The town of ‘Tiverton’ in Devon has existed from the Saxon times and is situated on the slope of a hill above where the river Exe and the river Lowman join together. The name ‘Tiverton’ originates from “Twyfordton” – meaning ‘two ford town’. The historic market town of Tiverton finds itself conveniently positioned just minutes from Junction 27 off the M5 motorway, easily reached by both road and rail and the perfect starting point for exploring Mid Devon in the UK. With much to see and do for the inquisitive tourist, Tiverton boasts its own castle built by King Henry the first in 1106, medieval almshouses, Old Blundells School established in 1604, wonderful architecture, a museum, Victorian Old Town Hall and a rich tapestry of history to uncover, investigate and explore. Guided walks throughout the area are available and may be prearranged by the well-planned visitor.
Tiverton Castle, which recently celebrated its 900th anniversary, underlines the wealth and depth of history connected to this town. Once the medieval home to the Earls of Devon, the castle was built in 1106 by order of Henry the first, and rebuilt and extended in the 13th and 14th centuries. With more additions and alterations throughout the centuries, both medieval to modern architecture can be seen including beautiful walled gardens set amongst romantic ruins. Whilst it certainly isn’t the largest of English castles to visit, the beautiful gardens and informative things to see and discover are its strongest points of interest.
Old Blundells School is also steeped in rich history and a supporting asset to the stature and importance of Tiverton. Peter Blundell, one of the wealthiest merchants of old Elizabethan England, founded the school. He left much money and land to found a School in his hometown of Tiverton after his death in 1601. He is quoted to have said ‘thou I am not myself a scholar, I will be the means of making more scholars than anyone else in England’ – and this is exactly what he did. With no expense spared in the construction of the school, lands were provided for its maintenance and Blundells executors established links between the best schools in the land, including Cambridge, Oxford, Balliol College and Sidney Sussex College, which remain to this day. Blundells was set to be the largest and grandest school in the entire West Country, and its legacy lives on to present day life.
The Tiverton Museum brings 18th and 19th century history to life in Mid Devon, with much information to be found on the history of the lace-making industry in Tiverton. Following a lottery funded redevelopment project, the Museum has many Galleries and Exhibits to browse, an education and activities area, research and family history facilities.
For those who intend to stay a few days to explore the area of Mid Devon, accommodation in Tiverton is easily accessed for those touring the West Country. Favoured by many visitors, The Tiverton Hotel offers excellent value, truly friendly service and ample parking facilities. Just minutes from Junction 27 off the M5 motorway with beautifully kept garden areas, it has also won the desirable ‘Tiverton in Bloom’ award several times.