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  • Writer's pictureTavistock Heritage Trust

The history of the wool trade in Tavistock

Updated: May 3, 2023

The industrial history of Tavistock is often said to have been dominated by mining. In the Middle Ages, Tavistock's status as a Stannary town made it a central point in the Dartmoor tin industry, while the discovery of rich veins of copper, cobalt, arsenic and other valuable minerals nearby led to a mining boom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

However, another industry was perhaps just as important in driving the town's fortunes - the wool trade. Indeed, wool and cloth were so important to Tavistock that a fleece features on the town's coat of arms! Our volunteer researchers have compiled a fascinating history of the wool trade in Tavistock so you can learn more about this sometimes-forgotten aspect of the town's history.


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