Devon – historical content
The Devon section of the website contains all the content that the DA hosts about Devon, rather than about itself. The header on this page shows an extract from Domesday (“In the City of Exeter the King has 300 houses …”).
We have two contents pages to help navigate the Devon section. This page contains links to historical content, which we have randomly decided to be anything older than 1980. The other page has links to contemporary content, from 1980 to date.
First published by the DA in 1953 and republished several times since, we are now able to make this king-pin of Dartmoor literature freely available on this website. Digitisation of the work is ongoing. As of July 2021 the first 11 chapters are online.
See the work’s contents page here.
From our Transactions
- A list of titles of all papers. Those that we have transcribed (see below) are linked.
- Links to scanned copies 1862–1920. These are hosted on the Internet Archive and/or Google Books, but a couple are missing. The missing volumes are: XLI 1909, and L 1918.
Over 1,300 papers and hundreds of Reports from various Sections and Committees were published before 1921.
We are building up a series of accurate transcriptions of papers and reports published in these early volumes. These examples, ordered by publication date, give an indication of the wide range of what is available:
- On Some Recent Additions to the Fauna of Devon (1864)
- On the Traces of Tin Streaming in the Vicinity of Chagford (1866)
- North Devon Customs and Superstitions (1867) – biting teeth from corpses, etc.
- On Prison Discipline (1867) – we’ve come a long way since then …
- Stones found at Swincombe (Dartmoor), Probably Connected with Ancient Mining There (1870)
- Exmouth Warren, and its threatened destruction (1872) – we now call it Dawlish Warren.
- Bronze Celt found near Sidmouth (1872)
- Is there evidence of Glacial Action in the Valleys of Dawlish and Ashcombe, South Devon? (1872)
- On the Progress of Electro-therapeutics (1872) – by J. N. Hearder, Medical Galvanist, Plymouth.
- Notice of supposed Acoustic Jars found in the Parish Church of St. Andrew, at Ashburton (1873)
- Relics of the Past observed at Torquay, Devonshire (1873) – wassailing, the ashen faggot, and May-dolls.
- Memoranda (1875) – a miscellany of short notes and reports collected by William Pengelly.
- Lydford and its Castle (1879) – including a copy of Browne’s poem “I oft have heard of Lydford Law…”
- John Lethbridge and his Diving-Machine (1880)
- The Font in Christ Church, Ilfracombe (1880)
- The Black Assizes in the West (1884) – outbreaks of typhus, or “gaol fever”.
- On Earthquakes in Devonshire (1884) – documenting 33 events, including tsunamis.
- On Earthquakes in Devonshire – Supplement (1885) – the January 1885 earthquake.
- Changes in Travelling on the Road between Exeter and Plymouth during the last Sixty Years (1885) – includes a personal recollection of travelling on Brunel’s atmospheric railway.
- Second Supplement to Paper on Earthquakes in Devonshire … (1887)
- A Gold-Washing Apparatus (1888) – Baring-Gould describes a small device found on Dartmoor.
- The Origin of Axminster Carpets (1889)
- The Great Central Trackway – Dartmoor (1889) – Robert Burnard expounds the now discredited theory.
- Wills, The Australian Explorer (1893) – The ill-fated Burke & Wills expedition. Wills was born in Totnes.
- Dartmoor For Devonshire (1894) – arguing that the County Council should purchase Dartmoor.
- Professorial and Amateur Research in South Devon (1895) – Arthur Hunt’s extended rant, mostly against Professor Bonney.
- Some changes in the County Ornis, noticed particularly in the South Hams (1896) – starlings, lapwings up; buzzards, goldfinches down.
- Twelve Months’ Notes on Birds in the South Hams District (August, 1898–1899) (1899)
- The Disappearing Stone Monuments of Dartmoor (1902)
- The Pack-Horse on Dartmoor (1905)
- Botanical Notes No. III. (1906)
- Supposed currency bars found near Holne Chase Camp (1906)
- First report of the Botany Committee (1909) – species recorded in Devon’s eight botanical districts.
- Ralegh Miscellanea (1909) – Wine licences; spelling: Ralegh, Raleigh &c; place-names; his “Epitaph”.
- Ornamental lime-plaster ceilings and the plasterer’s craft in Devonshire (1909)
- Wembury: its bay, church, and parish (1909)
- An inclusion of culm grit in coarse granite (1909) – found near Lustleigh.
- On some boulders of pseudo-jasper found near Newton Abbot (1910)
- An Ancient British Trackway (1911) – Honiton, Starcross, Newton Abbot, Ipplepen, Ivybridge, Saltash.
- A Short Account of the Origin of the Association (1912)
- William Pengelly, F.R.S., F.G.S., Father of the Devonshire Association (1912)
- The Exeter and Dartmouth Road (1912)
- Twelve Months’ Notes on Birds in the South Hams District (1912) – and still shooting most of them!
- Some Devonshire Field-Names… (1913)
- Mines and Mining in the Tavistock District (1914)
- Prudum, Produm etc., of Exeter and the first city seal (1915)
- The Secret of the Fosse Way (1915) – a speculative continuation through Devon to Launceston.
- The Walrond Screen in Seaton Church (1915)
- 34th Report of the Barrow Committee (1915) – excavations at Drizzlecombe.
- Berry Pomeroy Castle (1915)
- Churchyard and wayside crosses in the neighbourhood of Exeter (1915)
- The Athelstan Myth (1916) – J. J. Alexander refutes earlier versions of history.
- Some Old Farm Implements and Operations (1918)
- “Literary” Torquay (1918)
- The Original Main Road West of Exeter (1918)
- A Lost Lake (1920) – Baring-Gould on Lew Trenchard Valley, and beavers.
- The Old Devon Farm House. Part I. Its exterior aspect and general construction (1920)
- The Hill Observatory, Salcombe Regis (1920) – known today as the Norman Lockyer Observatory.
- Joseph Pitts of Exeter (?1663 – ?1739) (1920) – said to be the first Englishman to see Mecca.
- The Old Devon Farm-House. Part II. Its interior arrangements and domestic economy (1922)
- The Old Devon Farm-House. Part II (continued) (1923)
- Borough, or Burrough, in Northam and Its Inhabitants (1926)
- Old Traine, in Modbury; the House and its Early Owners (1927)
- The Earliest Southern Way from Exeter (1927)
- Early Printing in Devon (1928) – Lady Radford’s Presidential lecture.
- Goatpath (1931)
- Early Owners of Bradley Manor (1936) – one of J. J. Alexander’s many papers written for the DA
- Early Owners of Torbryan Manor (1936) – another of J. J. Alexander’s papers
- Devonshire Calendar Customs: I. Movable Feasts (1936)
- Westward from Dorchester (1936)
- Exeter Roads and Streets (1943) – T. J. Joce’s last paper, published posthumously.
- Sixty-sixth Report on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms (1962) – Cut-round, Chudley, Tuff… Gillian Moore’s report includes a map of the various dialect names used for the plain bun on which a cream tea used to be eaten.
Note that in view of their age we make no claims about the accuracy of the conclusions drawn in these older articles. We are making them available for several reasons, including: to form a basis for further research; to bring possible overlooked information into the light; to improve on the often poor quality text available from the automatically scanned volumes on Google and the Internet Archive; and lastly just to enjoy learning about how things used to be, what we used to do, what we used to believe – and how we used to write!
For content originally published from 1980 to date, see the other contents page.
See the source clouds page for lists of the most common authors, locations and topics for all the Devon content on this site.