This is a very traditional Devonshire village steeped in history. It is located on the rising of a hill above the river Yeo in the heart of rural Mid Devon. It is about 18 miles away from Exeter, just off the A377 Exeter to Barnstaple road. Lapford has a railway station on the Tarka line which runs between Exeter and Barnstaple.
The origins of Lapford can be traced back to the Iron Age Celts who met here for religious worship. By the 8th century, Lapford had been visited and settled by the Romans, the Angles and the Saxons. The population of the village was 150 when it was mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086.
Throughout the middle ages Lapford continued to prosper and grow, many stone buildings where built, some of which can still be seen today including Lapford's most notable landmark, St Thomas of Canterbury church which originally dates back to the 12th century. This stunning stone church is believed to have been rebuilt by William De Tracey as penance for his part in the murder of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Beckett on 29th December 1170. Some say that the ghost of Thomas a Beckett can be seen galloping on horseback through the village on the anniversary of his death on his way to confront his murderer. The church was extended in the 15th century. Also added around this time was the most exquisitely carved rood screen, the church also boasts beautifully carved bench ends and roof woodwork.
Today the village has grown considerably, but it is still small by modern standards with a population of about 1000. It is a traditional rural village surrounded by working farm land.
This area of Devon is known as "the River country" for good reason, there are many rivers nearby including the beautiful river Yeo (pictured on left) which runs through the valley a short distance to the south of Lapford. There is a public right of way across farmland which leads to the river, (see OS Land ranger map 191) please note that this route is not suitable for push chairs.
There are two pubs in the village. "The Old Malt Scoop Inn" (pictured) located in the village centre (about 50 yards from Honey Cottage), this an old coaching inn dating back to the 16th century, in the winter you can be sure of a roaring open fire. It has a pool table and skittles alley.
The second pub is "The Yeo Vale" on the main A377 road, close to Lapford railway station. Unfortunately this is closed at present.
The Playing Field:
Lapford playing field is tucked away at the end of the lane which runs behind Honey Cottage, about 50 yards away.
There is also a 5-a-side football pitch and a large area of grass for children to play. Dogs are permitted to use the playing field. However as always, all dog mess must be cleared up.
Lapford is fortunate enough to have two grocery shops, a butcher, a farm store and a post office.
The closest grocery shop to Honey Cottage is the newly re-opened Lapford Village Store. It is the ideal place to stock up on anything from breakfast cereal to toothpaste that you may have forgotten to bring. It also sells newspapers, sweets and cigarettes. The opening hours are limited, so check the shop door as you go past.
The second grocery shop is Spar which is located within the Jet petrol station on the main A377 road. It is usually open early and closes late, selling a good selection of groceries with a range of fresh, chilled and frozen food. Beers, spirits and cigarettes can also be purchased here.
The butchers is located to the north of the village on the main road, a few minutes walk from Honey Cottage. It sells high quality locally reared meat and meat products.
The farm shop, Blackberry Lane, is located just off the road heading north about half a mile out the village. This sells a variety of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables.
The post office is located on the road through the village, south of Honey Cottage. In addition to the usual post office services it also sells a range of stationery, greeting cards and picture post cards.
More extensive shopping facilities (including a supermarket) can be found in the nearby town of Crediton.
This area of rural Devon is home to a multitude of wildlife, part of the BBC's Spring Watch program is filmed close by. Wildlife enthusiasts please see Lapford Wildlife page for examples of what you maybe able to see during your stay.
For more information about Lapford, see the Lapford Village website.
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