A Select Bibliography – Graham Hawkins with John Hitchins

To make a useful bibliography for a local area such as the West Dart it is necessary to be selective. To give reasonable coverage it is helpful to include works on Devon as a whole, South Devon, the South Hams, the River Dart and Dartmoor which provide both background information and specific references to local places.

Similarly, topic-based books on subjects such as transport and industrial history can give detailed insights into matters of more local importance. The works of antiquarians and writers of the early twentieth century are also valuable to an understanding of local history.

A few books have been written specifically on places in the West Dart area, but the principal sources of historical information must be sought in journals such as The Reports and Transactions of the Devonshire Association and in newspaper archives, records offices and public and private archives.


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Hundreds of books have been written on Devon. Seminal works include those by Hoskins and Cherry. Others focus on specific areas of study and most have references to the West Dart area. The works by Ian Maxted and Lorna Smith are particularly useful for those embarking on research.

Andriette, E.A. (1971) Devon and Exeter in the Civil War, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot), ISBN 9780715352564

Bradt, H. and Booth, J. (2018, 2nd ed) South Devon and Dartmoor, (Bradt Travel Guides Ltd, Chalfont St Peter) ISBN 9781784770778

Cherry, B. and Pevsner, N. (1991, 2nd ed with corrections) The Buildings of England – Devon, (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT), ISBN 9780140710502

Gale, A.W. (1992) The Building Stones of Devon, (The Devonshire Association, Exeter) ISBN 9780852140512

Gee, M. (2018) The Devon Orchards Book, (Halsgrove, Wellington) ISBN 9780857043108

Goodall, F. (2007) Lost Devon, (Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh), ISBN 9781841585529

Greeves, T. Andrew, S. and Chapman, C. (2016) The Three Hares – A Curiosity Worth Considering (Skerryvore Productions Ltd, South Molton) ISBN 9780993103926

Griffith, F. (1988) Devon’s Past – An Aerial View, (Devon Books, Exeter) ISBN 9780861148332

Hoskins, W.G. (2008, New Edition) Devon, (Phillimore and Co Ltd, Bognor Regis) ISBN 9781860772702

Hoskins, W.G. (1968, 2nd ed) Devon and its People, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715342725

Kanefsky, J. (1976) Devon Tollhouses, (Exeter Industrial Archaeology Group, University of Exeter, Exeter) ISBN 9780950177885

Maxted, I. (1997) In Pursuit of Devon’s History – A Guide for Local Historians in Devon, (Devon Books, Tiverton), ISBN 9780861149179

Minchinton, W. and Perkins, J. (1971) Tide Mills in Devon and Cornwall, (Exeter Industrial Archaeology Group, University of Exeter, Exeter)

Moore, R. (1969) The Birds of Devon, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715347201

Perkins, J.W. (1971) Geology Explained in South and East Devon, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715353042

Sellman, R. (1967) Devon Village Schools in the Nineteenth Century, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715341797

Smith, L. (1973) Devon Newspaper – A Finding List, (Standing Conference on Devon History, Exeter) ISBN 0903766000

Stanes, R. (1986) A History of Devon, (Phillimore, Chichester), ISBN 9780850335286

South Hams

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There are few books on the wider South Hams but a range on specific places and topics. The classic works by Russell are still worth reading.

Belsey, V. (2004, 2nd ed) Exploring Green Lanes in the South Hams, (Green Books Ltd, Dartington) ISBN 9781903998243

Cox, P. (2005) The Arts at Dartington – 1940-1983, (P. Cox and The Dorothy Whitney Elmhirst Trust, Dartington) ISBN 9780902386228

Dimes, U. (1985, 1993 reprint) Oldstone – The Story of a Ruined Mansion, (Dartmouth History Research Group, Dartmouth)

Jarrold, E. (2010) 3 Great Houses, 54 Families, 800 Years – Sharpham, Painsford and Cornworthy Priory in the South Hams of Devon, (Kingfisher Print and Design, Kingsbridge)

Johnson, S.E. et al (2007) Memories from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s – Ashprington, Tuckenhay, Cornworthy, (Cornworthy and District History Society, Cornworthy)

Johnson, S.E. et al (2013) More Memories of People Living in or About Ashprington, Tuckenhay and Cornworthy, (Cornworthy and District History Group, Cornworthy)

