Axminster History Society - Forthcoming Events

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Rust Red Rocks of Eddystone: The 300+ years history of the Eddystone Lighthouse. Alan Nicholas, a retired lighthouse engineer will tell the fascinating tale of construction, destruction, storms, fire, life and death on our very own Devonshire Lighthouse. Axminster Historical Society All Welcome ! 7:30 The United Reform Church Hall, Chard Street, Axminster, Devon, EX13 5EB

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Carpet Weaving Dreams: For centuries the complex designs of the Turkish hand-knotted carpet were admired, and at the height of their desirability they appeared beneath the feet of noblemen and royalty. Angela Sutton-Vane shares her research from the University of Exeter on how and why Turkish carpet weaving came to Britain. Axminster Historical Society All Welcome ! 7:30 The United Reform Church Hall, Chard Street, Axminster, Devon, EX13 5EB

The Whipping Man: Theatre Royal, Plymouth

The Theatre Royal, Plymouth are currently producing a show called The Whipping Man which will
be performed from Thursday, 17th September to Saturday, 3rd October.

The play is set in 1865 in Richmond, Virginia, in the aftermath of the Civil War. It's a powerful and enthralling piece as a wounded master and his two former slaves are reunited but torn apart by the secrets of their pasts.

There is a cast of great actors performing the play: Gary Beadle (ex-Eastender bad guy, Paul Truman), Sope Dirisu (Fred from Channel 4's Humans) and James Northcote (from The Imitation Game).

For further details see the web site:

Grenville Manor House, Bideford

Grenville Manor House Buildings Preservation Trust (Reg Charity 1156875) are seeking help with a project in Bideford, North Devon where they are trying to raise money to save a local building that once belonged to Sir Richard Grenville.

The trust have started a crowd funding page to try and raise the £100,000 to secure the building for future generations.

Details of the project can be found on their web site: and on their Facebook page:

The Crowd funding page can be found at:

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival 2015

A number of national historians will be appearing at this year's Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival which runs from 17th - 20th September. Full details can be found at

Of special note are:

  • Rachel Holmes talking about her latest biography on Eleanor Marx.
  • Ruth Scurr talking about the remarkable seventeenth gentleman - John Aubrey.
  • Peter Nasmyth talking about East Devon's Literary Heritage
  • Jessie Childs - God's Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

Also on the programme are:

  • Dame Hilary Mantel ( Budlitfest's President) - historical novelist - twice Man Booker Prize winner talking about her third novel on Sir Thomas More.
  • Judith Kerr - celebrated novelist born 1923 who wrote 'When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit' based on her own experience of escaping Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

There are also many other events with authors of national and international acclaim, please see the web site for further details box office information.

Devon History News, Issue 16, August 2015

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

Devon History News 16, August 2015 (PDF format).

How do you empty a museum full of treasures?

The answer: very very carefully!  When work begins on Plymouth’s new History Centre, the double fronted Edwardian buildings on North Hill will have to be empty.  Even though the museum will remain open with exhibitions and events until this time next year, work will be going on in the stores and offices to carefully pack and move the
city’s treasures off site.

Read the whole article here,

Ordnance Survey Maps - 25-inch 1855-1943

The following e-mail has been sent to the Devon History Society:

Dear Devon History Society WebMaster,

In searching for something else, we came across this really nice blog posting on your website at about the OS six-inch maps, so many thanks for this.

My real reason for writing was just to say that we have recently added all our holdings of the more detailed OS 25 inch to the mile maps of Devon (1855-1943) to our website too.

The home page for the OS 25 inch series is at: and you can search and view all the maps of Devon through a map interface at: 

There is also a list of the OS 25 inch sheets for Devon in sheet order at: 

We are in the process of georeferencing the sheets too – at present the georeferenced coverage is just for south-east England at: but we hope to cover Devon too in the next month or so.

Reasonably enough, people don’t think of visiting the National Library of Scotland website for maps of southern England, so we are always keen to alert those that might be interested in case they can help spread the word.

With kind regards,


Chris Fleet
National Library of Scotland
159 Causewayside

The International Agatha Christie Festival 2015


Torquay will be marking this year’s 125th anniversary of Dame Agatha Christie’s birth in the town on 15 September 1890 with an international festival celebrating the Queen of Crime’s life, literature and legacy and offering a choice of more than 100 events.

The festival’s main venue will be historic Torre Abbey, Torquay, TQ2 5JE, UK, where a single ticket price of £7.50 will grant admission to many free attractions, including the Book Tent, pop-up performances and daily readings by the festival’s resident company of actor-musicians and an exhibition of previously unpublished photographs from the Christie family’s private collections.

Other host venues will include The Grand Hotel, where Agatha Christie honeymooned; The Imperial Hotel, where the author often took tea; Oddicombe Beach, the Little Theatre, and Greenway, near Brixham, where Agatha Christie spent nearly every summer from 1938 until her death in 1976.

For full programme details, including venues, ticket prices and bookings, please see:

For more details:

Napoleon & Plymouth: 1815 | 2015

Saturday, 5 September 2015

A day of public talks on the international context, the local impact and images, and memory.

Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University

Web site:

See the flyer below:

'Of making many books there is no end'

Lecture and seminar on the Bibliography of Devon, Past, Present and Future, by
Ian Maxted

28 July 2015
Exeter Central Library

Please see the flyer: