This is where you'll see the latest news from the Teign Valley History Group, and the previous news stories archived below

28/08/2019 - Write Now Totnes

On Saturday 21st September The Totnes Library Writers Group will be holding a writing festival “Write Now Totnes", in The Mansion in Totnes. We will be holding a series of workshops for established and aspiring writers.

One of these workshops will be on “Researching and Writing Local History” by the local historian Peter Wade. Peter is a member of AbbPast, Abbotskerswell’s history group, and the author of seven publications on the village’s history. These can be read on the group’s website

The session will give practical advice on research techniques, look at typical sources that are available for local historians, and ways of producing local material in print. We will then have a go at writing a local study using the resource material.

The workshop will be held in The Mansion, Fore Street, Totnes, TQ9 5RP, starting at 10.00 and finishing at 11.30am. Tickets are £5.00 (Concessions £3.00) and available from Write Now Totnes: Researching and Writing Local History

If places are available tickets will be sold on the day. However, places are limited, and booking is advised.

21/08/2019 - Devon History Society Annual Conference: 12/10/2019

The Conference Programme can be seen here

Booking website is here

21/08/2019 - Digitising Your Archives: 04/11/2019

The Seminar Programme can be seen here

Booking website is here

18/08/2019 - Update from Graham

We have now come to the end of all the Valley summer shows. We attended 5 this year and attracted a good response and several new people to our contact list.

I would like to give warm thanks to all our volunteers who helped with erecting and dismantling the gazebo and displays as well as talking to all the visitors to our stand.

For sometime I have thought the displays needed improving so we are inviting people to put forward suggestions as to how we can do this. We are fortunate in having an influx of members who have the expertise to do this. Philippa Cook has offered to advise us on making the presentation child friendly. We are also aiming at making it more attractive to people who don't have local history as a primary interest.

Saul Ackroyd has already given added input to committee affairs and Philippa May, who knows a lot about Ashton history, has agreed to join our committee. We welcome them. We still have one vacancy so if you feel you can commit to our functioning please contact me.

Don't forget we have a new house history group which you can join to explore history of all houses in the valley including yours. You don't need to have done this before as we offer advice at every stage. Julia Kirkland made an excellent study of Huxbear House, Trusham recently, getting back to 1187!

You will have noticed that with our growing membership the Bowden Room has been rather cramped for our meetings so we will now meet in the large hall using the better amplification system that the film club use. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, 10th September on 'Body Snatching in Devon' by Dr Peter Selley, so please let all your friends know.

We will be 10 years old next spring and are discussing how we can best celebrate this. Watch this space.


09/08/2019 - History Centre

I had a call from someone wanting to donate her family collection to the History Centre. Thanks go to Tracey Combes, a member, who put her in touch. This collection includes a medal awarded to Wilf Aggett for good behaviour by the Teign Valley 'Tent' of the Rechabites, a temperance organisation, and his medal for long service as a Special Constable together with lots of family old photos of family in the Valley. There is also a Bible published by the SPCK, but undated, in which the family tree has been recorded from some time ago but recording back to the birth of William Aggett born 1836 and his wife, Mary Ann born 1838. The handwriting changes after 1877 so presumably the entry was made at about that date. It carries on till 1959 and records several families.There are several other items. The donor has strong Wills connections. It has been said that in the last century if you stood in Village Road and called for Mrs Wills 7 women would appear.

These are just the sorts of artefact we are hoping to accumulate so if you have anything related to the Teign Valley then do let me know. If you want them recorded but want to hang on to them please let me come and photograph or scan them.


06/08/2019 - Research papers added

Research from Maggie Bonnell and Shane Edgar has been added. It can be found here

06/06/2019 - Village Shows, volunteers needed, let Graham know if you can help

The History Group have arranged to be at the shows this summer.
This is a lot more than in the past and we are asking for volunteers to help at the stall. It doesn't require local knowledge as there is always someone there to ask.

It is good practice to keep our group in the front of everyone's minds. We have representatives from a lot of the villages but we could do with better representation from villages outside Christow.
The shows are:
Doddiscombsleigh Saturday 29th June 12.30 to 4pm
Dunsford Saturday 6th July 12 to 5pm
Bridford Saturday 13th July 2 to 5pm
Hennock Sunday 11th August 10 to 5pm
Christow Saturday 17th August 10 to 5pm

We would also like volunteers to help erect the Gazebo and the exhibition.

The sessions need only be 1 or 2 hours so I do hope you can help out. You can also spend the rest of the day enjoying a good look around the stalls and the produce in the Hall! Please can we have lots of volunteers to reduce the load on our usual stalwarts.

03/05/2019 - Help please

In his book 'As We Were (Christow Then and Now)' Stafford Clark quotes from 'Methodism in the Exeter Circuit'. He doesn't give a reference and I am unable to find a mention in the press or at The Devon Heritage Centre. Does anyone have knowledge of this book/article. If so I would love to have a look. Thank you, Graham

03/11/2018 - History of Christow

Research paper added. Also Listed buildings in Christow. Written and collated by Graham Thompson. They can both be found here

23/10/2018 - House History

I am increasingly receiving requests to carry out local research usually into house history. This takes me several hours. I ask for a donation to the history group. Most house research I've done in the past has taken me about 8 hours not including travel time. The advantage for us is that we get to store the information in our archive. We would not necessarily do this research unless asked because there are so many other things to look at. The committee are looking at a scale of charges for this sort of activity and will report back soon. If anyone else would like to assist in my research please let me know. I can offer advice as you proceed. (GT)

20/10/2018 - Where is this house?


Thanks to everyone who helped with trying to discover where the house was. Sam Archer identified it as Woodacre at the top of Wood Lane and I have confirmed this after a visit there. Alden Rodwell's mother, an expert in costume history, has confirmed that the costumes worn by the family (on the left) dates it as around 1905 whilst the servant on the right is wearing hand-me-downs from the 1870s. The house is shown in the 1840 Tithe apportionments (when tithes were converted to a cash payment) as the Cornish Arms, a short lived public house, no doubt run for ex-patriot Cornish miners. The house was occupied by the Binnenden family from South Africa. I believe there used to be a place called Binnenden or similar in Bridford. Is it still there? This is the sort of house information we would like to collect for our Museum archive. I now have a portable scanner so can scan documents without their leaving your house so if anyone has an interesting photo or house deed then I would love to have a look at it. (GT)

18/10/2018 - World War I Photographs

A reporter from the Moorlander has approached me wanting photos of 1st World War soldiers that are your ancestors/relatives for a forthcoming edition. If you have one can you send a copy to me so I can forward it to him? If you can send a photo of you holding the photo that would make his day!

Update: Hennock village are holding a WW1 history evening on Thursday, 25th October at 7:30 in Hennock Village Hall . Anyone welcome to come to the meeting.

11/09/2018 - Museum and Archive Update

Just before the meeting of the History Group Jeston Brightmore-Armour handed over his late mother's collection of Teign Valley Players artwork and some historical notes on Christow. Our grateful thanks go to the family. The artwork is stunning. If any one has archive material they would like to donate or loan please let me know. The museum project is now proceeding well and we hope to arrange details of a lease by the end of the year.

03/09/2018 - The Bridford Album

Graham has received an enquiry from an old Bridfordian as to whether he can track down a copy of 'The Bridford Album'. This was published at the time of the Millennium celebrations by the Bridford Photo Group when the chair was Jane Baker. Does it still exist? My correspondent tells me there was a photo of his uncle in it & he would like a copy. Does anyone know where he can get one?

(c) Teign Valley History Group 2019