Lethbridge, H.J. (2003) Torquay and Paignton – The Making of a Modern Resort, (Phillimore, Chichester) ISBN 1-86077-260-9

Mellor, M and Kidel, M. (----) Yesterday’s Villages, (Dartington Rural Archive, Dartington)

Milton, R. and F. (2005) Sisters Against the Sea – The Destruction of the Village of Hallsands and the Remarkable Story of a Family Who Survived, (Halsgrove, Wellington), ISBN 9781841144351

Russell, P. (1950) Dartmouth – A History of the Port and Town, (Batsford London)

Russell, P. (1963) The Good Town of Totnes, (The Devonshire Association, Exeter)

Sarsby, J. (2004) Sweetstone – Life on a Devon Farm, (Green Books Ltd, Dartington), ISBN 1-903998-44-1

Stanbrook-Byrne, S and Clancy, J. (2014) Circular Walks in the South Hams, (Culm Valley Publishing Ltd, Uffculme), ISBN 9781907942112

Thomas, P. and Thomas, D. (2016) They Made the Paper at Tuckenhay Mill, (P. and D. Thomas, Santa Cruz)

Young, M. (2021 ed) The Elmhirsts of Dartington – The Creation of an Utopian Community, (Routledge and Keegan Paul, London) ISBN 9780367423698

River Dart

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The River Dart has been a magnet for writers. Fiennes offers a compendium of beautifully illustrated Dart topics but the best historical account is by Hemery.

Boyle, V.C. and Payne, D. (1952) Devon Harbours, (Christopher Johnson, London)

Dunning, M. (2004) Down the Dart – Photographic Memories, (Frith Book Co Ltd, ISBN 9781859378595

Fiennes, J. (2013) Dartmouth - An Enchanted Place, (Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge) ISBN 9781851497263

Hemery, E. (1982) Historic Dart, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot), ISBN 9780715381427

Hitchins, J and de Pulford, N (2013, 2nd ed) One Hundred Things to See Between Totnes and the Sea, (River Press, Totnes), ISBN 9780954320638

Holgate, M. (1999) Along the River Dart, (Tempus Publishing Ltd, Stroud), ISBN 9780752415611

Lavine, K. (2009) From Baltic Sea to Baltic Wharf – A History of Reeves’ Timber Yard, Totnes, 1891-1995, (Totnes Heritage Group, Totnes), ISBN 9780951968925

Risdon, J. (2004) The River Dart, an Illustrated Exploration of the Dart Estuary, (Halsgrove, Wellington) ISBN 9781841143552

Sunman, H. and Ham, G. (2021) When War Came to the Dart, (Dartmouth History Research Group, Dartmouth), ISBN 9781899011315


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Dartmoor is one of the most studied areas of South Devon and has a diverse and fascinating history. Hemery’s High Dartmoor is magnificent as are his walking guides. The books by Butler and Newman are also comprehensive and well-researched.

Butler, J. (1991-97) Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volumes I-V, (Devon Books, Exeter) ISBN 0861148665, ISBN 0861148703, ISBN 0861148894, ISBN 0861148819 and ISBN 0861149106

Fleming, A. (2008, 2nd ed) The Dartmoor Reaves – Investigating Prehistoric Land Divisions, (Oxbow Books Ltd, Oxford) ISBN 9781905119158

Greeves, T. (2015) Dartmoor’s Earliest Photographs – Landscape and Place 1860-1880, (Twelveheads Press, Truro), ISBN 9780906294802

Harris, H. (1986 3rd ed) The Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715388655

Hemery, E. (1983) High Dartmoor – Land and People, (Robert Hale Ltd, London), ISBN 0709188595

Hemery, E. (1991) Walking the Dartmoor Railroads, A Guide to Retracing the Railroads of Dartmoor, (Peninsula Press, Newton Abbot) ISBN 1872640125

Hemery, E. (1991) Walking the Dartmoor Waterways, A Guide to Retracing the Leats and Canals of Dartmoor, (Peninsula Press, Newton Abbot) ISBN 1872640133

Newman, P. (2011) The Field Archaeology of Dartmoor, (English Heritage, Swindon) ISBN 9781848020337

Woods, S.H. (1988) Devon Stone, (Devon Books, