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Woman's hand using an archaeologist's tool on a dig

Our Projects

Rediscovering Tavistock Abbey

Tavistock Heritage Trust is leading and co-ordinating a community project to discover the real footprint of Tavistock Abbey, once an influential Benedictine abbey with land holdings in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.


Local people and schools are being invited to join a dig led by former archaeologists to re-discover the original floor level of Betsy Grimbal’s tower, the name now given to a gateway to the 13th-century abbey.


The project Rediscovering Tavistock Abbey will also use the latest research techniques to discover the true site of the abbey which is only partially understood through small-scale   19th and 20th century archaeological digs.


In addition, the Trust is working with Tavistock Town Council to secure grant funding to prevent the deterioration of abbey remains and further funding to restore and allow public access to the still house and Betsy Grimbals Tower.  

Preservation and virtual recreation of a 16th-century wall painting of a Tudor warship 

The Trust has been working with the Devon County Archaeologist to help preserve and recreate virtually a detailed wall painting of a 16th-century warship rediscovered on the wall of a shop in Market Street.  
Research by the Trust has revealed Tavistock’s mercantile links in weapons trading via Plymouth and the Barbary Coast during the reign of Elizabeth 1. 

Drake Statue Interpretation Panel and Schools Programm

Tavistock Heritage Trust was awarded a grant by Historic England to use Sir Francis Drake’s statue in Tavistock as an educational tool and catalyst for change via a school’s programme and community engagement around the Black Lives Matter protests
The project involved the creation and installation of an interpretation panel near the statue of Sir Francis Drake together with the development of an 8 lesson schools’ learning programme aimed at Key Stage 3 History and Citizenship programmes.  The schools’ programme featured the story of Sir Francis Drake: the history of Britain’s transatlantic slave trade, its effects and eventual abolition and the issues surrounding modern-day slavery.  

Promoting Tavistock as a World Heritage Town

Thanks to the support of Devon County Council's Devon Elevation Fund Community Renewal Fund we are working with Visit South Devon to help revitalise the visitor economy of Tavistock as a World Heritage Town 

Working with local schools

In support of the Guildhall interpretation, Trust volunteers host local schools’ participation in a range of activities for children of all ages. This includes teaching resources and learning sessions, mostly focused on Tavistock during the nineteenth-century mining boom and the role of the police and justice system.

Lectures, walks and other events

The Trust will run a regular and varied calendar of lectures, guided tours and other events. 

Heritage Open Days 

Working with other heritage groups in Tavistock, each September THT co-ordinates the town’s involvement in Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture.

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