Teign Valley History Centre


There is a plan to set up and run a museum and archive for all the villages in the Teign Valley. We need to demonstrate local support for this project, so please complete one of our forms and stay in touch with developments.

The Parish Council is offering a site in Christow on which to place the building. Negotiations are in full swing to house our archive and a museum of activities within the valley. Admission to the building will be free, both to valley dwellers and to visitors. It will be run by volunteers.

The villages now have an even mix of agricultural people, young families and retired people but the valley has a rich history of farming and mining. An understanding of the geology of the area will facilitate understanding on how this has encouraged industry in the past. It even has an impressive manor house at Christow which was the seat of the 1st Viscount Exmouth who was rewarded for his success in releasing lots of slaves from the Barbary Coast at the Battle of Algiers in the 19th century. There was also a railway up the valley between Newton Abbot and Exeter, which played a significant role in moving injured servicemen during the Second World War.

As a result of this new space we hope to accumulate artefacts of historical significance. We also hope to attract school visits, as education is part of our remit.

The centre will provide a focus within the valley communities, giving rise to further cooperation between the villages and helping social cohesion.

Spring 2019 Update

So many of you kindly supported us at the various Village Shows and events last year that we felt it was about time that we let you know how matters were progressing. Rather than use the unwieldy Museum and Archive Centre we have shortened our name to the Teign Valley History Centre which we feel will be easier all round.

As many of you will be aware, Christow Parish Council suggested that we build our History Centre on the site of the current toilet block at the top of the Community Hall car park. This would give us a relatively central position and it would give them new toilets. There were objections to the scheme – mainly due to the loss of at most four car parking spaces – but after a parish wide vote it was clear that the vast majority supported us and the scheme was accepted by the Council.

In order to try and get everyone on our side we have looked at other options for the History Centre but so far without success. There is a slim possibility of one other position – which we like very much – but we suspect that it will be ruled out.

So what have we achieved so far? We have ascertained that there is a need and a desire for a History Centre in the Valley. We have formed a Board of Trustees and won charitable status for ourselves – and that’s no mean feat! We know most of the likely sources of funding. We have talked to Dartmoor National Park and gained a provisional thumbs up from them. We have garnered widespread support from individuals, schools and organisations throughout the Teign Valley. We have outline drawings made up by professional architects and we are close to final plans.

All of these are considerable steps forward but we still need to have a formal lease agreed with Christow Parish Council before we can progress and this has been held up by the Council elections. As soon as the new Council is in place after May 2 then we can begin to move forwards with them.

In the mean time we thank you for your support and patience. We will keep you updated on our progress from time to time.

Graham Thompson (chair), Jan Deane, Tony Cook, Tony Griffin, Kerry Hawkins.

Contact us by emailing Tony Cook at tcook@abctales.com

(c) Teign Valley History Group 2019