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Events
Thursday 4th July 2019 at 7pm

 Sharpham Estate: Ups & Downs
An historical portrait of 
a small, precarious country estate 

A talk by Lynette Gribble, Sharpham Archive Co-Ordinator

Sharpham House, near Totnes, is a majestic 18th century Palladian villa with commanding views over the River Dart. The magic of Sharpham lies in the relationship between land and water, and even the place name itself is thought to have derived from the Old English term for a sharp bend in the river. Its history, like that of similar estates, is a rich tapestry of changes in ownership and lost opportunities; of unfortunates and saviours; of marriages and descent; of sales and buy-backs, of gains and losses and … mortgages.
A sale in 1940 left no original paintings, no furniture, no china, no glass, and few records. Now a history is being uncovered, and the estate would welcome your knowledge, and contributions to the reconstruction that is taking place. ​


Tickets £5 each
or £30 to attend all 6 lectures remaining in 2019 

To purchase tickets please contact Abi Gray on 01548 830832 or office@dra.uk.net. 

Payment may be made in cash, by cheque payable to 'The Fenwick Charitable Trust', or by card over the telephone and using our online terminal. When requesting tickets via email, please include your name, your telephone number and the number of tickets you require. You will receive a unique link to the online payment terminal to submit your details.

All lectures are held in the lecture room of the DRA, in the grounds of Shilstone House near Modbury. The car park is accessible from 6:30pm, when doors open, and free refreshments are available in the exhibition gallery. There is ample free parking, and blue badge holders can pre-book a space near the building.
Monday 10th June 2019 at 1pm

Family History at the DRA
Getting Started & Using Online Sources

​In this introductory workshop, Maureen Selley from the Devon Family History Society, will guide you through using parish registers, census returns and online sources for family history.

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Did you know?
 The DRA is a Service Point for the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter, so holds microfiche copies of local parish registers of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials. The earliest register in our collection is from Ugborough, and is dated 1538 (the year Cromwell, on behalf of Henry VIII, ordered that every wedding, baptism and burial be recorded). These records, together with the census returns that are also available here at the DRA, are invaluable to family historians, and those researching the social history of their home. 


Tickets are £3 and booking is essential. 

Payment may be made in cash, by cheque payable to 'The Fenwick Charitable Trust', or by card over the telephone and using our online terminal. When requesting tickets via email, please include your name, your telephone number and the number of tickets you require. You will receive a unique link to the online payment terminal to submit your details. Payments are non-refundable. 
Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 2pm

Guided Tour of Shilstone House

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 site, 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 Shilstone House, 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 tea and cakes 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 tea and cakes) and booking is essential. 

Payment may be made in cash, by cheque payable to 'The Fenwick Charitable Trust', or by card over the telephone and using our online terminal. When requesting tickets via email, please include your name, your telephone number and the number of tickets you require. You will receive a unique link to the online payment terminal to submit your details. Payments are non-refundable. 
Tuesday 16th July 2019 at 2pm

Guided Tour of Shilstone House

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 site, 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 Shilstone House, 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 tea and cakes 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 tea and cakes) and booking is essential. 

Payment may be made in cash, by cheque payable to 'The Fenwick Charitable Trust', or by card over the telephone and using our online terminal. When requesting tickets via email, please include your name, your telephone number and the number of tickets you require. You will receive a unique link to the online payment terminal to submit your details. Payments are non-refundable. 
Tuesday 23rd July 2019 at 2pm

Guided Tour 
of the Designed Landscape at Shilstone

Led by resident archaeologist Abi Gray 

A rare chance to walk through the designed landscape that surrounds Shilstone House in South Devon. Guests will explore the remains of the 17th and 18th century garden features that surround the main house, including lawns, terraces and a medieval walled garden (with its very own banqueting house). The walk will then follow the ha-ha into the valley to see the nationally important 17th century Italianate water theatre, and its associated water gardens. ​There will also be a chance to view artefacts from the site in the exhibition gallery.

This guided tour of Shilstone House and grounds will last approximately one hour and thirty minutes. 

*Please note there is no access to the house on this tour.*

Tickets are £10 (includes a tea and cakes) and booking is essential. 

Payment may be made in cash, by cheque payable to 'The Fenwick Charitable Trust', or by card over the telephone and using our online terminal. When requesting tickets via email, please include your name, your telephone number and the number of tickets you require. You will receive a unique link to the online payment terminal to submit your details. Payments are non-refundable. 
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 7pm

The Italian Garden
 at Great Ambrook

A talk by Angela Dodd-Crompton

The Italian Garden at Great Ambrook is Grade-II listed in Historic England's 'Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest'. It is a privately-owned, 4-acre, secret garden built just before the First World War for Arthur Smith Graham. The atmosphere is magical and the design is unique, with surprises around every corner. It is also the only extant garden created by the Dartmoor and Cambridge based architect T. H. Lyon. 

Already overgrown when the Great Ambrook estate was sold off and split up in 1963, it lay completely hidden under a bramble and ivy-infested wood for 25 years before being rediscovered by Ken & Doris Rees in 1988. They, with help from friends, cleared all the structures and most of the paths and maintained it until Ken's death at the end of 2013. In 2016 it was bought by new owners.

Angela Dodd-Crompton, the garden’s historian, has spent over thirteen years as a volunteer investigating the garden, its design and the lives of those associated with it. Her talk will take members on a virtual tour of the garden, show what it was like when first rediscovered and identify the key players involved in its creation.

Tickets £5 each
or £30 to attend all 6 lectures remaining in 2019 

To purchase tickets please contact Abi Gray on 01548 830832 or office@dra.uk.net. 

Payment may be made in cash, by cheque payable to 'The Fenwick Charitable Trust', or by card over the telephone and using our online terminal. When requesting tickets via email, please include your name, your telephone number and the number of tickets you require. You will receive a unique link to the online payment terminal to submit your details.

All lectures are held in the lecture room of the DRA, in the grounds of Shilstone House near Modbury. The car park is accessible from 6:30pm, when doors open, and free refreshments are available in the exhibition gallery. There is ample free parking, and blue badge holders can pre-book a space near the building.