|Barnstaple is situated at the lowest crossing of the River Taw. It is the main market town of North Devon, that was given it’s charter as far back as AD930 by the Saxon King Athelststan. The name of the town is an amalgam of Barum which could date back as far as Roman times and staple, derrived from its license to export wool in the middle ages that brought wealth to the area.||
Today, Barnstaple is still a thriving market town and it is the main town of North Devon. It has a Victorian pannier market, the North Devon Museum which has an interesting range of exhibits from a hi-tech water centre with giant turtles to North Devon pottery.
There is also the Barnstaple Heritage Centre which has speaking models describing life in the area from the past.
Barnstaple is also a good base to visit the beautiful North Devon coastline.
Famous sons of Barnstaple include Sir Francis Chichester the world renowned sailor who was the first sailor to sail the world single handed in his yacht Gipsy Moth.