Brentor – the parish

Parish boundary in red. Map courtesy of OS

The parish of Brentor lies on the north western corner of Dartmoor, about five miles north of the market town of Tavistock, in West Devon. It is to the west of the A386, access to the village being via a road across the moor from Mary Tavy. The parish can be also be reached from Lydford to the north, from Coryton, from Milton Abbot on the Tavistock – Launceston road to the west, or direct from Tavistock via the road towards Lydford from the south.

The name Brentor is commonly used for the main village in the parish, North Brentor.  In addition to North Brentor the parish includes the hamlets of South Brentor, Liddaton and Lydford Station, all of which are served by this website.  All of these settlements except Liddaton lie within the boundary of the Dartmoor National Park so that they have been spared much development in recent years.  Our residential buildings are a mix of permanent homes, second homes and holiday accommodation.  Mixed in are working farms, mainly farming cattle and sheep, with the addition of grazed moorland and commons.

Brentor has a remarkable natural feature, Brent Tor, topped by St Michael de Rupe Church.  Another notable feature is the White Lady waterfall on the northern edge of the parish in Lydford Gorge, owned by the National Trust.

Most of the land in the parish lies at about 250m above sea level, 150m higher than Tavistock, with the result that it is a little cooler and wetter. South westerly winds bring rain in the summer but Dartmoor shelters us somewhat from cold easterly winds in the winter.  In North Brentor, unlike most of Britain, light pollution is limited and we can still see the stars on clear nights, including a spectacular view of the Milky Way – a good place to own a telescope!

There is no shop, public house or post office in Brentor itself or elsewhere in the parish, and there is no longer a school in the village. Compared with most of England the parish is thinly populated, with only about 200 households in total – there are 70 houses in North Brentor itself.  Nonetheless the community manages to flourish, as this website clearly shows.

Public transport is better than might be expected, because Tavistock to Barnstaple buses pass through North Brentor and Lydford Station.  The service varies according to demand throughout the day to both Tavistock and Okehampton, the nearest shopping towns. Both towns have supermarkets and a wide range of shops.

– Photo by Colin Dawes

North Brentor is special, not just because it has a strong community spirit, but also because of its buildings and open spaces.  It is not a ‘picture postcard’ village but it is free of hard edges and too many ugly intrusions into the landscape.  Above all, our position in a most beautiful part of the South West, with our spectacular views to Dartmoor, make this a very special place to live.

– Photo by Colin Dawes