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Rescheduled: Benjamin Donn Map Study Day (Bideford Branch)

Sat. 20 March 2021


This event has been re-scheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A study day to investigate Benjamin Donn’s 1765 Map of Devon.

Benjamin Donn (1729–1798) was born in Bideford and until 1768 was a ‘teacher of the mathematics and natural philosophy on the Newtonian principles’ at his father’s school. In 1765 he produced a remarkably accurate map of Devonshire, from a survey he took himself. This map gives an interesting insight into the county more than 250 years ago.

Jointly organised with the Arts Society and the Devon Rural Archive (DRA), the event will be held at the newly refurbished Torrington Town Hall. Lunch, tea and coffee will be provided.


Booking for the original event opened on 1st November 2019. Places were strictly limited to 60 and the event remains fully booked. Please contact the Registrar if you would like to be added to a waiting list.

Outline Programme

10.30 am – Registration and coffee

James Grimwood-Taylor MA, FSA (Scot.), FSPH, FRPSL, (former owner of Cavendish Philatelic Auctions of London & Derby) will describe the background of Benjamin Donn’s family and the Bideford connection.

11.45 am – Exhibition and buffet lunch. The exhibition will include an original book copy of the 1765 Donn Map.

1.45 pm – Abi Gray BA, MA, resident archaeologist and curator of the Devon Rural Archive (DRA), will explore Benjamin Donn’s map, revealing some of its detail and what is known of his working practices. She will also discuss the importance of the map for modern researchers and explain how Donn’s map underpins the wider work of the Archive.

3.30 pm – Departure


Sat. 20 March 2021
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Bideford Branch
Michael Wright: 01409 281565
DA Registrar
07742 148 865


Torrington Town Hall
High Street
Torrington, Devon EX38 8HN