Devon History Society - Programme 2016 (with links to booking forms)

Monday, 15 February 2016, 13:00 - 17:00

Symposium on Thomas à Becket and Devon

Devon Heritage Centre, Bittern Rd., Sowton, Exeter, EX2 7NL

Open only to members of the Devon History Society

Saturday, 27 February 2016, 11:00 - 16:30

Study Day on Early Victorian Schools in Devon

St. Sidwell’s Community Centre, Exeter, EX4 6NN

Booking via Booking Form A (February-July)

Saturday, 23 April 2016, 10:00 - 16:00

Spring Meeting at Lympstone Village Hall, hosted by Lympstone History Society

See programme and booking form here

Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 19:00 - 21:00

Lecture in conjunction with the Historical Association, Plymouth Branch

Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Nigel Overton - Amateurs & Artists: Early Photography and Plymouth

Tickets available in advance from Peninsula Arts Booking Office, Roland Levinsky Building (open 13:00 - 17:00, Mon-Fri).  DHS members can obtain a free ticket for this event by presenting their copy of The Devon Historian for 2015 at the box office when booking. Meeting also free for national and Plymouth Branch members of the Historical Association.

Devon History News, Issue 17, February 2016

The seventeenth issue of Devon History News, the newsletter of the  Devon History Society, is now in print or available here:

Devon History News 17, February 2016 (PDF format).

Vikings in the West Country

11 February 2016, 18:30

Dawlish Library

An illustrated talk by Derek Gore

Chagford Local History Society

Chagford Local History Society have sent us details of their 2016 Programme:

Thursday 28th January 2016


Caradoc Doy will give a talk about the history of Veitch Nurseries.

Thursday 25th February 2016


Dr. Phil Newman MIFA FSA

Thursday 31st March 2016


Valerie Belsey will be our speaker.  Folk singer Jim Causley accompanies her.

Thursday 28th April 2016


Ivor Bowditch and Malcolm Gould talk about the history of china clay production.

Saturday 27th August 2016


Endecott House 10am - 12 noon. Contributions for the Cake Stall, Raffle and help on the day are most welcome.

Thursday 27th October 2016


Dr. Alex Woodcock will talk on this.  He is an Exeter Catherdral stonemason and author of "Of Sirens and Centaurs: Medieval Sculpture in Exeter Cathedral" published in 2013.

Thursday 24th November 2016

AGM: starts at 7pm

See the web site:

Devon History Society Programme 2016

Coming soon, the Devon History Society programme for 2016.

Council members Viv Styles and Julia Neville put in some background work at Devon Heritage Centre in preparation for the first event - a joint seminar with the South West Heritage Trust on February 15th on 'Becket and his murderers: the Devon connection'

Refuge: The English Civil War on Dartmoor

It doesn’t take an expert historian to know that the English Civil War was a conflict that divided communities nationwide, and life on 17th Century Dartmoor was no exception. Village was set against village, family against family in one of the most bloodthirsty periods in English history. However Dartmoor’s unique landscape, with all of its secret haunts, did prove to be an excellent hiding place…

‘Refuge’ by MED Theatre tells the story of John Elford, a renegade parliamentarian who spoke out against Cromwell’s dictatorship. Forced into hiding, he is believed to have concealed himself in a cave on Sheepstor, now better known as the ‘Piskie’s Cave’. Faced
with hours of solitude, Elford took to painting on the walls of his hideout to pass the time. He has since been recorded in history as Dartmoor’s first identifiable visual artist.

However, it is possible that Elford was not the only runaway from the Civil War to be found on Dartmoor. According to legend, a Royalist soldier once set up camp at Blackadon Tor, near Lizwell Meet. In a popular version of the tale, the nameless cavalier wins the love of not one but two young women from the surrounding villages. ‘Refuge’ will be examining the tensions between history and hearsay during this vivid time.

MED Theatre has been touring community plays for over thirty years. Dartmoor, with its rich heritage, has been a constant source of inspiration to playwright Mark Beeson: ‘‘It’s an interesting mix of contemporary controversy, ecological conundrums, a rich history and an even richer mythology" . ‘Refuge: The English Civil War on Dartmoor’ will be touring to Manaton, Belstone, Meavy and Moretonhampstead from the 11th to the 19th March. For more information about tour dates and tickets, see

Friday 11th March: Manaton Parish Hall (preview)

Saturday 12th March: Manaton Parish Hall

Tuesday 15th March: Belstone Village Hall

Thursday 17th March: Meavy Parish Hall

Friday 18th March: Moretonhampstead Parish Hall

Saturday 19th March: Moretonhampstead Parish Hall

All performances begin at 19:30
Tickets £8 adults, £5 children, £7 concessions
(Preview: £7 adults, £4 children, £6 concessions)
Ring: 01647 441356

History of Exeter - 100 Things You Need to Know

Todd Gray

Wednesday, 27 January 2016  19:00

Pinhoe Library
Main Road

Tickets for the talk £4.00 from Pinhoe Library (including a glass of wine and nibbles).

See the flyer below:

Historical Association Plymouth Branch 2016 Programme

Plymouth Historical Association in association with  Plymouth University have three lectures to help you recover from the post-Christmas blues.

The first on 19 January 2016 features Plymouth Universities very own Dr Claire Fitzpatrick looking at early 20th century Irish history with an insight into her research on the Post Office and the Irish Revolution.

On Tuesday, 2 February 2016 we exam the oral history associated with the Torrey Canyon Disaster with Dr Tim Cooper from Exeter University.

On the 23 February 2016 we move back in time to examine Elizabeth 1 and the politics of Intimacy with Dr Anna Whitelock’s, Royal Holloway College, lecture entitled 'In Bed with the Queen'.

Lectures start at 19:00 and are held in the Roland Levinsky Building at Plymouth University.

For the full programme and contact details go to

Orchards in the Landscape - East Devon AONB Conference 2016

Saturday, 16 April 2016
Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth

East Devon orchards and the wider world; heritage, history and biodiversity.

For more details and booking form see the flyer below or as a PDF here:

Devon War Diaries Find a Home

A Devon man’s detailed account of life in a Second World War prisoner-of-war camp has been secured by the South West Heritage Trust. The two diaries give a comprehensive insight into the life of internees at the camp in Weihsien, China, from 1943 to 1945. They were handwritten by Lewis Mills Burfitt from Ilfracombe. The Trust also acquired some photographs of Mr Burfitt and Chinese artefacts he brought back.