Events news (updated 1 Sep 2023)

This page notifies recent additions and changes to events – both our own and selected external events.

To keep up to date, you should also check the Notices page, where other news is reported.

1 September 2023

A Revelatory Eye – Dartmoor Photography from the 1850s to the 1870s (external event)

An illustrated talk by Tom Greeves at the Ashburton Arts Centre, 15 West St, Ashburton, Newton Abbot TQ13 7DT on Thursday 5th October at 7.30pm for The Dartmoor Society.

Buckfastleigh Church c.1865 (anon). Courtesy of Tom Greeves

In the last 25 years Tom Greeves has been collecting some of the earliest landscape photographs of Dartmoor, taken in the 1860s and 1870s. Many were by one of the finest national photographers of the era – Francis Bedford – but several other photographers captured scenes that are of great historical, social and environmental interest, and often beautifully composed. A Victorian sense of humour is also evident in some of them. This talk will illustrate examples from across Dartmoor.

About the speaker: Tom is a former chairman and founder of the Dartmoor Society, and former chair of The Devonshire Association. He is widely respected for his unsurpassed knowledge and research about Dartmoor’s history. The talk is open to all and promises to be a most entertaining and informative event.

Tickets are £5 each and can be booked on the Dartmoor Society’s website:

17 July 2023

Rolle 200 (external event)

200 years ago the building of the Rolle Canal began. To celebrate, the Rolle Canal Society is holding an open day at Sea Lock on Saturday 12th August 2.30pm to 6pm

For more details click on the poster aside to see a larger version.


15 February 2023

Devon’s 1920s Houses (external event)

A symposium of talks and an exhibition presented jointly by Devon History Society and the Devon Buildings Group. To be held on Saturday 29 April 2023 at the Rougemont Room, Exeter Central Library.

Full details including the day’s programme and a link to book online are on the DHS website here.

1 February 2023

Evening cruise on the Dart cancelled again

The Dart paddle steamer, Kingswear Castle is still undergoing restoration, so we have had to cancel the rescheduled cruise on 26 June 2023. It has been rescheduled for Monday 10 June 2024. Details here.

13 December 2022

The South Devon Branch talk on 15 December has been cancelled

Unforeseen circumstances have led to the cancellation at short notice of Prof. Malcolm Hart’s talk “Jurassic Calamari”. Apologies to those hoping to attend.

9 September 2022

The History Section’s visit to Exeter Cathedral on 14 September has been cancelled

Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, and in view of the role of the Cathedral as a focus for our community in expressing condolences and as a house of prayer, this visit to the Cathedral has been postponed until next year.

4 September 2022

The visit to the Exeter & Teign Valley Railway has been cancelled

The visit to the Exeter & Teign Valley Railway at Christow organised by the Industrial Archaeology Section on 8 September has been cancelled because the site owner had decided that the weather forecast precludes a safe visit to his site. Details here.

The organisers hope that a visit in kinder weather in the spring of next year may be possible.

31 August 2022

Visit to Okehampton by train

This event organised by our South Devon Branch will now take place on Tuesday 20 September because a rail strike has been called for the originally planned date of the 15th. Details here.

14 June 2022

Broadside Ballads – Grisly Stories from the Past

This event organised by our Music Section will now take place by Zoom at 7:30 pm on Monday 20 June. Details here.

31 May 2022

Evening cruise postponed

Sadly, the Dart paddle steamer, Kingswear Castle is now to be undergoing restoration for the whole of this summer, so our planned cruise on 25 July has had to be postponed. We now have a provisional date of 26 June 2023 for the event. Details here.

As always there are many other events organised by our Branches and Sections. See the list here.

10 April 2022

Evening cruise from Dartmouth

In addition to the three major events below, we have also arranged an evening cruise aboard the sole surviving Dart paddle steamer, Kingswear Castle on 25 July. Details here.

As always there are many other events organised by our Branches and Sections. See the list here.

2 March 2022

Major events coming up this year

We have three major events already planned for this year.

  • The History of Exe Island Seminar on 30 April (sorry, already fully booked). Details here.
  • Our President’s Symposium on 14 May. The topic is Devon in 2050. See details here
  • Our Annual Conference in Bideford, 2-4 September. Details as they become available, here.

There are, of course, many other events organised by our Branches and Sections. See the list here.

