Our visit to the Torbay Archives Service

On the 10th September 2019, the History Society paid a visit to the new Torbay Archives Service. The service enables users to view original documents and microfilms from the Devon Heritage Centre, at Torre Abbey.

A member of staff will next be visiting the Learning Lab at Torre Abbey between 11am and 3.30pm on Tuesday 3rd December 2019.

Our group members have been making use of this service since its launch and so far have been the major user. Documents and maps etc can be ordered in advance and within limits of size will be brought to Torre Abbey for our examination. We have also requested the extended loan of the Churston Ferrers Parish Council Minute books from 1894 to 1949, for detailed examination.

We have seen the Poor Rate Book from 1672 – 1698, and planning details for installation of electric light to Churston Station in 1938 by the Great Western Railway. We have also discovered a highly detailed map of the River Dart from Totnes to the Anchorstone 1832, preliminary to Parliamentary approval for dredging of the river to allow larger vessels to reach Totnes. Dredged in 1894.

To access the archives to search documents:-

  • Find “Devon Heritage Centre Exeter”
  • Select “Catalogues and Indexes”
  • Devon Archive Catalogue
  • Search the Catalogue

For example, enter “Churston Farm” and 19 documents appear including the following:-

It is important that we and other Torbay organisations make good use of this service to justify its continuation. So why not have a look at the archive; order something by contacting Brian Carpenter, Community Learning Officer and look at the results.

Brian can be contacted via email: briancarpenter@swheritage.org.uk or phone: 01392 888712. Or, if you are a History Group member, use the “Contact Us” tab on this website and we will progress your request.