GUIDED WALKS

"Oyez, Oyez and thrice 'yez...."

.... the familiar cry of the town's tour guide, Tom Evans.

Mr Evans, who ran the town's Tourist Information Centre (TIC) for 30 years, has been conducting guided walks of Barnstaple since 1983.

Each walk is tailored to suit the time allowed, the start and finishing points, the weather, the time of day and the particular interests of the group.

Groups of any size from 6 to 60, in number, can commission a walk. Daytime groups tend to be larger (av. 35) and louder; evening parties are usually more intimate, with about 10 to 20 people.

Individuals or families are welcome to join any of the pre-booked guided walks listed below — except those marked with a star (☆).

If you wish to book a guided walk, please 'phone 01271 378935.



Schools may commission 1 hour walks or studies of.....

  • 'Saxon and Norman Barnstaple'
  • 'Barnstaple during the Tudors and Stuarts'
  • 'Barnstaple's Victorian Social History'
  • 'The Maritime Trade of Barnstaple'
  • 'An Explanation for the Town's Spirit of Mercantile Endeavour'
  • 'A Study of the Architecture of Barnstaple Town Centre'
  • 'A Study of the Change of Use of Town Buildings'
  • 'A Study of Geographical Influences on Barnstaple's Evolution'
  • 'Pirates and Privateers on the North Devon Coast'
All the subjects listed above are better served by a hour – immediately before or after the walk/study – discussing, handling and drawing relevant objects in the Museum of North Devon.
The Museum offers this service free of charge to local schools — contact the Schools' Liaison Officer, Museum of North Devon, tel 01271 346747.
If you'd prefer to handle objects in the classroom, you may use the Museum's new 'Think Tank' service — see
www.museumthinktank.org.uk

COACH GUIDING

North Devon and Exmoor


Tom Evans has guided several hundred coach parties since 1986.

Many group organizers have sent letters of thanks, including:
"....We have also had many guided tours in different parts of the country but never one more enjoyable. It was generally agreed that your tour really was the highlight of our holiday and all my group would like to send sincere thanks...."
V S, Christchurch, Dorset, for group staying at Saunton Sands Hotel.

Tom Evans is available for coach guiding on any day that is not already booked for a guided walk or another coach tour — see list below.

If you wish to book a coach guide, please 'phone 01271 378935.


The Gilbert Paige Almshouses (c1650) and Alice Horwood's School for poor maids (1659), Church Lane.

in the churchyard

Tom Evans addresses the throng in St Peters Churchyard, prior to visiting the C16th Grammar School.

a busy day in the pannier market

Riverside Walk passes under the first arch of the town's 16-arch 14th century Long Bridge.

eighteenth century oil painting of barnstaple

The medieval town of Bardnestapole became an influential trading port in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

The Great Quay, which was completed in 1565, later attracted merchant shipping for the American Trade.



The Second Guildhall, built in 16th century, was replaced by the present Guildhall in 1827.

oil paintings of the town's worthies

Some of the Hudson portraits in The Guildhall.



The Penrose Square, twenty almshouses built under the will of Johannes (John) Penrose in 1627.

oyez oyez 'tis green man day

Green Man Day – the Pilton festival: Tom Evans, bearing the proclamation, leads the procession.



The Pannier Market, built in 1855 to separate dairy and vegetable sales from meat and livestock.

balls of bizzie lizzies hung 'neath the wooden canopy

Butchers' Row, also 1855, faces north, the wooden canopy keeps the butchers shops in permanent shade.



linocut print by the late rita evans

This is one of the many linocut prints which brought my late wife's artistry to local and regional recognition.
For more examples, see: Rita's Web Pages

Where is Barnstaple ?

Barnstaple sits on the northern side, the drier side, of the Taw estuary at its first fording place, six miles from the sea. It was possible to wade across the Taw, at low tide, from a position upstream of its confluence with the river Yeo. The late-Saxon fortified burh, naturally defended by the tidal waters of the Yeo to the north, and the Taw to the west and south, had defences constructed on the eastern side by Athelstan, King of Wessex, in 928AD.

Why is Barnstaple called Barnstaple ?

