Earlier this month the Directors of Sawdye and Harris, Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers, and Estate Agents, contacted the Archive about taking on their historical records. This long-established business had, over the years, amalgamated a large collection of material relating to the sale of property, land and livestock in Ashburton, the Teign valley and right across Dartmoor National Park. They also held records relating to mining, turnpike roads and public amenities.
In total almost 200 books, consisting of market ledgers, letter books and valuations dating from the late 18th century to the late 20th century were stored within their Ashburton premises. Recognising the value of the information they contain, the Directors felt it would be fitting to donate this material to the Archive to be studied and enjoyed by members of the public whilst also ensuring the long-term preservation of the collection.
Our curator, Abi, along with volunteer, Emily, collected the items on Friday last and brought them back to the Archive. Once catalogued these books will be a very useful source for finding details of property transfers, family history and changes in agriculture, as well as how the land was used.
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Devon Rural Archive, Shilstone, Modbury, Devon, PL21 0TW
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