13 September 2021

Events programme revitalised

Since the ending of our prohibition on face-to-face events at the end of August (see here), we have seen a surge in events planned by our Branches and Sections. There are now over fifty events in the pipeline: many of them are live talks, but there is also a selection of guided walks, visits, and talks being given by Zoom.

Check them out on our Upcoming Events page.

13 April 2021

DCRS Lockdown Posts

Todd Gray has advised us that the Devon & Cornwall Record Society is running its last Lockdown series of posts from 1 April 2021 on the legacies of deceased historians, archivists, librarians, curators, archaeologists whose work has had a substantial mark on how we understand or study Devon or Cornwall.

Each day a tribute will appear on their FaceBook page along with a weekly catch up on the website. These posts are being written by a wide variety of individuals.

Those which have already appeared include John Hooker, Audrey Erskine (Exeter Cathedral), Frances Rose Troup (Ottery St Mary), William Merrifield (Tavistock), Crispin Gill (Plymouth), Donald Macnee Stirling (Newton Abbot), William Borlase (St Just in Penwith), Martin Dunsford (Tiverton), Walter Gale (Plymouth) and Dave Fisher (Exeter).

7 April 2021

Bideford Branch AGM and talk about Harland & Wolff  – postponed

Due to unforeseen business reasons, the talk by John Wood about Harland & Wolff that was planned for Friday 9 April 2021 has had to be re-scheduled. The talk – and the Branch AGM – will now take place on Fri 28 May. See the revised event page for details.

5 March 2021

The History of Exe Island Seminar – update

This major event, originally planned for May 2021 has been re-scheduled for 30 April 2022. See the event page for more details. Tickets are still available.

We are continuing our programme of online events on the Zoom platform. Details of upcoming events are always available here.


10 December 2020

DA events – an update

We recently sent our Christmas newsletter to all our members. It included the unwelcome but not unexpected news that we have cancelled all face-to-face meetings until the end of August 2021. We do however have a continuing series of online talks (and AGMs) – see the list here.

9 November 2020

Zoom events

Just a reminder that we have a number of talks on varied topics coming up – see the list here. While we are unable to meet in person, we are using the Zoom platform so we can continue our educational remit and include an element of socialising too. We know it’s not the same as meeting in person, but it’s better than nothing! If you’ve not yet tried a Zoom meeting, all you need is a computer/laptop connected to the internet. Access can be by mobile phone too, but be wary of data charges.

Former chairman and president of the DA, Dr Todd Gray, has notified us of a series of fee-based online courses that he has arranged. The first, entitled “Devon’s travellers’ tales, 1600–1950” begins on 24 November. Full details are on

3 October 2020

Our 2020 Symposium is now live.

This year’s symposium “Valuing and Restoring Nature” is such an important and appropriate topic for discussion – particularly in this country and at this time – that we decided to ask the speakers to record their presentations in advance and their thoughts and messages for us all are now here for everyone to enjoy.

See it here.


17 September 2020

Check out our online events.

See our events page for details.

Note also that the Budleigh Salterton Literature Festival is hosting about twenty talks to access for free/donation by many famous authors , including Dame Hilary Mantel. They were available to watch until 30 September. See the website at

14 June 2020

All events until the end of this year cancelled

As reported on the Regarding COVID-19 page, all our events up to the end of year have been cancelled or postponed. Please see the other page for updates for now.

18 March 2020

All events until end June cancelled

As reported on the Regarding COVID-19 page, all our events up to the end of June have been cancelled or postponed. Please see the other page for updates for now.


6 February 2020

Many updates

Over the last month or so, most of our Branch and Section committees have announced the details of their upcoming events for this year. A printed copy of the resulting diary will, as usual, appear in the Spring issue of DA News, which is due in March.

In advance of this, however, we have already updated this website with all the information available to date. You can see a list here, or the same information in a monthly calendar format, here.

12 January 2020

Change in date of visit to Plymouth Synagogue

Bideford Branch has had to change the date of the visit to Plymouth Synagogue and the old Jewish Cemetery from 18 June to 4 June. Full details, including a booking form, are on the events page here. Please book by 31 March.

12 January 2020

Date swap for two East Devon events

Please note that Todd Gray’s talk “Not One of Us” will now be on Fri 14 February, and Simon Dell on “The Fair Arm of the Law” will be on Fri 13 March.

