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HER Number:MDV67441
Name:St. Eustachius Churchyard, Tavistock


The churchyard formerly extended across what is now the west side of Bedford Square and covered much of the area of the former abbey church. It was reduced in size when Bedford Square was formed in the 1820s.


Grid Reference:SX 481 744
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTavistock
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/9/12

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCHYARD (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Stead, P. M., 1999, Archaeological Investigations at Tavistock Abbey 1997-1999, 149-203 (Article in Serial). SDV336200.

Excavation of a sewer trench in 1997 revealed sections of the north and south retaining walls of the post-dissolution churchyard of St. Eustachius which extended across what is now the west side of Bedford Square, to the east of the present boundary. The walls exposed circa 0.55 metres below the present street level were of lime-mortared slate construction. The churchyard covered much of the area of the former abbey church, the floor of which had been removed and replaced with soil. The ruined walls of the abbey church are presumed to have been left as features in the graveyard. Between the southern wall of the graveyard and the north wall of the south aisle of the abbey church all medieval deposits had been removed to create a path along the side of the churchyard circa 1 metre wide. The reduction in the size of the churchyard occurred when Bedford Square was formed in the 1820s.

Bradley, J. + Gaimster, M., 2004, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 2003, 255-257 (Article in Serial). SDV342122.

Tavistock, Tavistock Abbey (SX4815 7441). Upstanding building recording, new survey to establish interrelationship of surviving elements (ongoing) and geophysical survey performed by GSB prospection of much of the east half of the churchyard of Saint Eustachius Church showed substantial material surviving of the nave and north aisle.

Passmore, A. J., 2006, Archaeological Evaluation of the Proposed Relocation of the Tavistock War Memorial, Tavistock, Devon (Report - Evaluation). SDV336030.

Two evaluation trenches were excavated by Exeter Archaeology within the churchyard on the proposed relocation site of the war memorial, currently in Bedford Square. No evidence for pre-modern archaeological activity was identified in either trench although such deposits may survive at a lower level. The bulk of the deposits comprised a thick band of material that was present in both trenches. Pottery recovered from this layer indicates a 19th century date and it was probably the result of the laying out of Bedford Square in the 1820s.
Although no early features were exposed, large assemblages of disarticulated human bone and displaced medieval floor tiles were recovered. The pottery and glass assemblage is almost exclusively post-medieval in date and includes a range of both locally produced wares and that produced further afield.

Watts, S., 2006, St. Eustachius Churchyard, Tavistock (Personal Comment). SDV336031.

Please note that the polygonised boundary of the pre 1820s churchyard is approximate. The present churchyard occupies a smaller area.

West Devon Borough Council, 2009, Tavistock Conservation Area Management Plan, 12 (Report - non-specific). SDV351411.

The Tavistock Wynne Map Heritage Project, 2012, Tavistock 1752 (Website). SDV350360.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336030Report - Evaluation: Passmore, A. J.. 2006. Archaeological Evaluation of the Proposed Relocation of the Tavistock War Memorial, Tavistock, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.01. A4 stapled + Digital.
SDV336031Personal Comment: Watts, S.. 2006. St. Eustachius Churchyard, Tavistock. Not Applicable.
SDV336200Article in Serial: Stead, P. M.. 1999. Archaeological Investigations at Tavistock Abbey 1997-1999. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 57. Paperback Volume. 149-203.
SDV342122Article in Serial: Bradley, J. + Gaimster, M.. 2004. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 2003. Medieval Archaeology. 48. Unknown. 255-257.
SDV350360Website: The Tavistock Wynne Map Heritage Project. 2012. Tavistock 1752. http://www.tavistock1752.co.uk/index.cfm. Website. [Mapped feature: #98459 ]
SDV351411Report - non-specific: West Devon Borough Council. 2009. Tavistock Conservation Area Management Plan. West Devon Borough Council Report. a4 Stapled + Digital. 12.

Associated Monuments

MDV23062Parent of: Memorial toJohn Gill, St. Eustachius' Churchyard (Building)
MDV3933Related to: St. Eustachius's Parish Church, Tavistock (Building)
MDV43870Related to: Tavistock Abbey Church (Building)
MDV72645Related to: War Memorial, Tavistock (Building)

Associated Finds

  • FDV761 - HUMAN REMAINS (Unknown date)
  • FDV760 - TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FDV759 - SHERD (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV3879 - Archaeological Evaluation of the Proposed Relocation of the Tavistock War Memorial

Date Last Edited:Oct 29 2019 12:16PM