The blogs on our website reflect local life in very special ways. We all know our lives have changed over the last few months and some of our blog writers tell the story of their own challenges and responses. Our picture editor, Nancy Murgatroyd, picks some highlights from our most recent postings.
Chiddenbrook Lane, leading from the surgery in Crediton across undulating hills to Hollacombe Cross, is well known to many Kirtonians. But years ago, it was also the favourite walk of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Tom Davies describes how he discovered that the prima ballerina used to enjoy walks past his house at Middle Hollacombe and how she revealed some fascinating history about his home.
Cheriton Fitzpaine lost 14 local men to World War One. Tom Mildon died of his injuries but is not included on the village war memorial because his death occurred so long afterwards. Elly Babbedge tells his sad story.
After the Church of England was formed in the 16th Century and Protestantism became the official religion of the country, many people refused to convert and maintained their Catholic faith. This was particularly true in Devon and Cornwall, where people were frequently described as ‘popish’ because of their allegiance to the Pope. Here Dylan Bilyard describes how in 1549 Crediton became the focus of a Catholic rebellion with some terrible consequences.
In the mid 19th Century Crediton had earned a reputation for its many fires. In the second of her reports, Elly Babbedge continues to describe the succession of fires, which describes how inns, cottages and workshops were particularly susceptible to catching fire.
The great fire of Crediton in 1743, when most of the High Street was destroyed, has been well documented. But less well known are the spate of fires to hit the town in the mid 19th century. In a two part report, Elly Babbedge describes these fires and asks whether they were accidental or deliberate.
Samuel Dunn started life as a weaver in Crediton, but went on to become an eminent 18th century mathematician and astronomer. He also founded a school in Crediton which played a significant role in the education of young people until it merged with Queen Elizabeth School in the early 20th century. Elly Babbedge explores newspaper reports and other sources to tell the story of Dunn’s School.