21 November 2019

Change in December talk at Tavistock Branch

The officers of the Tavistock & West Devon Branch regret to advise at short notice that the chief blender of Voyager Coffee who was to have made a presentation at the meeting on Friday, 13th December is unable to be with us on that evening.

In her place Doug Herdson, formerly of the National Aquarium in Plymouth, who gave such an able and enthralling talk last month entitled “Between the Tides” has kindly agreed to return. Doug’s talk in December will be on Darwin and Devon. Please come and support what should be another great evening.

1 November 2019

Booking opens for the Benjamin Donn 1765 Map of Devon Study Day

To be held on 28 March 2020 in Torrington Town Hall.

See the event page for details.


27 October 2019

Morris Cowley ‘Bullnose’ Farm Pickup, 1922

History Section visit to the Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton.

We have just posted an illustrated report of this visit that took place on 9 September.

16 September 2019

Industrial Archaeology Section events

The IA Section has recently organised three visits for this autumn:

  • A Walking Tour of Exeter’s Interesting Bridges on 26 September – see here.
  • A Guided Tour of the Axminster Carpet Factory on 22 October – see here.
  • A visit to the Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon to learn about the craft furniture made by Shapter and Petter. On 14 November– see here.

12 August 2019

The Secret Life of Dartmoor Birds: Science for Survival? (external event)

This year’s Dartmoor Society debate will be held in Ashburton Arts Centre on Saturday 12th October. It is an ambitious event with no less than eight speakers, chaired by Alison Kohler, Director of Conservation and Communities at Dartmoor National Park.

The speakers have been chosen because all are actively involved in work to protect birds on Dartmoor. All live on or near Dartmoor and are therefore familiar with the birds and their habitats not only through academic research, but through a genuine interest in seeing thriving bird species on their home patch.

For full details see the Dartmoor Society website.


25 July 2019

Peterloo and the Viscount Sidmouth Archive (external event)

Celebrating South West Heritage Trust’s successful project to conserve the political papers of Henry Addington, First Viscount Sidmouth.

Addington was Home Secretary at the time of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819, and this event will mark the 200th anniversary.

Monday 19th August 2019 at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter.

Click on the poster to see the full details.


7 June 2019

Exeter Day (external event)

Celebrating 2,000 years of the history of the city.

Saturday 15th June 2019 at St Nicholas Priory, Exeter from 10 am to 4 pm.

Our Exeter Branch will be one of the exhibitors.

Click on the poster to see the full details.


4 April 2019

The South West and Parliament (external event)

Devon & Cornwall Record Society and The History of Parliament Joint Conference

Saturday 11th May 2019 at St Stephen’s Church, High Street, Exeter from 10 am to 4 pm.

Click on the poster to see the full details.


24 March 2019

The History Section visit to Kents Cavern that was advertised as taking place on 15 May will now take place on 8 May from 1 pm.

1 February 2019

Weather news!

The following events have been postponed due to the snow that’s currently affecting Devon.

  • Our Botany Section has postponed its AGM planned for Sat 2 Feb. Watch this space or the Section’s list of events for details of the rescheduled event.
  • Our Music Section postponed its AGM that was planned for Thursday 31 Jan. Watch this space or the Section’s list of events for details of the rescheduled event.

26 January 2019

Our East Devon Branch has published its report for the last six months, here. Also, details of all the events that the Branch has arranged for the coming year can now be seen here.

Plymouth, Tavistock and Exeter Branches have now published their six-monthly reports.

Our History Section has advised details of its events for the coming year, here.

3 December 2018

Please note that the venue for our Music Section’s Romani Gipsy Music event on 1 March has changed from Great Torrington to Barnstaple. Full details are not yet available, but the event page is here. The Section has recently arranged another event for July – see the details here.

29 November 2018

Our Exeter Branch has posted its list of events for 2019. See here.

20 October 2018

Grand Book Fair (external event)

Saturday 17 November 11am to 4pm at Berkeley House, Dix’s Field, Exeter EX1 1PZ (behind the Civic Centre)

The Devon Archaeological Society is holding a Grand Book Fair at its premises in Berkeley House on Saturday 17 November. Hundreds of new publications, donated and ex-library books and journals on archaeological and related subjects will be available in return for a donation to the society.

The Devon Archaeological Society is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2018-19. Membership is open to everybody and full details of this, together with information about the upcoming Anniversary programme of events, can be found on its website.

