Welcome to Thorverton
Thorverton village sits about a mile west of the River Exe and 8 miles north of Exeter. It is almost centrally located between Exeter and the towns of Tiverton, Cullompton and Crediton.
A channelled stream, which drains the Raddon (literally ‘red hill’) Hills to the north and runs to the River Exe, winds through the village. A pedestrian bridge and ford cross the stream at Silver Street. The Millennium Green provides walking alongside the stream which runs through the centre of the village.
Located on clay and sand, Thorverton has a subsoil of red rock, which gives the earth its distinctive red colouring. The area is rich in rare and unusual rocks and minerals. Manganese has been found near Upton Pyne, and small quantities of gold in local streams. An igneous rock has been quarried at Raddon since the 12th century and the bubbled rock can be seen in numerous examples of local stonework, including the famed Stoke Canon Bridge.
- Thorverton was once well known locally for its apricots.
- The Thorverton Arms in the centre of the village, for the majority of its life known as ‘The Dolphin’, was built in the 16th century. Amusing, if lurid, tales of its past provide a glimpse of the human life of Thorverton’s past. A traveller turned up at The Dolphin one evening in 1650 and took a room for himself and his sister. The landlord, after a while, had reason to suspect their relationship and confronted them. The traveller blandly replied that as Adam and Eve were the father and mother of us all, the lady could truthfully be described as his ‘sister’.
- The award-winning poet Fiona Benson resides in the parish of Thorverton.
- Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, written in 1811, was set in the village of Upton Pyne – around three miles from Thorverton. The marriage of Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars was set in the village church. Barton Park, the large and handsome home of the Middletons from the same novel, is thought to be based on Pynes House.
What’s On in Thorverton?
- The Memorial Hall provides a centre for entertainment, with a monthly Saturday Market for local produce.
- Thorfest is an annual music festival that takes place on the first Saturday of September.
- Thorverton Parish Church hosts the annual East Devon Arts Festival each May.
Places to See
- The parish Church of St Thomas of Canterbury is the oldest building in the parish. Built from locally quarried stone mostly in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, some parts are thought to date to the 13th century. The Church is dedicated to Thomas Beckett, the 12th century archbishop who was murdered.
- Byway Farm is a Woodland Welcome Wood. A collection of newly planted and ancient woodlands which have won awards for conservation and wild flowers.
- There are three bowl barrows – funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period – south east of Fordy Bridge in the village of Thorverton. The barrows are sited on a ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Exe. In the neighbouring village of Nether Exe, is the Netherexe Cursus – a scheduled Neolithic field monument presumed to be used for ritual or ceremonial purposes. Adjacent to the cursus is a long mortuary enclosure and ring ditch (potentially a plough-levelled bowl barrow, thought to be a Bronze Age burial monument) and other associated crop marks. A gap in the north eastern circuit of the ditch represents an original entrance.
Places to Eat
- Enjoy local produce from Thorverton’s two farm shops – Exe Valley Farm Shop and Thorne’s Farm Shop and Café. Alternatively, visit the local Berry Dairy store for supplies of locally sourced food treats and hand-baked goods.
- Good food is offered at the village’s pub The Thorverton Arms. Alternatively, visit the nearby village of Brampford Speke and stop for refreshments at The ‘Agi’ (Agricultural Inn).
- Stockleigh Pomeroy
Towns and Villages
- Towns and Villages