. As a famous Stannary town, Chagford has an exciting and vibrant history and, over hundreds of years, has evolved into a very special, popular and charming place you won’t want to miss!
Archaeological remains confirm that a community has existed here for at least 4000 years. In historical times, Chagford grew due to the wool trade and from tin mining in the area, and in 1305 was made a stannary town where tin was traded. Among the most prominent tin-mining families in the 16th century were the Endecotts, Knapmans, Whiddons and Lethbridges. A cattle market in the town survived until the 1980s.
In a Civil War skirmish Sydney Godolphin, the poet and Royalist MP for Helston, was shot and killed in the porch of the Three Crowns.
In 1987, the New Scientist reported that Chagford contained “the most radioactive loo in the world”, a reference to the high levels of Radon gas in this granite area.
Today Chagford is a thriving community with high property prices, busy streets, and an unusually wide range of shops for a town of this size. It is also known for its vibrant arts community, celebrated through the autumn Chagford Film Festival, the springtime Chagword literary festival (every two years), the summer’s Chagstock Music Festival, the annual Wonderworks crafts weekend, and other regular cultural events. The two large hardware stores in the town square have been run by the same two families for many years, but one of these is set to close in 2016, as is the Post Office. There are several tea rooms and whole food cafés, one restaurant, and several pubs. There are numerous guest houses and hotels in the surrounding countryside. These provide accommodation for the large influx of visitors during the year.