Local Historian Raises the Bar on Tavistock's Pub History

Those academic and liquid fuelled forays haven’t been in vain as Alex has just published his magnum opus - Devon Country Town Brewers & Public Houses – Tavistock 1752-2020, a 548 page labour of love which tracks the rise and fall of 87 public houses and two common brewers in the parish from the mid 18th century to the present day.


The book had been funded jointly the Tavistock Heritage Trust and the Tavistock Local History Society and traces the history of Tavistock’s ‘locals’ and how they evolved from coaching inns, humble alehouses and back street tap houses to today’s 21st century hostelries and gastro pubs.


This fascinating history looks at how from the eighteenth century the good old-fashioned licensed victualler of a bygone age was slowly replaced by common brewers brewing in bulk for sale to public houses. It chronicles the life and times of the innkeepers and steps inside the doors of some wonderfully named pubs that are no more, such as the Hare and Hounds and the Three Compasses, and considers how Tavistock’s brewers had to fight off the competition from Plymouth and Cornwall, from the temperance lobby and from the sometimes unwelcome involvement of the local magistrates and the Dukes of Bedford.


Said Alex:

“Now the book is finished I will not be calling last orders on my research trips. As every good historian knows, there are always new avenues to explore and new brews to sample.”


The book is now available from us at Tavistock Guildhall Visitor Information Centre and also at Book Stop, Tavistock Heritage Trust and Tavistock Local History Society. Softback £24.99, Hardback £34.99


Further information from Geri Parlby geri.parlby@heritageintavistock.org 07824 339036