About us

A part of The Fenwick Charitable Trust; Registered Charity Number 1007957
About the archiveMeet the team

What is The Devon Rural Archive?

We are an independent heritage centre for the study of our county’s buildings and landscapes which first opened to the public in 2009.

Our purpose built Archive is situated in the grounds of Shilstone House near Modbury, and has a large study area, exhibition rooms and conference facilities.

Our Research Library is bursting with historical information about our county and its people. Our collection consists of historic documents, maps, images, books, journals, and periodicals, as well as a special collection of artefacts, and unpublished material. This all makes us an invaluable resource for Devon’s historians. The library is also home to our Family History resources and the reports of our own archaeological research, called Project Donn.

Meet the team

Our Curator

Abigail C. Gray B.A., M.A.

Abigail graduated from the University of Exeter in 2008 with a BA (Hons) Degree in Archaeology, and went on to attain a Master’s degree in Landscape Archaeology the following year. During her studies she began working on Project Donn, and since 2011 has been the Curator of the Devon Rural Archive and the Resident Archaeologist at Shilstone.

Abigail has been working in Devon’s heritage sector for 20 years and alongside her work at the Archive she is also a Trustee of the Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum and of the Devon History Society. Abigail is also a committee member for the Friends of Devon’s Archives, which promotes the preservation and use of historical records throughout Devon and raises public awareness of their importance for research and education.



Abigail is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who help care for our collection, support visitors in accessing the resources and carry out research into different aspects of our county’s heritage. We pride ourselves that the DRA is a friendly and productive place to work, and our existing team of volunteers all speak of the satisfaction that their sessions at the archive give them. If you would like to get involved, then have a chat with one of the team.

Stay in the loop!


Join the DRA Friends to receive the latest news from the archive as well as details of our events and exhibitions by email. Please add office@dra.uk.net to your list of contacts to prevent our messages being banished to your Spam folder.  

Where we are

Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, Devon, PL21 0TW

Call us: 01548 830832

Email us: nicola@shilstonedevon.co.uk