History, Heritage and Factual Books on Devon

Secrets of a Devon Wood

Artist and illustrator Jo Brown started keeping her nature diary in a bid to document the small wonders of the wood behind her home in Devon.

The pages in this book are an exact replica of those in her original journal, a rich illustrated memory of Jo’s discoveries in the order in which she found them.

In enchanting, minute detail she zooms in on a bog beacon mushroom, a buff-tailed bumblebee, or a native bluebell. And she notes facts about their physiology and life history.

Secrets of a Devon Wood is a treat for the senses, a hymn to the intricate beauty of the natural world and a quiet call to arms for all of us to acknowledge and preserve it. It is a book that will stay with you long after you finally put it down.

The Little Book of Devon

A compendium of fascinating information about Devon past and present, this book contains a plethora of entertaining facts about the county’s famous and occasionally infamous men and women, its towns and countryside, history, natural history, literary, artistic and sporting achievements, agriculture, transport, industry, and royal visits.

A reference book and a quirky guide, this can be dipped in to time and time again to reveal something new about the people, the heritage, the secrets and the enduring fascination of the county. A remarkably engaging little book, this is essential reading for visitors and locals alike.

The A-Z of Curious Devon

The lifestyles of the people of Devon have traditionally been as diverse as its spectacular scenery. Little wonder then that the county s curious stories are so numerous and so varied.

Including a train trapped in a giant snowdrift in Devon s worst blizzard; Lapford s murderous parson; Devon s ill-fated involvement in D-Day at Slapton Sands; black magic on Dartmoor; visitations by the Devil in South Devon; as well as witchcraft; heroes; piracy; record breakers; villains and eccentrics, this cornucopia of the peculiar and marvellous elements of Devon s history will surprise and delight everyone who knows and loves this county.


DEVON has a great sense of its own separate history. Throughout the centuries it was relatively isolated, with two long coastlines and comparatively short land boundaries, both ancient: Celtic Cornwall to the west and the rest of England to the east. Until the 19th century communications were very poor and Devon developed a distinct culture, economy, dialect and landscape – contributing to its strong local pride and character. That Devon is different is a fact, and helps explain the interest in its history shown by Devon folk and their many visitors.

A great history deserves a great historian. W.G. Hoskins was a Devon man and one of England’s foremost economic and social historians. He pioneered the study of landscape history and initiated the modern approach to local history. His seminal work Devon is universally regarded as a major masterpiece of local history, both in its research and its writing. Throughout the half century since its first appearance it has been reprinted many times, has been held up as a model throughout Britain, and has always remained the unchallenged, essential, authoritative history of Devon.

This new, revised edition, with an up-to-date Introduction, a new, extensive bibliography, the most recent population and similar statistical figures, reproduces the author’s classic text in full, including the Gazetteer – at over two hundred pages a book in itself, describing every place, hamlet to city, in the county – and his superb collection of contemporary photographs. The book is packed with detailed information, as remarkable in its high quality as its huge quantity.

This new edition will be warmly welcomed by all who know and love Devon – England’s most popular county.

Lost Devon: Devon’s Lost Heritage

Devon’s colourful past may still be visible in its street names and pub signs, but in fact much of the region’s history has been obliterated through necessity, social change and the demands of the outside world. The traditional occupations of farming, fishing, pottery, copper and tin mining, wool production and quarrying have all seen change over the past several hundred years. Many of these industries are now lost, replaced instead by ever-expanding tourism.

Although many historic buildings have been preserved and are now protected properties, a large number of houses, ecclesiastical ruins and settlements such as Hope Cove, a coastal village once renowned for its tough fisherwomen, have tragically vanished. The county s coast is also peppered with ruined pillboxes once manned by the Home Guard to watch for invaders; Devon has played a significant military role in the past, from acting as a mooring place for prison hulks in the Napoleonic wars to being the location of a training camp for spies in the Second World War.

Superbly illustrated with photographs, paintings, maps and etchings from the county s museums and art collections, Lost Devon provides a fascinating insight into Devon’s history, as Felicity Goodall explores what little remains of the past and discusses the events which have formed the county as it is today.

Books on Devon’s Local History and Heritage

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