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Barnstaple is the oldest borough in the UK. It was founded at the lowest crossing point of the River Taw, about 3 miles (5 kilometres) from the Taw's seafall at the Bristol Channel. By the time of the Domesday Book, Barnstaple had its own mint. Its size and wealth in the Middle Ages was based on it being 'wool staple', a town licensed to export wool, and its importance is still obvious in the town's name.
Green Lanes shopping centre adjoins the High Street. Additionally, the out-of-town shopping areas continue to expand, showing that Barnstaple is at the centre of a thriving, vibrant economy.
Traffic congestion in the town used to be quite severe, but in May 2007, the Barnstaple Western Bypass was opened so traffic heading towards Braunton and Ilfracombe avoids travelling through the town centre. As part of this work, the town's main square is receiving a facelift as the entrance to the town centre, and it is planned to pedestrianise The Strand. Following this scheme, plans are also being formulated for a regeneration of the town centre, due to commence in 2012, and scheduled to cost around £300 million.
The Barnstaple Alliance was formed in 2003 to bring together the wide range of interests across the town and to work with neighbouring communities to improve quality of life locally... more
- Barnstaple Strand / Square Consultation
We need your help to shape the future of the town more...
- Watch construction of the Barnstaple bypass live via webcam
Live pictures of the construction of the Barnstaple bypass available more...
- The population of the Barnstaple Devon Town area for 2009 is 47858
- In the last 10 years, the population has grown by 8.69%
- Claimant counts for November 2008 were approximately 455 people
- Job Seekers Allowance for the area reached 1.52% of the working age population in November 2008
- District claimant count figures for 2008 showed a claimant count of 1.89% of the working age population
- The Average income in 2008 for the Barnstaple Devon Town area is £30321.47 per household
- Average house price for the area in 2007 was recorded as £213,547.77
- In 2007 there were 542 year 11 pupils in this area
- 51.11% of year 11 pupils attained 5 A*-C grades at GCSE
- There are 517 year 6 pupils throughout the Barnstaple Devon Town area
- 83.3% of pupils attained KS2 Level 4+
- For statistical profiles on Barnstaple please click here