18 October 2018

Geology Section AGM

The Geology Section’s AGM on 19 January 2019 at Torquay Museum was inadvertently omitted from the printed diary included in the autumn issue of DA News. Details of the event are shown here.

17 August 2018

Field trip to Brookwood Mine (external event)

The Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group (DTRG) Autumn Social Walk 2018.

A tour of the Brookwood Mine site guided by Phil Newman, followed by a Social and talks at the Dartmoor Lodge.

Saturday 3rd November 2018 1.30 p.m – 4.30 p.m

For full details see “Diary Dates” on the DTRG website.

12 August 2018

Exmouth Historical & Archaeological Society (external event)

Golden Anniversary celebration on Saturday, 13th October 2018 at Glenorchy Church and Hall, Exmouth.

Click here to see full details and a booking form.

6 August 2018

National Park Societies’ Conference 2018 (external event)

This annual conference is being hosted this year by the Dartmoor Preservation Association and will be held at the Two Bridges Hotel on Dartmoor from 4 to 6 October. The title is “What value our National Parks?”.

The middle day, Friday 5 October, will be a “conference within a conference”, open to all comers and a group of ten wonderful speakers has been assembled to entertain and inform on subjects which are of national and local importance to anyone who cares about our National Parks.

11 July 2018

Baring-Gould Folk Festival (external event)

Wren Music will hold its 20th annual Baring-Gould Folk Festival in Okehampton from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October 2018. The event is preceded by a five-day Folk Song School led by folk singer Chris Coe.

Paul Wilson of Wren Music is the chair of our Music Section, and he and Marilyn Tucker provided much of the musical content for our Devon–Newfoundland Story Celebrations that were held in April 2017.

29 June 2018

Industrial Archaeology Section arranges field trip to West Cornwall

A series of field trips over three days from 17 September, visiting World Heritage sites in the Hayle area. Including Carnbrea, Wheals Frances and Basset, Hayle town and its estuary, Portreath, Cligga Head and the explosive works. See the event details here.

16 June 2018

Tavistock & West Devon Branch has announced its events for this autumn and winter

You can see the very varied programme here. Starting in September there are talks about Devon’s newest mine, intertidal life, Dartmoor’s archaeology, the medieval longbow, the rebuilding work on Castle Drogo, and the Duke of Bedford’s ancestors (“Mad, bad and fascinating to know”). Also a social evening with a talk about Nepal, and the Branch AGM. Wow!

3 June 2018

The Botany Section’s visit to the Elephant’s Graveyard has had to be cancelled

We are sorry that this event has had to be cancelled: the site has become too overgrown! See the event page for the proposal to reschedule.

29 May 2018

Visit to Sidbury Manor cancelled

This Buildings Section event has had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

16 May 2018

Visit to Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

The date for this Bideford Branch event has been changed from 18 May to Friday 15 June. The corrected details are here.

15 April 2018

Industrial Archaeology event at Haytor

The date for this IA event was shown wrongly as Tuesday 17 April. The correct date is Thursday 17 May. The corrected details are here.

9 April 2018

Devon Rural Archive Study Day

Unfortunately the date for this History Section event was shown wrongly as 19 September. It takes place on 11 September. See the full details here.

4 April 2018

Exon Domesday (external event)

Historian and broadcaster Stephen Baxter will be giving a public lecture in Exeter Cathedral on the results of the major research project on the Exon Domesday at 7.15 pm on Tuesday 17 April. Admission is free, but by ticket only.

Members of the research team will be on hand from 3 to 5 pm to explain how to use Domesday Book, to talk about their work and to take questions from the public and to demonstrate the features of their new website.

DA members may recall a talk on this topic that was given by Professor Julia Crick at our 2016 Symposium.

29 March 2018

Plymouth Branch has had to cancel its planned talk for 11 April by Edward Luscombe entitled “The Picture of Plymouth, 1812”. It is hoped to reschedule the event.

Exeter Buildings – twenty minute histories (external event)

24 March 2018

The Devon and Cornwall Record Society in association with the Devon Buildings Group have an event – incorporating the DCRS’s AGM – on 19 May at the United Reform Church, Southernhay, Exeter.

Click on the image to see the full programme.

6 March 2018

The Entomology Section’s events for this year are now available here.

