Great Torrington is a friendly,
traditional market town with many award-winning shops, masterbutchers
and bakers, offering quality local produce. The refurbished
Victorian Pannier Market houses a variety of shops and craft
workshops, selling local produce, unusual gifts and collectables.
The town centre also boasts cafes, pubs, banks and other
facilities all within two minutes walk from the main car
This delightful town, winner of the Most Welcoming Community
Award is an ancient settlement extraordinarily sited on
a cliff top with steep drops down to the River Torridge
below. This impressive situation has always been valued
for its strategic importance, now it is valued for its spectacular
views. Great Torrington was not always so welcoming, however
and had a significant role in the English
Civil War [more..],
specifically, the Battle of Great Torrington in 1646 which
marked the end of Royalist resistance in the West Counrty
and led to the eventual defeat and execution of King Charles
1. The people in the town today, proud of their heritage,
can often be seen dressed in 17th century costume for re-enactments,
festivals and celebrations or as volunteers at the popular
Torrington 1646 visitor attraction.
The Black Horse Inn is thought to have originated in the
15th century.Reputedly the oldest pub in North Devon, it
was the headquarters for Lord Hopton during the Civil War
and is still winning prizes as one of the best pubs in North
Devon, just one of the many great places to find food and
drink in the town.
Town Hall, rebuilt in 1860, houses the town's free museum
run by local volunteers. Here visitors can learn about some
of the famous Torrington residents, such as Keble
and have an insight into the town's fascinating history.
Behind the hall there is still the original yard known as
the Shambles. This was once the meat market and town lock-up,
now decorated with murals depicting the history of the market
from Medieval times to the 17th century.
A town trail, known as the Civil War Trail, leads the visitor
on a short walking tour of the history of the town, detailing
buildings, events and people of particular interest and
includes the free museum in the Town Hall, details can be
found at Great Torrington Tourist Information Centre.