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Okehampton former A30.jpg
Grid reference: SX5895
Location: 50°44’20"N, 4°0’15"W
Population: 7,155  (2007 est)
Post town: Okehampton
Postcode: EX20
Dialling code: 01837
Local Government
Council: West Devon
Torridge and West Devon
Website: [2]

Okehampton is a town at the northern edge of Dartmoor in western Devon. It stands on the River Okement and markets itself as the "Gateway to Dartmoor".

Notable buildings in the town include the 15th century chapel of St James, and Okehampton Castle.

The town is also home to the Museum of Dartmoor Life.

Okehampton Castle

Okehampton Castle stands a noble ruin on a high motte on the edge of the town.

The castle was established by the Norman Sheriff Baldwin de Brionne [4], as the administration centre of his vast estate in Devon. These passed by marriage to the Courtenay family, who rebuilt the castle as a lavish but defended country retreat. In 1539, Henry VIII seized the estate and had Edward Courtenay executed for treason.[1]

Today, the castle is owned by English Heritage and is open to the public during the summer season.


A Roman fort was built close to the TownSX5996. Okehampton itself appears to have been established in the Anglo-Saxon period. The earliest written record of the settlement is from 980 AD as Ocmundtun, meaning "settlement by the Okement". It was recorded as a place for serfs to be freed at cross-roads. [2]

Like many towns in the West Country, Okehampton grew on the mediaeval wool trade.[3]

Map of Okehampton from 1946


The substantial army training camp on Dartmoor stands close to Okehampton, known as "Okehampton Camp". It is managed by the Defence Training Estate, and used by a variety of military units, including the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and many cadet training units.

The Ten Tors event[4] is run by the Army each year in early May from Okehampton Camp.


Outside links