Events
Thursday 3rd August 2017 @ 7pm

F. W. Meyer Landscape Gardener
to Robert Veitch & Son

An illustrated talk by Carolyn Keep

A box of old lantern slides inspired Carolyn Keep to identify the attractive rock and water gardens depicted. ‘F. W. Meyer’ was inscribed on the lid and he turned out to be a German garden designer, who came to Exeter as a young man. He settled down to marry and bring up three sons, while employed by Robert Veitch & Son nurseries for thirty years. His comprehensive plant knowledge, design and practical skills were applied to a very wide range of commissions, particularly rock and water gardens. These were mainly in the south-west of England. He was a genial colleague and contented family man, who maintained strong links with his native Germany and travelled widely in Europe, especially in pursuit of his favourite alpine plants.

Carolyn Keep has been a gardener all her life. She read Chemistry at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, and taught in state secondary schools. In 1971 she settled in Woodbury, Devon, with her husband and two young children. Her book The Family Garden was published by Bartholomew in 1976. Early retirement gave Carolyn the opportunity to study garden history and she has published various articles, including ones on Gertrude Jekyll in Devon, and a book on F. W. Meyer. She is a vice-president and past chairman of the Devon Gardens Trust, particularly involved with conservation and garden recording.

Booking is advisable and places will b allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Tickets are £5 and available in advance from the DRA office.  To reserve a ticket please call Abi on 01548 830832 or email abi@dra.uk.net 
Tuesday 18th July 2017 @ 2pm

Guided Tour of Shilstone

Led by resident archaeologist Abi Gray

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the South Hams countryside is Shilstone House, a family home with a remarkable and extensive history. The estate, in the parish of Modbury in South Devon, contains an array of architectural and archaeological features representing almost 6000 years of human endeavour. At the heart of the site is Shilston Barton, a former Domesday manor which overlays evidence of late prehistoric occupation. Formal gardens surround the dwelling and include lawns, terraces and a medieval walled garden as well as the only known seventeenth century Italianate water theatre and associated water gardens in the UK making the site nationally important.

This guided tour of Shilstone House and grounds will last approximately one hour and thirty minutes and will be followed by a cream tea at the Devon Rural Archive. Guests will explore the history of the site through its surviving archaeology and rare architectural features before seeing the results of a near fifteen year project to restore the house. There will also be a chance to view artefacts from the site in the exhibition gallery.

Tickets are £15 (includes a cream tea) and booking is essential.
To book please call 01548 830832 or email abi@dra.uk.net 
Tuesday 15th Augusy 2017 @ 2pm

Guided Tour of Shilstone

Led by resident archaeologist Abi Gray

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the South Hams countryside is Shilstone House, a family home with a remarkable and extensive history. The estate, in the parish of Modbury in South Devon, contains an array of architectural and archaeological features representing almost 6000 years of human endeavour. At the heart of the site is Shilston Barton, a former Domesday manor which overlays evidence of late prehistoric occupation. Formal gardens surround the dwelling and include lawns, terraces and a medieval walled garden as well as the only known seventeenth century Italianate water theatre and associated water gardens in the UK making the site nationally important.

This guided tour of Shilstone House and grounds will last approximately one hour and thirty minutes and will be followed by a cream tea at the Devon Rural Archive. Guests will explore the history of the site through its surviving archaeology and rare architectural features before seeing the results of a near fifteen year project to restore the house. There will also be a chance to view artefacts from the site in the exhibition gallery.

Tickets are £15 (includes a cream tea) and booking is essential.
To book please call 01548 830832 or email abi@dra.uk.net 
Thursday 7th September 2017 @ 7pm

The Lime Kilns of South Devon

An illustrated talk by John Risdon

The landscape of South Devon is liberally scattered with the remains of a rural industry that was once a vital component of both urban and rural life, especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. Lime kilns were constructed to convert limestone to Quicklime, by burning it. Quicklime was used in building to provide mortar, plaster and limewash, but mostly it was used as a dressing on fields to reduce the acidity of the soil. This illustrated talk will throw light on the vital and diverse lime trade and how it changed and impacted on the lives of all members of society by drawing on and integrating the sciences, human geography and industrial archaeology.

Local historian John Risdon, a Devonian born and bred, has spent his life observing and working with men and women who have helped to shape the 20th century county that is home to us today. John's main personal involvement has been through education and local publishing, across the South West. With his home close to Greenway he has also become intimately involved in all aspects of the estate.

Booking is advisable and places will b allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Tickets are £5 and available in advance from the DRA office.  To reserve a ticket please call Abi on 01548 830832 or email abi@dra.uk.net 
In Association with the Devon History Society

Monday 25th September 2017 @ 7pm

Crossing the Imperial Colour Bar: Muslim Indian Soldiers in Devon in World War II.

An illustrated talk by Ghee Bowman

On page 56 of Gerald Wasley’s book Devon at War is a mystery: three photographs of Indian soldiers in Devon, wearing turbans and accompanying mules. Behind those photographs is a fascinating story of a wartime  journey across thousands of miles from Punjab to Plymouth, via Marseilles, Dunkirk and Lairg. Between October 1940 and June 1942, men of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, and their mules, were stationed across Devon: at Plymouth, Teignmouth, Shaldon, Woodbarton Monastery, Ivybridge, Bigbury  and on Dartmoor. This illustrated talk, using photographs and eyewitness accounts, will tell the story of who they were, what they did and why they were here. It will also address the critical question of why they have been forgotten for so many years.

Ghee Bowman is currently studying for a PhD in History at Exeter University, having completed an MA (with distinction) in 2015. Ghee’s research (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) is into Muslim Indian soldiers who were in Europe during the Second World War, and the way they have been forgotten and remembered since 1945. Before returning to university, Ghee did many things, including working as a teacher of English, a stage manager in the theatre, and for charities in the UK and abroad. Most recently he worked for the Global Centre in Exeter, where he co-ordinated a project on Exeter’s multi-cultural history: http://www.tellingourstoriesexeter.org.uk/ Ghee is married, and has two grown-up daughters. During his spare time he volunteers with the Woodcraft Folk, a co-operative organisation for children and young people.

Booking is advisable and places will b allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Tickets are £5 and available in advance from the DRA office.  To reserve a ticket please call Abi on 01548 830832 or email abi@dra.uk.net