Tavistock Guildhall

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About

Tavistock Guildhall is the eastern gateway centre to the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, an UNESCO World Heritage Site which stretches some 20,000 hectares across the region. The Guildhall helps to tell the story of the mining history within the landscape.  

Visitors can discover how mining transformed Tavistock in the 19th century and learn about the industrial landscape of the region and what it means to be a World Heritage Site town.  

Many of the buildings seen today were built as a result of uncovering the rich veins of copper, tin and other materials nearby. Miners travelled to Tavistock to work in these mines and the town’s population nearly doubled between 1821 and 1861. Due to this growth in popularity the Dukes of Bedford invested their mining profits in creating new public buildings and homes for industrial workers. However, some parts of the building are much older, the court gate was once part of Tavistock Abbey, built in 961 AD. 

During the 1800s, the Guildhall was created as the first purpose-built combined police station, fire station and courthouse in the country. With a rise in population came a rise in crime and on the orders of Francis Russel, the 7th Duke of Bedford, this station house was created. This building is significant as it was one of England’s earliest combined police station and court house. 

The police station closed in 2012 and the Guildhall underwent massive regenerations to become the Heritage and Visitor Centre it is today. When visiting you can explore the bridewells (jail cells), court room and retiring room for the magistrates. Find out for yourself just how it felt to be one of the legal team, or the criminal taken down to the jail! 

The courtroom is also home to a number of events held at the Guildhall. From comedy shows to fascinating seminars, it’s become a unique hub for entertainment. The Guildhall also plays host to guided walks, lectures, workshops, courses and fun events; suitable for all ages to enjoy the region’s fascinating heritage. 

Attached to the Guildhall is Visitor Information Centre, the place to visit if you want to find out more about the town and to plan your visit. Their helpful and friendly volunteers have a wealth of knowledge and will be happy to assist you with things to do or directions. It also boasts an endowed gift shop with souvenirs, guidebooks, local crafts and postcards. 

 

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
0Free

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Additional lighting available for guests with visual impairments
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Contrast markings on glass doors and full-height windows
  • Designated parking provided for guests with disabilities
  • Disability awareness training for all personnel
  • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors
  • Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Handrail by steps
  • Level access, ramp or lift to a public toilet
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp to main entrance
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Steps to main entrance
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Map & Directions

Tavistock Guildhall and Visitor Information Centre

Type:Heritage/Visitor Centre

Bedford Square, TAVISTOCK, Devon, PL19 0AE

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
DayTimes
Tuesday - Saturday09:00 - 14:00
SundayClosed

* Closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day