MARY TAVY - A Dartmoor village...

Each village in the United Kingdom will have its own War Memorial, and so has Mary Tavy. It is visited each and every 11th of November to commemorate the fallen in both World wars. It is not the usual cross but is an obelisk that contains panels on which are deligniated the names of those who were villagers who perished. When one realises the actual size of the community and realise that those fallen were the flower of our menhood it is a poigniant reminder indeed of the valour and character of those particular men. war memorial There are names that still have a familiar ring to them as their families still survive in the locality. Located at the crossroads it is the obvious place for such a memorial. To all it is a symbol of sacrifice, and of community, and will remain a place of rememberance for many generations to come.

From the photos one may observe the old-fashioned red telephone kiosks which are retained in use, newer designs are available but the old type, along with the pillar-box red mail boxes, are an integral part of this westcountry moorland community, and are preferred. We don't like change! We resist it (often to the detriment to ourselves), by encouraging modernity to pass us by! The lane in the photo is Bal Lane, and was at one time the route taken by villagers and miners to get either to church, school or work. It was the BAL or MINE lane and was free of mine machinery and therefore safe to travel along.
Many of the other routes used would pass close to active mine machinery and shafts as the whole village used to be the site of Wheal Friendship, the most productive copper mine in the world!

It is mentioned in old records that the population stood at 1500+ in the early 1850's and that there were only 66 houses! The current population is around 800, mostly elderly.
House prices are around 60,000 to 200,000, but even the lower price is well outside the reach of the normal wage-earning younger members of the community, where the average 'take-home' pay would be around 150 - 180 per week. This leads - as elsewhere - to the migration of our young people to cheaper housing in the cities or towns. Houses are readily snatched up when they come on the market by 'incomers' from the more prosperous parts of the country. This results in an ageing but affluent population who place great demands on Social Servies of all kinds, but do not involve themselves actively in village affairs. Unfortunately we all lose!

Family ties and bonds are loosened and the whole structure of old communities alters - even disintegrates, and in my belief, to the detriment of us all! Strangers arrive as couples, a partners dies and the one left behind knows no one well and eventually either returns from whence they came, or end their latter years in virtual isolation or the local Nursing Home.

The solution? It is a political one, and not one that will win many votes - so therefore it probably will never come about! We need more affordable housing in the village which will encourage a complete 'social mix' and increase the number of children going to our local Primary School. We need a larger community!

Mary Tavy Public Water Supply

Photographs of Mary Tavy

Rectory Body's Garage
Daisybanks House Village Cross
Tavy Clam Brookside
Church Clam The Hunt