B. Sc., M. Sc., Ph. D. Honorary Associate Research Fellow University of Exeter. Local Historian of Bovey Tracey

I hope you enjoy reading my work. On this site you will find presentations on topics, my published papers, and a list of work in progress.
Do contact me if you would like me to talk to your society. The questions asked at talks are a great help.
Please get in touch if you have comments, suggestions, information or questions.

Let me know if you would like me to try and find out more about the history of your Bovey Tracey house or family. I am currently researching the ‘inmates’ of the Devon House of Mercy, the Tracey family and their nursing service in WWI, as well as Langaller Manor.


Lydia Eleanor Bush, Martha Susanna Froude and Florence Alicia St John – under Places, Devon House of Mercy. Family members have kindly sent me details of other  sisters and ‘inmates’. 

Pioneering Women– under Topics. Josephine Maynard was born in Bovey Tracey, read PPE at Oxford in the early twentieth century, and became private secretary to the Minister of Agriculture in WWII.

T. H. Lyon and Haytor Vale – under Topics.  This is the story of the renowned architect Thomas Henry Lyon, the houses he designed along a lane in Haytor Vale which people now sometimes refer to as  ‘millionaire’s row’. The history of this lane from a miners’ track to a desirable residential area is explored. Notable residents included Dame Violet Wills who was a benefactor of Bovey Tracey and Hawkmoor Hospitals, and her sister Mrs Ella Rowcroft known for her philanthropy in the establishment of provision at Torbay Hospital and what is now known as Rowcroft Hopsice.

Strelna- under Places. The first house to be built on Lower Down after the enclosure of common land in the 1860s. 

Illustrations: Cross at Challabrook Farm to Commemorate the Civil War; Seals on a local Deed; Signature of John Southcott when Lord of the Manor; The Trough by the Parish Church.

Frances Billinge updated 12 November 2020