About Our Town


     Newton Abbot is a thriving market town in Devon situated at the head of the beautiful Teign estuary.  The pretty river Lemon meanders through the centre of the town, its origin being a small spring bubbling out of the ground on the wilds of Dartmoor.

    Newton Abbot has an abundance of history and plenty to keep you entertained so whether you are just passing through or taking a holiday in the area Newton Abbot is the place you want to be & will leave you wanting to return for more.

    The shops in Newton Abbot give a wide choice to both residents and visitors. There are a number of well-known supermarkets with good parking facilities. In Newton Abbot town centre part of it is a pedestrian precinct giving shoppers easy access to a number of well-known chain shops as well as individual independent shops, including butcher, bakers and fruit and vegetable shops, florists, jewellers, bookshops computer stores, hairdressers, beauty salons estate agents, newsagents, stationers and many more places to shop and browse. After all the shopping there are pleasant cafes and restaurants, somewhere to sit down and chat about the day. All the major banks have branches in Newton Abbot as well as Building Societies. Newton Abbot has a hospital situated at Jetty Marsh which opened earlier this year. 

    Another attraction for both locals and visitors are the markets held each week in Newton Abbot.  The Butter Market Building houses many independent stalls offering a variety of products including household wares, pet supplies, home made cakes, jams and fresh fruit and vegetables.  These stalls are open every day 9am-4pm.  There is a Newton Abbot outdoor market in the Market Square on Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am – 4pm and every Tuesday the pedestrian area of Courtenay Street hosts a Farmers Market.  Started in December 2000 there are stalls selling local produce, including bread, cakes, local meats, eggs and vegetables.  Newton Abbot had a livestock market every Wednesday and a poultry sale every 2nd Saturday. The first records of a livestock market being held in Newton Abbot date back to 1221.  Both auctions are held at the Cattle Market click here for more details on the markets.

    For families thinking of a move to Newton Abbot the choice of schools will be important. There are both Church of England and Catholic primary schools in the locality.  Coombeshead College and Newton Abbot College are the secondary schools in Newton Abbot and Teign School in Kingsteinton.  There are also many good independent schools.

    Newton Abbot is graced with beautiful parks, Forde Park with its public tennis court, Courtenay Park, beautifully planted with a colourful array of plants and shrubs, Decoy Park with its lovely walks around the lake, and Bakers Park with playing fields and wonderful walks through the Bradley woods.

    For those with a sporting interest Newton Abbot has a rugby club and a football club and golf courses at Stover, Dainton and Hele, which is a public course.  Newton Abbot also has a race course which lies between Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton.  The race course offers summer National Hunt meetings as well as playing host to many functions throughout the year, such as surf sales, antique sales and car boot sales.

    Newton Abbot Leisure Centre has a heated indoor swimming pool and also has classes in karate aerobics and other exercise classes running. Full details will be available from the Centre.

    For those looking for a business opportunity Newton Abbot boasts many industrial estates with a variety of units at Bradley Lane Brunel, Decoy,Milber and Wharf Road.. There are also industrial estates located in Kingsteignton at Greenhill, Rydons and Swift.  Offices are available as well as shops. Newton Abbot lies only 3-4 miles from the A38 dual carriageway and M5 motorway giving access to the South East, the Midlands, the North and Wales. The A38 gives quick easy access to both Exeter and Plymouth. The A30 link at Exeter gives access to Cornwall.  Newton Abbot railway station is a main line station with good links to all parts of the UK. There are also good coach links between Newton Abbot and London. There are regular bus services to the surrounding towns and villages. A busy taxi rank in the town centre and another at Newton Abbot railway station offer individual transport.

    One of the major attractions of Newton Abbot is its location.  Not only is it placed at the neck of a beautiful estuary it is only 15mins drive to the moors or the local beaches.  Dartmoor National Park is a place of outstanding beauty with extensive panoramic views.  Areas of interest include Becky falls, the quarry of Haytor, Dartmeet and Widecoombe in the Moor which is a must for any visitor to the region.  The moorland towns of Bovey Tracey, Ashburton and Buckfastleigh all have their own unique character and quaintness.


    The seaside village of Shaldon and its neighbouring town Teignmouth have lovely beaches which sit either side of the mouth of the river Teign. Teignmouth has a wonderful promenade with a pier, swimming pool and an adventure park for the children. So Newton Abbot is the place to visit if you want to have access to the wilderness of the moors or the rugged coastline with its many coves and beaches. There is lots to do and explore including scenic coastal paths which will ensure you see south Devon at its best.



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    Newton Abbot has a long history dating back to roman times. There is also evidence of Neolithic people living at Berry Wood near Bradley Manor.

    Originally two communities, on one side of the River Lemon The New Town of the Abbots of Torre Abbey and on the other side was Highweek – the village on high ground.  The Bushel family were the landowners at the time so the Highweek community was named Newton Bushel. Each community had its own market day, Newton Abbot on a Wednesday and Newton Bushel on a Tuesday.  These markets merged together in1633.

    In medieval times Newton Abbot like many towns in Devon at that time thrived on the woollen trade with mills, spinners, weavers and tailors all having businesses in Newton Abbot. Through the 19th centaury Vicarys mills employed many local people at its height in the 1920’s 400 people worked there.  By the 1970s business declined and the mills closed in 1972.

    The leather industry also played a major role in Newton Abbot, with tanners, saddlers shoe and boot makers all having thriving businesses until after World War Two.

    Just outside Newton Abbot are the ball clay workings in Bovey Basin.  It has filled over millions of years from the rivers that run from Dartmoor.  The natural deposits include clay derived from granite; these deposits have produced a clay that is more refined than many other clays.  It was introduced to the Wedgwood potteries, which in turn assured its success. By the end of the 18th centaury business was expanding. A Newton Abbot landowner named James Templar built the Stover Canal in 1792 to make the transportation from the basin to Newton Abbot easier. It then went by barge to the port of Teignmouth. Ball clay was shipped down the canal up until 1939.  There is still a modern, successful ball clay industry in Newton Abbot.

    Newton Abbot has many buildings of historic interest.  The library building known as the Passmore Edwards Public Library is situated in the middle of Newton Abbot on the corner of Highweek Street and Sherborne Road.  Gifted to Newton Abbot by John Passmore Edwards the library opened in 1904.  Another historic building in the centre of Newton Abbot is St Leonard’s Tower; it is all that remains of the medieval chapel of St Leonard.  Newton Abbot has a number of almshouses opened between 1538 and 1874. A new poor house was built in 1839, which during both wars was used as a military hospital.  By the 1950s the building became part of Newton Abbot hospital.  There is a small museum near the town hall that houses the history of Newton Abbot and the Great Western Railway.  In Victorian times the railways help in the rapid growth of Newton Abbot, which became the home of South Devon Railways locomotive works. Situated not far from Newton Abbot railway station, Tuckers Maltings is the only traditional malthouse open to the public in the UK.  Visitors can take a tour of the centre to see the process of barley to beer.  There is a 3 day beer festival which is held every April, where visitors can enjoy sampling over 200 different ales.

    Have you got a Historical Story about Newton Abbot??  Why not share it with the rest of the Community. 

    We would be interested to hear from anyone who has a Historical story or some interesting factual historical information about Newton Abbot and the surrounding areas.  OR/ If anyone has any old photographs of the area that they would like to share with the community please feel free to contact us.