The earliest surviving use of the name was on coins of the 10th century as "Beardastapol". The Domesday Book of 1086 spells it as "Barnestaple".
There are two interpretations of the name: Bearda is known to have been a saxon personal name (as used in Bearda Valley and Bearda Mill in Staffordshire), whereas Bearde was a saxon word for a battle-axe. Stapol meant a pillar or post. So it is either the pillar or post of Bearda or the pillar or post of the battle-axe.
I have recently corresponded on this matter with a world leading academic on Anglo Saxon history. He explained to me why a desire has evolved, in certain seats of learning, to discard the personal names in place-names in favour of more colourful descriptions. However, in the case of Bearde Stapol, he does not comprehend what a battle-axe post was nor can he imagine how it could be used. So he, whilst unwilling to be definite, is inclined to accept the meaning set out in J Gover, A Mawer and F M Stenton, The Place-Names of Devon (Cambridge 1931), pp. 25-7, as Beardastapol – the pillar or post of Bearda. Perhaps the pillar was used as a marker for the ford, which would have been difficult to find at high tide.
TE. Sept 2012

How old is the Castle Mound ?

The Castle Mound is all that remains of the 11th century Norman motte and bailey castle. The Normans built five hundred such castles in England between 1066 and 1086, their principal purpose was to suppress the conquered Saxons: to establish Norman control of the land and its people. Barnstaple's castle was built on the western side of the fortified town; from here the Norman lord could command both the town and its river crossings.


Barnstaple is the principal market town of North Devon

Click here for ... more of what to see and do in Barnstaple


Options and Charges for Guided Walks and Study Walks

Most tours take about 1¼ to 1½ hours. However some local clubs and history groups prefer a full in-depth history of the town, this can take about 2 hours, or be split into two parts, each of about 1¼ hours.

Tour Charges
local school
language school
small group
less than 20
larger group
20 plus
Daytime
£20
£25
£20
£25
Evenings
-
-
£25
£30
Weekends
£20
£25
£25
£30
Christmas
-
-
£40
£55

Where to start your guided walk

Daytime tours start from the entrance to the Museum in The Square, unless otherwise stated in brackets, eg (Lib) – the North Devon Library.
Admission is free to the Museum which is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm in winter and 10am to 5pm in the summer.
Evening tours often start from the North Devon Library, beside the Castle Mound: where there is a large carpark (which is free after 6pm).
You may prefer Tom Evans to meet you at your hotel, or to tailor the route in order to finish at a particular venue.

 

Website designed by Designability.com
Copyright 2005-2016

 
2016 Bookings       Individuals or small groups may join (free of charge) any walk listed below, except those marked with a star (☆)   If you want to see last year's list, click www.oyez-oyez.co.uk/oyez2015.htm
- change the date for other years
             