5 March 2018

The Geology Section had to cancel its talk on Saturday 3 March in Teignmouth due to the bad weather. It has now been re-scheduled for Saturday 9 June. Details here.

28 Feb 2018

Unfortunately the Geology Section’s field trip to the Fforest Fawr Geopark that was planned for 27–29 April has had to be cancelled due to insufficient bookings.

How the Vote was Won (external event)

26 Feb 2018

Devon History Society invites bookings for its Spring Conference ‘How the Vote was Won: Women’s Suffrage, Devon and the Representation of the People Act’. The conference, which features presentations about women active in the movement across the county, takes place on Saturday April 21st at the University of Plymouth.

For more information see There are Early Bird discounts on bookings made by March 16th.

Exeter Buildings (external event)

Reposted 19 Feb 2018

In March and April, the Churches Conservation Trust in association with Exeter Local History Society will present a series of seven Monday lunchtime lectures on buildings in Exeter. They will be held from 1 –2 pm. at St Martin’s Church as follows:

5 MarchDr Stuart BlaylockExeter Guildhall
12 MarchJohn Thorp38 North Street
19 MarchJohn AllanSt. Martin’s & the other churches of late Saxon & Norman Exeter
26 MarchDr Todd GrayMaps & Exeter’s Buildings
9 AprilDiane WalkerMoving Monuments of Exeter Cathedral
16 AprilDr Jo CoxSt Thomas’ Church
23 AprilClare MaudlingExeter’s Post War Development

Tickets are £4 for each lecture and booking is essential.

Desert Island Documents – Dr Tom Greeves (external event)

Reposted 14 Feb 2018

The Devon & Cornwall Record Society will present a celebration of the archival work in Devon of DA’s former president, Dr Tom Greeves, in conversation with Dr Todd Gray. At Exeter Guildhall, Saturday 10 March 2018 2–3 pm. See the flyer for further details.

6 Feb 2018

As the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon closes temporarily for its Long Bridge Wing Extension Project, it launches a pop-up museum at Bridge Chambers on the Strand. See the poster for details of the launch event on 14 February from 11am to 4pm.

Updates are on the museum’s Twitter feed: @BarumMuseum

1 Feb 2018

The time of Exeter Branch’s event on 7 Feb: “Landscape Gardens and F. W. Meyer” has had to be changed from 2.30 to 3.00 pm. The event details are here.

22 Jan 2018

The Buildings Section’s extensive 2018 programme is now on-line. The list of upcoming events is here.

16 Jan 2018

Just added the Geology Section’s events for 2018 – five field trips and two lectures. See the details here.

15 Jan 2018

East Devon Branch has announced its events programme for 2018. See the details here.

Bideford Branch has changed the date of its talk “Conservation in Exmoor National Park” from 16 to 9 February. The other details remain unchanged.

14 Dec 2017

The Literature and Art Section has announced its events programme for 2018. See the details here.

20 Nov 2017

Haldon Belvedere's spiral staircase

Haldon Belvedere’s spiral staircase

Exeter Branch has posted its events list for 2018. The year starts with a party which includes an amusing talk by Dr Sue Knox about Haldon Belvedere. This is followed in February by a talk on F. W. Meyer, a landscape gardener working in the Westcountry in the late Victorian era. Subsequent talks are on Roman Exeter and the Seaton Down Hoard in March, and Exeter’s Cathedral Yard fire in April.

In May a visit to Ashley Court near Tiverton has been arranged, followed in July by an excursion to Tiverton Castle and an August walk along Dawlish seafront to learn about its geology and the development of the town. The year draws to a close with the Branch Annual Lunch in September and the AGM in November.

Image from Wikimedia Commons – click on it for details

8 Nov 2017

An external event: The Cathedral Yard Fire, Exeter, 2016–2017 will take place in Exeter Guildhall on 20 November.

23 Oct 2017

It has been necessary to make changes to the dates of several Bideford Branch events. The Branch events list shows the up-to-date position.

18 Sep 2017

The events shown on this website should now be the same as those that will soon be published in the DA Events Diary. Remember that even after the printed Events Diary has been distributed, Branches and Sections can have any details of their events updated on this site by contacting the webmaster.

3 Sep 2017

All events notified to the Registrar by 24 August have now been added (up to next year’s Conference in June).

6 Jul 2017

The date of the Geology Section trip to Dartmouth to see the college and some local geology has had to be changed to Thursday 27th July.