The Gazetteer


Abbotskerwell - Snowdrops at the cemetary in February.

Blackawton - Worm Charming Festival in May.

Clovelly - Lentsherd, on Shrove Tuesday in February. Children run through the village to the beach to 'drive the devil into the sea' before Lent starts. This custom has been practised for over 100 years. Contact Clovelly Visitor's Centre +44(0)1237 431781.

Land LinesCombe Martin - Hunting of the Earl of Rone, on the Spring Bank Holiday in May - a revived hobby horse procession, preceeded by a chase through the woods in pursuit of the 'Earl', who when caught is carried facing backwards on a donkey to the beach and dumped into the sea. It is said that the Earl was an Irish refugee who arrivied claiming to be the Earl of Tyrone. Banned in 1837 and revived in 1978. 3 June in 2002. Contact Barbara Brown, Secretary of the Earl of Rone Council +44(0)1271 882366.

'Obby 'Oss

Dunsford - see wild daffodils on a 2 mile walk along the River Teign in March.

Exeter - Blessing the Plough on the first Sunday after Twelfth Night (Old Christmas Day, 6th January).

Green Men of Devon
Seventeen foliate heads can be found in Exeter Cathedral and some of the strangest folk art Green Men in many Devonshire parish churches, many around the archaeological traces of a 'Wood Henge' near Nymet Tracey, Broadynet and Nymetwood (nemeton/nyfed means sacred grove).

Halsdon - Snowdrops at the Nature Reserve in February.

Hatherleigh - Blazing Tar Barrels, starting at 5am on the second Saturday in November with the first run of barrels through the streets, then carnival processions later. Contact Mary Wonnacott +44(0)1837 810678.

Lustleigh - May Day celebrations at the Community Orchard on the first Saturday in May. Contact +44(0)1647 277496.

Marldon - The Apple Pie Fair has been held on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend since 1888, in memory of a local farmer, George Hill. Every year he gave the windfalls to his workers to make an enormous apple pie for the village. Nowadays lots of small pies are made and hidden under a big crust, and an Apple-pie Princess is crowned. Contact Paignton TIC +44(0)1803 558383.

Ottery St Mary - Tar Barrel Rolling - after a year of preparation, on November 5th, flaming barrels are carried on the shoulders up and down the crowded streets, often by descendents of past Barrel Rollers. Thought to originate from ancient fire rituals, boy's, women's and men's barrels are run at different times from the late afternoon to midnight when a huge barrel is run. Contact Ottery St Mary TIC +44(0)1404 813964.

Parish Maps of Devon

Abbotsham, All Saints, Alphington, Ashton, Ashwater, Atherington, Aveton Gifford, Aylesbeare, Bampton, Beaford, Beer, Bere Ferrers, Bickington, Blackborough, Blackawton, Boldridge, Bradninch, Branscombe, Bratton Fleming, Bridestowe, Bridford, Broadhembury, Buckland Brewer, Burlescombe, Cadleigh, Chagford, Chardstock, Churston Ferrers, Clawton, Clayhidon, Clyst Hydon, Clyst St George, Clyst St Lawrence, Coffinswell, Combe Martin, Combpyne, Coombe Valley, Cornwood, Crediton, Croyde, Daccombe, Dalwood, Denbury, Devon Federation of WIs, Dittisham, Drewsteignton, Dunchideock, Dunkeswell, East Budleigh, East Devon Schools, Ebford, Ermington, Exeter, Farway, Filleigh, Galmpton, Georgeham, Hapbertonford, Harbeton, Hazledown, Heavitree, Holbeton, Holcombe Rogus, Ideford, Ilsington, Ipplepen, Kenn, Kennford, Kentisbeare, Kentisbury, Kenton, Kilmington, Landkey, Landscove, Langford, Little Torrington, Littlehempston, Loddiswell, Luppitt, Lydford, Malborough, Manaton, Mary Tavy, Membury, Moretonhampstead, Newton Abbot, Northleigh, North Tawton, Ottery St Mary, Otterton, Petrockstowe, Pilton, Poltimore, Powderham, Rattery, Shaugh Prior, Shute, Silverton, South Hams, South Milton, Stockland, Teignmouth, Tetcott, Thrushelton, Uffculme, Umberleigh, Uplyme, West Down, Woodbury, Woodbury Salterton, Worlington.

Shebbear - Turning the Devil's Stone - To prevent bad luck, on November 5th villagers turn a large stone, 'dropped by the devil' under an ancient oak tree.

Stoke Gabriel - Wassailing at the community orchard on the 19th January, contact Trudy Turrell +44(0)1803 861140 x 527).

Taddiport - Wassailing at the community orchard on the 22nd January. Contact Toritona Cider on +44(0)1805 624746 or +44(0)1805 624245.

Widecombe in the Moor - Horse Fair - The famous Widecombe Fair immortalised in folk song still continues in September, including horse trading; produce and livestock shows and competitions including Dartmoor Ponies, and Whitefaced and Greyfaced Dartmoor Sheep; drystone walling, sheep shearing and thatching demonstrations; dog races and shows; cross country race over open moorland from the top of Widecombe hill to the Fair below; tug o' war; street entertainment in the village; evening bar. Contact Newton Abbott TIC +44(0)1626 215667.

Tavistock - The Goozey Fair has been held on the second Wednesday in October since the early 12th Century. The Abbot of Tavistock obtained the rights to hold a weekly market in 1105, and a fair charter was granted by Henry I in 1116. Once the occasion for farmers to drive their geese to market allowing customers time to fatten the birds up before Christmas. Now still a livestock market though with few geese, and also a funfair, market stalls, and still the theme of geese in goose lunches served in restaurants and pubs. "Fairings" biscuits are sold on the day. Contact Tavistock TIC +44(0)1822 612938.

Apple Day, October 21st

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