Lydford Town in Devon
Formerly a town but now little more than a village, Lydford lies on the western fringes of Dartmoor some 7 miles northeast of Tavistock.
It currently has a population of just under 500 inhabitants. Lydford lies on the River Lyd, which traverses a deep, narrow gorge, crossed by a single span bridge. Running south west from the village is Lydford Gorge, a 1.5-mile wooded gorge cut through the slate rock by the River Lyd. The highlight of the gorge is 100 ft White Lady waterfall. Lydford Gorge is now in the stewardship of the National Trust.
Dating from at least Saxon times, Lydford was known as Hlidaforda or Hlidan, lating mutating through Lyghatford, Lidefort and Lideford to the Lydford we know today. Historically Lydford was an economic powerhouse, not the sleepy village which it is today.
The village was established as one of the four Saxon burhs of Devon by king Alfred the Great. It first appears in recorded history in 997, when the Danes made a plundering expedition up the Tamar and Tavy as far as Hlidaforda. The attack is described in the following passage translated from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: "In this year, they (the Vikings) visited Devonshire and at the mouth of the Severn, pillaging in Cornwall, Devon and Wales. They went to Watchet, and there caused much damage by dint of arson and wholesale slaughter. Then they turned at Penwith Tail to the south and up into the mouth of the Tamar, travelling to Lydford, burning and slaughtering anything they came across, and burned down Ordwulfs monastery at Tavistock, carrying vast amounts of loot back to their ships".
In the reign of Edward the Confessor Lydford was the most populous centre in Devonshire after Exeter, but the Domesday Survey relates that forty houses had been laid waste since the Conquest, and the town never recovered its former prosperity. Under the Normans, and according to the Domesday Book, Lydford is taxed equally with London, giving an idea of its significance at the time, the reason being that the parish of Lydford embraced the entirety of the Forest of Dartmoor under the Normans (as it did until the 20th century).
Events near Lydford
Wed, 9 May (ca. 13 km)
Dining out near Lydford
Lydford Country House Restaurant, Okehampton
Bearslake Inn, Okehampton
The Harris Arms, Lewdown
Browns Hotel, Tavistock
Arundell Arms Hotel, Lifton
The Whitchurch Inn, Tavistock
The Horn of Plenty, Tavistock
The Tors Restaurant, Dartmoor
Percy's Country Hotel, Holsworthy
Prince Hall Country House, Two Bridges
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: