This film is part of Free

A Trip to Totnes

The unique town of Totnes is described for viewers

News 1970 5 mins

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


TV reporter Clive Gunnell visits Totnes to look at the houses, the castle, the church and historic remains such as the water troughs. Today the town has a large New Age community and bohemian atmosphere with a reputation as a centre for learning, the arts and alternative lifestyles. A sign into the town used to read Twinned with Narnia, the fictional land described in C.S. Lewis' novels.

The name Totnes derives from old English tot to mean lookout or hill and ness for marshland. The first history surrounding Totnes is linked to its castle built in 907 by King Edward the Elder. A market town near the River Dart, by 1523 Totnes was the richest town in Devon and ranked 16th in importance in England.