News

Shilstone: Yesterday and Today

Shilstone: Yesterday and Today

Pictures of Then and Now. During the early 19th century the Savery family, who had owned Shilstone since 1614, started to make some big changes to the site. They demolished the existing medieval house, built a new courtyard mansion in its place, and improved the farm...

Devon in the 1920s

Devon in the 1920s

Rural life 100 years ago. Some of our volunteers are currently researching rural life in Devon during the 1920s, and are looking particularly at the changes that took place on local farms in the decade after the first world war. To this end we will be using items from...

Project Donn: a recent survey

Project Donn: a recent survey

Sandwell Manor, Harberton. Benjamin Donn’s 1765 survey of Devon, produced at a scale of an inch to a mile, was the first large-scale map of any British county. Alongside towns, villages and farms, Donn marked the location of 656 “gentry seats” and thus provides us...

A Victorian Snapshot of North Devon

A Victorian Snapshot of North Devon

Pictures of North Devon donated to the Archive. Today we received a charming set of North Devon images from our friends at Towneley Hall Museum in Burnley. All 60 images were taken in the early 1880s, many by W. C. Murphy, and capture towns and villages along the...

COVID-19 Statement

COVID-19 Statement

Visiting the DRA during the Covid-19 Pandemic Our Library is currently open by appointment only. To book your visit please call 01548 830832.   To minimise the risks posed to our community by the spread of the virus, we have made some changes to the ways in which we...

Our next Zoom talk will be given by Dr Todd Gray on Thursday 27th May at 6pm. Finding the thread: the last hurrah of the Devon cloth industry. Woollen cloth was Devon’s greatest export from the late medieval period through to the early 1800s. Each year many hundreds of thousands of pieces of cloth were exported through Exeter to ports across Europe. Much of the cloth was made in small towns and villages, and finished at Exeter. The discovery of a collection of several thousand samples of local Georgian cloth allows us to finally see what it looked like, and to reassess this extraordinary industry.Dr Todd Gray was born in New England and first came to England as a schoolboy in the 1970s. He returned to complete his undergraduate studies at the University of London. He subsequently enrolled as a post-graduate student at the University of Exeter, and in 1989 was awarded his Doctorate in History. He remains a Research Fellow of the University, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Todd has devoted his working career to the study of Devon’s history, and his passion for his adopted county is self-evident through his publications and in his lectures. He has written more widely on Devon than any other Devon historian. Tickets are £5 per device accessing the talk.To purchase a ticket please call us on 01548 830832 or email office@dra.uk.net. ... See MoreSee Less
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Join us on Zoom on Thursday 27th May at 6pm to hear Dr Todd Gray's talk, 'Finding the thread: the last hurrah of the Devon cloth industry'. Details here: https://devonruralarchive.com/finding-the-thread/

We have awarded £1400 to @SharphamTrust towards the restoration of the formal Italianate terrace designed by Percy Cane in the 1960's at Sharpham House. #unforgettablegardens

We're currently doing some work on well-known people with connections to Torquay and came across some sale catalogues of the Watcombe Estate, designed for Brunel, although he died before it was completed.

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We've been focusing on our archives this month for the #Archive30 campaign & our book collections have been feeling a little neglected. So please make them happy again by joining us in wishing our books (& books everywhere) a happy #WorldBookAndCopyrightDay & #WorldBookNight! 🥳

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Here the South Pool Harriers meet outside Kings Arms Hotel, Fore Street, Kingsbridge in 1937. Right to left: Ned Balkwill, butcher for Warren's (with apron), Leslie Kenard in front of Tanner on horse, Miriam Moysey, Mrs Ralph Steer on horse and George Kenard, drinking.

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Where we are

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

Call us: 01548 830832

Email us: office@dra.uk.net