Gateway Heritage Centre
The Guildhall was the one of the first purpose-built combined police station, fire station and courthouse in the country. It was built in 1848 on the orders of Francis Russell 7th Duke of Bedford, to cope with the rising crime rate in Tavistock brought on by the 19th century mining boom.
The police station finally closed in 2012 and Tavistock Town Council acquired the Grade II* building in 2014 from the Devon Historic Buildings Trust (DHBT). Thanks to the generous funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other donors, along with support from Tavistock Heritage Trust, the Council undertook an extensive renovation and restoration project to rescue the building from further decline, and to bring it back into active use. The Guildhall finally re-opened its doors in December 2021 as the Tavistock Guildhall Heritage Centre, an official Key Centre within the UNESCO Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. The Tavistock Guildhall Heritage Centre is now operated by Tavistock Town Council in partnership with Tavistock Heritage Trust.
Visitors can learn how 19th century mining transformed Tavistock - once home to one of the largest copper and arsenic mines in the world. Via the building’s new interpretation centre.
The building is also home to the town’s Visitor Information Centre and a stunning Victorian courtroom which has been restored and converted into a unique events venue.
Tavistock Guildhall has a unique position as a centre-point for guided walks, lectures, workshops, courses and fun events, enabling young and old to absorb and enjoy the region’s fascinating heritage.