A warm welcome to...

Chagford Local History Society

Brief History

The Parish of Chagford is large, extending over 15 square miles and including several hamlets and an area of Dartmoor.

Five manors are mentioned in Domesday: Chagford, Teigncombe, Rushford, Middlecott and Shapley.

The Church was dedicated by Bishop Bronscombe in 1261.

Edward I made Chagford a Stannary town in 1305. Any person who lived in the North East quarter of Devon and mined tin on Dartmoor, had to present their smelted tin to be assayed, stamped and taxed in Chagford.

Exeter is in Chagford Stannary.

In 1530 King Henry VIII granted a Charter to hold Markets and Fairs.

Our translated Churchwardens' Accounts 1482-1600 show much wealth accruing to the Church from wool and tin.

The last Tin Mine closed in 1904. In 1800, one of the most extensive serge manufacturies in the West of England opened here, with the right to employ workers within a 16 mile radius, who numbered 1140 at one time.

Our early school log books show 'factory children' as reluctant part time scholars.

Some years after the factory closed, an enterprising engineer – George Henry Reed – used the old water wheel to generate electricity.

Chagford was one of the first small towns in the West Country to have electric street lighting.