Tom Cobley Tavern

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Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, Devon Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, Devon - - 448441.jpg
Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, Devon

The Tom Cobley Tavern is a pub in Spreyton, Devon, England. It dates back to the 16th century, and may be the 1802 starting point of Uncle Tom Cobley and his companions for the journey to Widecombe Fair, in the well-known folk song. It was CAMRA's National Pub of the Year for 2006, and a finalist in 2012.



The pub dates back to the 16th century, and was renamed in the 1950s to capitalise on Spreyton's connection to Uncle Tom Cobley. [1] [2] [3] On the pub's website, it is stated that the famous song is based on a journey that Tom Cobley and his companions took to Widecombe Fair in 1802, starting out from the pub. [4] According to the BBC, local history research does support this account. [5]

It was CAMRA's National Pub of the Year for 2006. [6] [1] [7] It was Pub of the Year for Exeter and East Devon, [8] and one of four national finalists in the competition for 2012, which was won by The Baum, Rochdale. [9] [10]

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The phrase Uncle Tom Cobley and all is used in British English as a humorous or whimsical way of saying et al., often to express exasperation at the large number of people in a list. The phrase comes from a Devon folk song, "Widecombe Fair", collected around 1890 by Sabine Baring-Gould. Its chorus ends with a long list of people: "Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all." The surname is spelt as "Cobleigh" in some references.

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Widecombe Fair is an annual fair in England, held in the Dartmoor village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor on the second Tuesday of September. It is well known as the subject of the folk song of the same name, featuring Uncle Tom Cobley and his friends.

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  1. 1 2 Pubs. "Devon Pub Guide: Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  2. "Pub and Bed and Breakfast". Tom Cobley Tavern. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. "Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton • Pub Details •". Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  4. "Pub and Bed and Breakfast". Tom Cobley Tavern. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  5. Uncle Tom Cobley and all... "Devon - Arts and Culture - Uncle Tom Cobley and all". BBC . Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  6. CAMRA. "Pub of the Year Winners". CAMRA . Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  7. "Camra Award Winning Pub in Spreyton". Tom Cobley Tavern. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  8. "Tom Cobley is Pub of the Year". Exeter Express and Echo. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  9. "JavaScript is disabled in your browser". 29 November 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  10. "CAMRA National Pub of the Year 2012 finalists announced". 27 November 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2016.

Coordinates: 50°45′21″N3°50′51″W / 50.7558°N 3.8476°W / 50.7558; -3.8476