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HER Number:MDV124667
Name:Abbey Wharf, Tavistock


Site of a short-lived small canal wharf (1804-1816), used by Gill & Company. No buildings known; the wharf was simply a walled yard adjacent to the canal. Replaced by the Tavistock Wharf to the south-west from around 1816.


Grid Reference:SX 481 743
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CANAL WHARF (Constructed, XIX - 1803 AD to 1805 AD (Between))

Full description

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 383-85, fig 11.1 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Abbey Wharf was intended by the Bedford Estate from the start of the canal's construction in 1803 to be Gill & Company's wharf, and was used by them for their trade on the part-finished canal between 1805-1816. The Tithe Map confusingly shows it on both sides id the main basin where the public wharf was sited from 1803 and where Gill & Company built their wharf in 1816-18. However, a plan in the Bedford Papers (undated, but likely c.1803-1815) shows it was on the right bank of the canal, just downstream of the intake sluice at Abbey Weir in Tavistock town centre.
John Gill argued with the Bedford Estate in 1815-17 that the wharf was too small, the argument was heated and eventually Abbey Wharf was abandoned and the Gills established Tavistock Wharf (MDV43882) to the south-west. No buildings are known to have existed at Abbey Wharf, which was simply a walled yard beside the canal. Confined by surrounding buildings, it could not be enlarged and it was inconveniently located on a bend in the canal channel. After 1816 it declined, and by the time of the Tithe Map appears to have been forgotten completely.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 383-85, fig 11.1. [Mapped feature: #115042 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV3919Related to: Tavistock Abbey (Monument)
MDV123232Related to: Tavistock Canal, Main record (Monument)
MDV4067Related to: Tavistock Canal, Northern Section (Monument)
MDV43882Related to: Tavistock Wharf, Tavistock Canal (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 17 2019 2:06PM