8th Feb Mon 11.30am 16+ Czech trainee teachers (☆) SOL intro to town + simple history
23rd Feb Tues 9.30am 60+ Pilton Infants (☆) (StA) PIS castle, walls and gates
7th Mar Mon 1.15pm 37+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
7th Mar Mon 2.45pm 12+ Spanish students (☆) (Lib) PCC intro to town + simple history
8th Mar Tues 1.30pm 12+ Czech Adults (☆) (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
9th Mar Wed 1.30pm 40+ Hungarian students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
10th Mar Thur 1.00pm 40+ Hungarian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Woolacombe and Ilfracombe
11th Mar Fri 1.00pm 40+ Hungarian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Lynton and Lynmouth
14th Mar Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Mar Fri 1.15pm 41+ Italian students SOL intro to town + simple history
28th Mar Mon 3.00pm 5 Chinese Journalists (☆) (TH) NDSE intro to town + simple history
1st Apr Fri 1.15pm 70+ Czech students SOL intro to town + simple history
11th Apr Mon 1.15pm 38+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Apr Mon 1.15pm 13+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
20th Apr Wed 10.00am 30+ Italian schoolchildren (☆) (North Gate) NCC intro to town + simple history
25th Apr Mon 1.15pm 50+ Moroccan students SOL intro to town + simple history
26th Apr Tues 1.30pm 42+ Czech students SOL intro to town + simple history
4th May Wed 10.00am 45+ Slovakian teachers/students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
4th May Wed 1.30pm 45+ Slovakian teachers/students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
4th May Wed evening 14+ Burrington WL (Lib) BWL Historic Barnstaple + GH
5th May Thur 9.00am 45+ Slovakian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Woolacombe and Ilfracombe
5th May Thurs 1.30pm 36+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
9th May Mon 1.15pm 37+ Kosovan students SOL intro to town + simple history
10th May Tues 9.00am 45+ Slovakian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Lynton and Lynmouth
10th May Tues 2.00pm 29+3 French students (☆) (Lib) PCC intro to town + simple history
23rd May Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
24th May Tues 11.00am 30+ Pilton Bluecoat School (☆) (Lib) PBS Geographical Influences and Town Buildings
24th May Tues 1.40pm 30+ Pilton Bluecoat School (☆) (Lib) PBS Geographical Influences and Town Buildings
2nd Jun Thurs 1.15pm 60+ Czech students SOL intro to town + simple history
3rd Jun Fri 10.30am 45+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
8th Jun Wed 2.00pm 35+4 German students (☆) (Lib) PCC intro to town + simple history
9th Jun Thurs 1.15pm 20+ Finnish students SOL intro to town + simple history
10th Jun Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour group (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
11th Jun Sat am/pm   Queen's Birthday Party: Butchers' Row BTC Town Crying - Oyez
11th Jun Sat 10.30am 25+ Inner Wheel VIPs (ImpHotel) IW Historic Barnstaple
13th Jun Mon 6.30pm 12+ Roborough WI (☆) (Lib) WI Historic Barnstaple
17th Jun Fri 1.15pm 29+ Ukrainian students SOL intro to town + simple history
20th Jun Mon 1.30pm 12+ French students (☆) ALICE intro to town + simple history
21st Jun Tues 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
21st Jun Tues 3.30pm 15+ French students (☆) S-U-L intro to town + simple history
22nd Jun Wed 7.00pm 20? Georgeham WI (Lib) WI Mercantile Barnstaple + GH
27th Jun Mon 2.30pm 43+ Hungarian/Bulgarian/Romanian SOL intro to town + simple history
28th Jun Tues 1.15pm 40+ Polish students SOL intro to town + simple history
29th Jun Wed 1.30pm 21+ Spanish students (☆) ALICE intro to town + simple history
30th Jun Thur 1.30pm 20+ Spanish teachers/students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
1st Jul Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
1st Jul Fri 1.00pm 30+ Spanish students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Clovelly
2nd Jul Sat 9.00am 30+ Spanish students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Exeter
4th Jul Mon 10.30am 0+ International students SOL intro to town + simple history
4th Jul Mon 2.00pm 35+ Bulgarian/Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
4th Jul Mon 3.30pm 40+ Romanian teachers/students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
5th Jul Tues 1.00pm 55+ Spanish + Romanian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Woolacombe + Ilfracombe
6th Jul Wed 1.00pm 55+ Spanish + Romanian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Lynton + Lynmouth
7th Jul Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
8th Jul Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
8th Jul Fri 1.15pm 0+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
9th Jul Sat 9.00am 55+ Spanish + Romanian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Tintagel
10th Jul Sun 10.30am 45+ French students (☆) LEC* intro to town + simple history
12th Jul Tues 1.00pm 25+ Romanian students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Gt Torrington
14th Jul Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
15th Jul Fri 1.00pm 30+ Croatian teachers/students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Woolacombe + Ilfracombe
16th Jul Sat 11.00am   Pilton Green Man Festival PGM Town Crying - procession
17th Jul Sun 10.30am 35+ French students (☆) LEC* intro to town + simple history
18th Jul Mon 10.30am 0+ International teachers SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Jul Mon 1.30pm 30+ Croatian teachers/students (☆) (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
19th Jul Tues 10.30am 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
19th Jul Tues 1.15pm 0+ ?? students SOL intro to town + simple history
19th Jul Tues 2.30pm 0+ Serbian students SOL intro to town + simple history
21st Jul Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
28th Jul Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
29th Jul Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
29th Jul Fri 1.15pm 0+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
1st Aug Mon 1.15pm 27+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
4th Aug Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
5th Aug Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
8th Aug Mon 1.15pm 29+ ?? students SOL intro to town + simple history
9th Aug Tues 1.15pm 42+ ?? students SOL intro to town + simple history
11th Aug Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
15th Aug Mon 1.15pm 13+ ?? students SOL intro to town + simple history
15th Aug Mon 2.45pm 40+ Romanian students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
18th Aug Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
22nd Aug Mon 1.15pm 27+ Bulgarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
23rd Aug Tues 1.15pm 13+ Croatian students SOL intro to town + simple history
23rd Aug Tues 3.00pm 34+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
25th Aug Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
26th Aug Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
29th Aug Mon 1.15pm 42+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
1st Sep Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
2nd Sep Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
7th Sep Wed 2.00pm 12+ Atherington & Umberleigh WI (☆) (ImpHotel) WI Historic Barnstaple
8th Sep Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
8th Sep Thurs 1.15pm 12+ Bulgarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
9th Sep Fri all day   Guided Walks from the Guildhall BTC Heritage Open Days
10th Sep Sat all day   Guided Walks from the Guildhall BTC Heritage Open Days
15th Sep Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
16th Sep Fri 1.15pm 18+ Austrian students SOL intro to town + simple history
20th Sep Tues 6.00pm 5+ Private Party (☆) AR Historic Barnstaple
22nd Sep Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
23rd Sep Fri 10.00am 40+ Shearings tour groups (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
26th Sep Mon 1.30pm 30+ Austria students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
29th Sep Thur 11.00am 0+ Free Guided Walk from The Square BTC Historic Barnstaple
30th Sep Fri 10.00am 20+ Shearings tour group (☆) (QAW) BTC Historic Barnstaple
7th Oct Fri 10.00am 30+6 Our Lady's School (☆) OLS Chronological History of Barnstaple
17th Oct Mon 1.15pm 41+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
20th Oct Thur 2.30pm 13+3 European teachers (☆) (Lib) PBS intro to town + simple history
24th Oct Mon 1.45pm 13+ French students (☆) S-U-L intro to town + simple history
8th Nov Tues 1.30pm 40+ Czech students (Lib) NDSE intro to town + simple history
8th Nov Tues 3.00pm 39+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
9th Nov Wed 12noon 9+ Lampard Community School (☆) LCS mapping Barnstaple town centre
11th Nov Fri 1.00pm 40+ Czech students (☆) (NW) NDSE coach to Lynton and Lynmouth
22nd Nov Tues 1.15pm 14+ Kosovan students SOL intro to town + simple history
5th Dec Mon 1.15pm 27+ Slovak students SOL intro to town + simple history
             
