Thursday, 9 September 2021

The Crow Hill Spectre

A reference to Tiverton in the Evening Times from 5 January 1980 caught my eye. The article is about a ghost haunting Crow Hill Cottage, occupied by a tenant called Gerald Hawkins. The cottage is described as being "remote" and "near Tiverton". Although it says the cottage fell into disrepair from 1933, I can find no historical reference to a cottage of that name in the Tiverton area. And why did the story resurface in a Glasgow based newspaper in the 1980s?

Beginnings of Cycling in Tiverton

The Tiverton Museum article on page 21 in this month's edition of the Mid Devon One Magazine is all about the development of cycling in Tiverton and the surrounding area.

Velocipede (or Boneshaker) - 1860s
To supply all of these cyclists, there were a number of makers and sellers of bicyles in Mid Devon. Tiverton had Woodgates Manufacturers, Frank Watson of Gold Street, Hannabuss of West Exe cycle agent and repairer, Mark Howe of Townsend cycle engineer and Stubbbs’ cycle works on Barrington Street.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Thursday, 19 August 2021

The Storming of Tiverton Castle

An account of the storming of Tiverton Castle in 1645 from the 1870 book A Life of the Great Lord Fairfax, Commander-in-chief of the Army of the Parliament of England by Clements Robert Markham, on page 255:

The general's object was to confine Goring to the right bank of the Exe, and for this purpose it was first necessary to capture the town and castle of Tiverton. Massey was sent to summon the garrison, which was commanded by Sir Gilbert Talbot, a cavalier notorious for cheating at bowls and cards. At about noon on October 18 Fairfax arrived in person, with about 6,000, men having left detachments at Silverton and Colomb John. Talbot refused to surrender; so the general held a council of war in Peter Blundell's school, and gave orders to erect batteries on an eminence called Skrink Hills, commanding the castle and church, with the intention of storming as soon as a breach was made. But a chance shot broke the chain of the drawbridge during the forenoon of the 19th, the bridge fell, and the soldiers rushed in. The garrison fled from their guns, and the governor shut himself in his chamber, and waved a white flag out of the window. About 200 prisoners were taken, and a strange accident happened in the nursery. Mrs Caricke, the nurse, was carrying one of the little Talbots in her arms, when a cannon-shot struck and killed her, but did not hurt the child.

The Destruction of Tiverton's Rail Heritage

On the Exe Valley Railway website, there is an excellent article taking a detailed look at the dismantling of Tiverton's rail infrastructure following the closure of the line in 1963, supported with lots of photographs. Don't miss the links to the interesting newspaper articles on pages two, four and seven (in PDF format).

Dismantling of Westexe Bridge - 1971
Dismantling of Westexe Bridge - 1971


Monday, 5 July 2021

The Book of Fair Devon

Author: United Devon Association
Published: 1900
Provider: Internet Archive

The Book of Fair Devon

Road Development in Tiverton

The Tiverton Museum article on page 27 in this month's edition of the Mid Devon One Magazine is all about how the road infrastructure developed in Tiverton and the surrounding area.

Tollhouse on the road from
Tiverton to Halberton, c.1890s
The coming of the railways in the 19th century caused the use and profitability of turnpike roads to decline, and by 1895 the turnpike system had ceased to exist. Though the railway system took people and goods through the county, it did not penetrate into some of the more remote places, so in many areas the road system continued to serve the needs of local people. When the car and bus arrived on the scene the infrastructure was there, albeit somewhat narrow and winding.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Archaeological Excavations at Halberton

The Tiverton Archaeology Group, Sampford Peverell Society, Halberton History Group and Devon County Council Historic Environment Team have been examining a field near Halberton this month for remains of a Roman building. There is more detail on the site notice below.

Archaeological excavations notice on gate
Notice on Field Gate

Archaeological excavations in field
Excavations in Field

Friday, 7 May 2021

Tiverton Communal Cleaning Days

From Snell (1892) listing the first set of town byelaws in 1627 on page 111:
It is further ordered and agreed that every inhabitant or dweller within ye pcincts of this Liberty shall from henceforth every Tuesday in ye forenoon and every Saturday in ye afternoon cause ye Street lying or being before his or her dwelling house, Yost (?) or ground within ye said Towne of Tiverton, by all the length or breadth of his house or ground to ye middle of ye Street, to be clean swept and cleansed and shall not at any time from henceforth suffer any Dounge, dirt, soyle, or any other noisome thing to lye in ye same Street before his or her dwelling house or ground, but shall remove or carry the same within one day next after notice hereof being given by the Mayor or any officer by ye said Mayor Appointed, upon paine to forfeit or lose for every Such offence Twelve Pence, to be levied as aforesaid.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Photographic Studios in Tiverton

The Tiverton Museum article on page 21 in this month's edition of the Mid Devon One Magazine lists the photographers and photographic studios found in Tiverton from 1861.

The article lists:
  • John Chapple
  • George Braund
  • Walter Mudford
  • Charles Wood
  • William Radford
  • J. Chilcott
  • Harold Hatt
  • Carl Petersen
  • Allen Henry Jarman
  • S.H. Cox