Medieval Ashburton

Ashburton was one of Moor than meets the eye’s pilot Parishscapes parishes alongside Moretonhampstead, Lustleigh and North Bovey. It was also the first parish to receive a Parishscapes grant, awarded  to The Guild of St Lawrence.

The Guild, who manage the grade II listed St Lawrence Chapel, has developed a comprehensive history project which is researching many  aspects of medieval Ashburton. Their project was launched at the well-attended Guild of St Lawrence AGM in April 2015 and was followed by an entertaining and lively talk on Ashburton’s Beating the Bounds walk by David Crook.

The first year of the history project focused on medieval bridges, roads, watercourses and buildings and was rounded off with a talk given by Paul Rendell on 'Tracks, Roads and Railways on Dartmoor' in February 2017. An Ashburton Children's Activity Book, based on the town's history and heritage, was published and launched in Spring 2017. The project also supported a booklet titled 'Ashburton Town History' which includes paintings by local  primary school children.

In year two of the project research continued into medieval culture, industry (tin, wool and farming) and everyday life and has involved schools, local youth and community groups, the history society, as well as local residents. Due to its diverse nature, there is ‘something for everyone’.  

In February 2017 a project focused on the design of church roof bosses got underway, involving the Bank Youth Group and primary school with the work from this project exhibited in the Summer 2017.

Delivery of the various projects involves a wide range of activities which includes the following:

  • A talk on 'Beating the Bounds'
  • A visit to the Devon Rural Archive and Shilstone House
  • A choir festival
  • Town walks for AWOL and the SW branch of the Devonshire Society
  • Entry in the Devon Museums handbook for Ashburton Museum and for the Guild, with on-going developments to improve working relationships, including a fund raising event

Next steps...

If you live in the parish of Ashburton and would like to get involved in this project, please contact the Community Heritage Officer, Emma Stockley who will put you in touch with a member of the Guild of St Lawrence.  Newcomers to historical research are especially welcomed and there are plenty of opportunities to participate.
01822 890 904
07749 855 373

As part of the project an archaeological report on St Andrews church was produced. Read a copy of it here

Last update: 04 May 2018 12:00pm