An ‘Independent Bookshop’ making history in historic Okehampton (Devon, UK)

Okehampton is a town brimful of historic delights including ‘haunted’ castle ruins, a well-maintained Edwardian shopping arcade.It has now added to its attractions an independent bookshop <>. It is owned and run by Kate McCloskey, whose life-long love of books is informed by a background in academia, advertising and libraries.

Perhaps it is less well-known for having been the place that the first burglary using a battery operated torch or flashlight took place (OKEHAMPTON COLLECTION – vol 1- Mike and Hilary Wreford).  It also hosted ‘giglet’ fairs. These fairs were traditionally a  fair at which you could buy, find a wife or to swap your wife is she proved too difficult to manage <>.
However, today history is being created by Kate McCloskey, who opened an independent bookshop there last year. As she explains, “Okehampton’s first Independent Bookshop in 30 years – Dogberry & Finch Books – opened its doors in August 2019, with a packed community launch party featuring VIP guests Alan Lee, Philip Reeve and Danny Holmes Adams. It is owned and run by local business woman, Kate McCloskey, whose life-long love of books is informed by a background in academia, advertising and libraries.”
Alan Lee <>
Philip Reeve <>
Danny Holmes Adams <>

Kate continues that, “Since opening, Dogberry & Finch has offered a full programme of sell-out art, community and literature events, and has worked in collaboration with local schools, charities and organisations. A general bookshop, the books are hand-picked, ever-changing and carefully curated, everything from philosophy to natural history, graphic novels to the best of new fiction.
We have a dedicated section for children and young people, and feature books and maps relating to Dartmoor and our local area. Dogberry & Finch also showcases and sells paintings and artwork by some of the region’s most talented artists.

We are fortunate to have hosted author talks with a number of historians and historical writers, including Karen Maitland, Michael Jecks, Dr Todd Gray MBE & Professor Nick Groom. Local historians and writers A J Mackenzie (Marilyn Livingstone & Morgen Witzel) are regular visitors to the bookshop.”

“Dogberry & Finch Books’ additional services: Out-of-Print find & supply service, National Book Tokens, art prints, stationary & cards. Anything in print that we don’t stock can usually be ordered for next day delivery or collection.”

Kate McCloskey, Owner, Dogberry & Finch Books, 15 St James Street, Okehampton, EX20 1DJ,UK

Tel: 01837 657563 Email:


Facebook: @dogberryandfinch     Twitter: @DogberryFinch