2017 Bookings            
             
4th Jan Wed 1.30pm 14+ Chilean teachers / students (Lib) (☆) NDSE intro to town + simple history
10th Feb Fri 1.15pm 20+ Czech trainee teachers (☆) SOL intro to town + simple history
27th Feb Mon 1.15pm 25+ Slovene students SOL intro to town + simple history
6th Mar Mon 1.15pm 34+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
20th Mar Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
27th Mar Mon 10.30m 15+ Russian students (☆) SOL intro to town + simple history
27th Mar Mon 1.15pm 40+ Slovak students SOL intro to town + simple history
10th Apr Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
20th Apr Thurs 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
21st Apr Fri 2.30pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
3rd May Wed 1.15pm 42+ Czech students SOL intro to town + simple history
8th May Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
15th May Mon 10.30am 20+ Polish students SOL intro to town + simple history
15th May Mon 1.15pm 39+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
16th May Tues 2.30pm 0+ Slovak students SOL intro to town + simple history
29th May Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
1st Jun Thurs 1.15pm 57+ Czech students SOL intro to town + simple history
12th Jun Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
13th Jun Tues 1.15pm 40+ Czech students SOL intro to town + simple history
14th Jun Wed 2.30pm 24+ Slovak students SOL intro to town + simple history
26th Jun Mon 1.15pm 60+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
26th Jun Mon 2.30pm 0+ Bulgarian / Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
27th Jun Tues 1.15pm 40+ Polish students SOL intro to town + simple history
3rd Jul Mon 10.30am 0+ International teachers SOL intro to town + simple history
3rd Jul Mon 2.30pm 0+ Ukraine / Serbian students SOL intro to town + simple history
6th Jul Thurs 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
7th Jul Fri 1.15pm 25+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
13th Jul Thurs 2.30pm 0+ Croatian / Bulgarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
17th Jul Mon 10.30am 0+ International teachers SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Jul Tues 10.30am 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Jul Tues 1.15pm 0+ Serbian students SOL intro to town + simple history
21st Jul Fri 2.30pm 38+ Serbian students SOL intro to town + simple history
27th Jul Thurs 1.15pm 56+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
28th Jul Fri 1.15pm 46+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
7th Aug Mon 2.30pm 0+ Bulgarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
8th Aug Tues 10.30am 0+ Slovak students SOL intro to town + simple history
8th Aug Tues 1.15pm 0+ Bulgarian / Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
15th Aug Tues 2.30pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Aug Fri 10.30am 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
18th Aug Fri 1.15pm 26+ Romanian students SOL intro to town + simple history
28th Aug Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
4th Sep Mon 10.30am 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
4th Sep Mon 1.15pm 0+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history
12th Sep Tues 1.15pm 48+ Hungarian students SOL intro to town + simple history