B. Sc., M. Sc., Ph. D.
Local Historian of Bovey Tracey.
Honorary Associate Research Fellow University of Exeter
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.
Let me know if you would like me to try and find out more about the history of your Bovey Tracey house or family.
RECENTLY ADDED –
Brimley and Langaller Manor– Langaller, which included Higher and Lower Brimley Chapple and Whistelwell, was a medieval manor. There are some manor records but it is difficult to find who lived where, and the location of some holdings is no longer known. If you have any records which might help please do contact me. I have listed all the historic holdings and also the names of tenants from the rent records so do let me know if these relate to your family.
Devon House of Mercy- under Places. Thanks to information from a descendant Rose Lilwall’s story has been added. Like some other ‘inmates’ Rose’s child was cared for by her extended family, and she went on to marry and have another child. This supports the picture of the positive help which the Devon House of Mercy gave.
Civil War- under Topics. Bovey Tracey in the English civil war is described from sources written at the time and later descriptions. Some of the local memories are based on fact but others are just legends.
Field Names- under Discoveries. There are hundreds of field names in Bovey Tracey. I have traced their meanings and picked out a few of the most interesting ones. Do contact me if you would like to know about a particular field or farm. I wonder if Castle Down was the site of an ancient fort; are Spirux fields by ancient bridleways; was Cost is Lost poor quality land or was it a pun?
Parke and the Hole Family- I am giving a talk on this to the South Devon Branch of the Devonshire Association at 2.15 p.m. on Thursday 18 April 2024 at the museum in Newton Abbot. Non-members are welcome.
Thomas Henry Lyon mine owner’s son and internationally famous architect who built houses at Haytor Vale and churches in Cambridge- I am giving a talk on this to Ilsington History Group at 2 p.m. on Saturday 16 March 2024 at the Village Hall Ilsington. Non- members welcome.
A list of the wild flowers of some local footpaths season by season. I have just done the New Year Plant Hunt for the Botanical Society of the British Isles. You can see my list of 34 plants in flower in Bovey Tracey on www. nyph.bsbi.org
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 16 February 2024