Devon History Society Orchard Project 2013-14

The Devon History Society Orchard Project is a DHS initiative to improve documentation of the decline of fruit growing in Devon – particularly East Devon – in the 19th century.  It has now completed transcription of orchard data from Devon tithe apportionments c. 1840, and the summary report is now available.

Around 50 volunteers extracted orchard data from the Devon tithe apportionment transcriptions during November and December 2013. That information covering 470 parishes has now been collated and merged into a database.

As described in the introductory post in December 2013 – Devon History Society Orchard Project – the c. 1840 orchard data will be a useful complement to the c. 1890 data gathered by the Devon Historic Environment Service, already analysed by Dr Sam Turner in the Devon County Council Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) of the entire county.

The summary report for the project is available here.  (All area data has been converted to hectares for ease of use, although the original figures are still retained in the database).

The next stage of the project is to display the orchards on electronic mapping.  The examples below show East Budleigh.  On the first map the pink areas indicate orchards as plotted on the Devon HLC.  The second map adds the orchards from the East Budleigh tithe apportionment, shown in green with a black border.



As the Devon Heritage Centre is currently in the process of tendering for a contractor to draw all of the Devon tithe plots, we would be duplicating that effort by mapping the orchards at this time.  That being the case, we await the Devon Heritage Centre before proceeding any further.

Many thanks to all those volunteers who helped with this exercise and brought us to this point in the project.

– Phil Planel