Welcome. This is a community web site for the market town of Hatherleigh in Devon, England, along with the nearby villages of Meeth, Highampton, Exbourne and Jacobstowe. Anything related to these places can find a home here free of charge, thanks to our sponsors. Please take time to read their pages (left, or see home)
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Hatherleigh the Town that keeps Tradition alive

History of Hatherleigh here


Hatherleigh Market

Every Tuesday the town comes to life with its flourishing market consisting of a small mammels and poultry auction, good local produce, homemade cakes, and a household auction for all your bargins and much more.


The Tarka Trail

Tarka Country is situated in the heart of northern Devon. This area of the south west of England embraces a stunning variety of countryside, including rolling farmland, rugged coast and wild moors. Henry Williamson based his classic novel 'Tarka the Otter' on actual locations in northern Devon. The Tarka theme has now been taken as the inspiration for the promotion of the area. Here is your invitation to explore this beautiful and varied countryside with the help of those who live and work in Tarka Country. Sustran's lead artist, Katy Hallett, worked with Marland School and Dolton and Clinton Primary Schools on a series of mosaic benches which are sited between Petrockstowe and the highest point of the Trail near East Yarde.

Thomas Roberts

Hatherleigh's Handy man
To paraphrase Wilde 'to lose one hand is unfortunate, to lose both is carelessness' - yet this is exactly what happened to one Thomas Roberts who, though handless, lead a full active life as schoolmaster of Hatherleigh for nearly 50 years. Born at Tor Point, Cornwall in 1771 he had for his godfather Lord Graves then in charge of Plymouth Dock who, when Thomas was only 4 days old entered him in the Royal Navy as a midshipman! This wasn't as bizarre as it seems as promotion then depended on length of service and clearly if one's 'service' began as a baby you had a great advantage over later entrants.


Hatherleigh Carnival

is one of the most important annual events in Devon because it includes traditions that have long been forgotten elsewhere. The flaming Tar Barrel runs are the best example: they start and finish Carnival day, with the first run at 5am so you have to get up early to watch!  Crepe paper covered floats are a tradition that seems to have been invented in Hatherleigh - the amount of work that goes into these is vast because strips are hand cut into 'grass' and then stuck onto surfaces one at a time to create a massive tableau - for example 'Winnie the Pooh'. Someone calculated recently that over 600 sheets of crepe paper and 1 million cuts are needed for each float!  Other attractions include a meeting of the Hunt and a Town Criers' contest.  The Queen is crowned at 3pm but it's the evening procession that really strikes home, with over 30 floats and countless walking 'guisers'. Another tradition marks out this procession - 52 huge flaming torches (one for each week of the year, and made to a secret design) accompany it, with a frame carrying 12 torches (one for each month) leading.
A second flaming Tar Barrel run concludes the event later.  Hatherleigh Carnival takes place on the second Saturday in November. See you next year? Carnival Website here

The Festival

The Festival is held during July. The Festival consists of four days of quality art, involving theatre, street entertainment, bands, classical music exhibitions and workshops. A weekend not to be missed! The objectives of the festival are to provide a wide variety of diverse artistic expression at affordable prices, with many events free. Showing off local talent and bringing in artists from around the world. Hatherleigh festival website here


The Manor and the Lord

Now The Court operates today as both a vehicle for the continuation of an ancient Hatherleigh tradition and as a modern and alternative forum for the community; a blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Members of the Court include officers and a jury, most having a modern as well as historic role. Recently the court has become a more proactive community group, voluntarily working to keep the town clean, writing to local authorities on behalf of the Court in response to concerns raised by members of the community, and providing stocks into which miscreants can be put for correction! Traditionally the Court meets once a year either on Ladyday (25 th march) or Michaelmas (29 th September) but the Court may be held at other times in the year depending on the circumstances. Everyone is welcome to attend the proceedings.

Hatherleigh's Town Crier

Any proper town has a Town Crier and Hatherleigh is no exception. For literally hundreds of years the ringing of a bell and the shout of “Oyez, Oyez!” has brought news to local residents. The news may be more parochial with the coming of mass media but the Crier still fulfils an important role by patrolling the streets announcing local functions, by representing the Lord of the Manor and upholding the historical traditions of Hatherleigh.
The incumbent of the post for the past five years is a formidable sight. In feather trimmed top hat, velvet coat, ruffs of lace at collar and cuffs, breeches and large traditional riding boots Ros Charlton Chard stands upright and foursquare to the world as she cries the news with perfect diction in a stentorian bellow.
This year Ros competed in the World Town Crying Championships held at Maryborough in Queensland and achieved a triumphant second place in a field of over sixty Criers from four Continents. She was also proclaimed The Loudest Woman in the World, a title with which only the deafest local residents would disagree.

William Morris and The Monument

William Morris was brought up at Fishleigh House. He joined the 16th Lancers before transferring to the 17th Lancers in 1847, now incorporated in the Queen's Royal Lancers. In 1854, on the outbreak of the Crimean War he took over as Commanding Officer.
William Morris led the 17th Lancers in the first line of the Charge of the Light Brigade, his horse was shot from under him and he received a severe head wound. He remounted a loose horse and retired towards the British Line, but again his horse was killed and on falling he lost consciousness.
Surgeon James Mowat ran out and dressed his wounds for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. After being nursed by Florence Nightingale he returned to England. William Morris died of sunstroke at Poona, India, in 1858 at the age of 38.
In 1860, the County of Devon, by subscription, erected an obelisk to him on Hatherleigh Moor.
Michael Whiteley

The Ruby Run

The idea behind the Colours of the Culm festival, part of which is the Ruby Run, half marathon, between Hatherleigh and Holsworthy, is to celebrate the distinctive landscape that is known as Culm at a time when it is in full flower. The festival aims to promote crafts, produce and wildlife interest of the Culm area with a series of events to entice families from far and wide. Culm grassland is the traditional pasture of the area and is home to some very rare species including the marsh fritillary butterfly.
Wendy Hannaford, Ruby Project administrator said: "We have music at each end of the race by the town bands of Holsworthy and Hatherleigh and are looking forward to the upbeat jazz band along route to build up the runner's pace. This year's run is raising funds for Devon Air Ambulance and Holsworthy and Hatherleigh Town Bands so we hope it will be a great day for all." .

Hatherleigh the Auction Centre

Hatherleigh is rapidly become the independent auction centre of the South West, with two active auction houses. Vicks Market holds household auctions every Tuesday and regular live stock and equine throughout the year.

While Mr. Philip Pyle holds a household auction every other Tuesday and regular Fine Arts, Sporting and agricultural auctions throughout the year. (01837 810756)

more details to come

Hatherleigh Moor and the Potboilers

I, John of Gaunt
Do give and grant
Hatherleigh Moor
to Hatherleigh poor
for evermore.
Take any of the easterly roads out of the town and you will find yourself on the edge of some 500 acres of moor land. These acres were gifted to the people of Hatherleigh during the fourteenth century when the Borough's householders, or 'potboilers' as they were known, were given the right to graze stock and gather gorse for fuel - a right which continues to the present day. click for more information

Beating the Bounds

info to come

The Belvedere Tower

This folly was erected in 1879 and has 360 degree panaramic views across the local countryside. It is said that you can see twelve church spires from this wonderful vantage point. See if you can spot them!
The Tower was built to celebrate the shooting prowess of Col. Pearse who at the age of 22 won the Queen's Prize for rifle shooting in 1875, (in effect the world champion, see the NRA UK site).
During the second world war it was used as a lookout point by the Royal Observer Corps, whose call sign was November 3rd. Our very own local councillor remembers being up their on many a cold night as a child!

Click here for its recent history by Dennis Bater


Links to local attractions within reasonable distance of Hatherleigh.

Rosemoor RHS gardens(20 mins drive)
The Famous Eden Project (45 mins drive)
Dartmoor (20 mins drive)
Exmoor (40mins drive)
North Devon Coast (45 mins drive)
The Big Sheep (45 mins drive)

Links to public transport services to Hatherleigh

National Express
The train line
Exeter Airport

Local Buses

Walks around Hatherleigh


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