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.
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.


 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. 

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 Hospice.


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 17 August  2022