Building Tavistock


Take just a short stroll through the centre of Tavistock and you will see the impact that local geology has had on shaping this historic stannary town.

Join geology expert, Barry Gamble, and the Tamar Valley AONB team for a day in Tavistock next month to discover the remarkable geology of the Tamar Valley, without which we would not have the distinctive buildings we see today.

Barry says, “Many of Tavistock’s buildings were built using Hurdwick Stone, with its distinctive greenish-grey hue, quarried just a few miles away. In contrast, workers cottages in Tavistock were built from brick and local rubble stone”.

The free event, organised by the Helping Hands for Heritage project, that draws to a close in May, will take place on Saturday 2nd April, 10:30am – 4pm, meeting at The Wharf, Tavistock.

The session in the morning will start with a presentation of an overview of the geology of Tavistock in its context, followed by a hands-on practical to identify different stones. Following lunch, the group will take a walk around Tavistock to look in more detail at local building materials.

Sam Barnes, Helping Hands for Heritage Project Officer, says, “The AONB team has wanted for some time to produce a set of building design guidelines, highlighting examples of best practice when building or extending, and showing what best to avoid. This event will give volunteers the knowledge to start recording the building materials where they live. This information will be collated and used to form the guidelines”.

Booking is essential for this event. Please contact the Tamar Valley AONB team on 01822 835032 or email

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