Village History

Tedburn St Mary, with a population of approximately 1500 lies in the most attractive countryside, 7½ miles West and North of Exeter, between that city and Okehampton. There are two modern housing developments, plus a sheltered housing scheme for the older generation who wish to remain in the village.

The original village was situated in and around the Parish Church of Saint Mary (dating from the thirteenth century).  What we now consider to be the centre of the village was known as ‘Taphouse’, referring to an inn at the crossroads where the Crediton and Exeter roads meet, and it was Taphouse which eventually came to be called Tedburn St Mary.

There are many reminders of the Tedburn of years ago – stone and cob buildings of cottages and farmhouses, the Methodist Church built in 1930, and the old Methodist School Room dating from 1859 and now a dwelling.  The cemetery adjoining the little Chapel of Rest was formed in 1886, and is under control of the Parish Council, who in recent years approved a separate committee to undertake the restoration of the Chapel itself, which otherwise might not have survived.

The King’s Arms Inn dates back to the early 1600’s – it is believed Charles II called here on his way to Cornwall.  The Red Lion Inn on the opposite side of the main road is also a well established place of refreshment.

Tedburn Fair the origins of which go back a long way, is held in September of each year, and is one of our major events.

The Primary School was opened in 1877, and presently has four classes with over a hundred pupils on the roll.

The Village Hall is a spacious, well appointed building, excellently maintained, and well booked by local organisations.  It can also be booked for private functions.

There is a Recreation Field available to all, and is to be found a short way down the Whitestone Road.  Another sporting area for football has been created within the village, namely Barley Park, home of the Tedburn St Mary Football Club.

In 2001 Tedburn won the prestigious title of National Village of the Year, the award was presented by Prince Charles to the ‘Village of the Year Committee’ at an awards ceremony in London.

Until the 1950’s the village revolved mainly around agriculture, and was renowned for its cider making.  However, in spite of decline of these industries, the village has maintained an irrepressible community spirit, having a great number of organisations which are open to varied age groups.

Due to its geographical position with easy access to both Exeter and Okehampton it has attracted many people – and has something to offer everyone who comes.

Text kindly supplied by Lilian Woolnough

If you have any information about Tedburn St Mary that you would like to share, please contact Karen Fletcher on 07999 490637 or Malcolm Little on  01647 61511

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