Book review. The Lords of Widecombe and Farmers of Bonehill

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Author(s): Turner. Colin; Year published: 2019; Origin: Member-contributed; Pages: 
Topic(s): history; Location(s): Dartmoor and Widecombe

Tim Whitten, The Lords of Widecombe and Farmers of Bonehill. Widecombe History Group, 2019. 160pp. ISBN 978-152723408-6.

Published by the Widecombe History Group and supported by the Moor Than Meets The Eye landscape project, the author, Tim Whitten, using a number of sources of fresh material, such as ‘The Spitchwick Atlas’ and the digitised Widecombe Tithe Map of 1843, has researched and written a fascinating account of the lives of the people of Bonehill from the fourteenth century to the late twentieth century.

The dominant theme is the relationship between the absentee landlords and the tenant farmers, set against the background of changing land ownership and modernising farm practices; from very large numbers dependant on farming to a situation where the inhabitants of Bonehill are largely retired or work away from the East Webburn Valley.

The book contains a vast amount of detail but remains very readable; it is well illustrated and much enjoyment can be had by reading any chapter as a free-standing account as well as from cover to cover.

Colin Turner
(first published in DA News Autumn 2019)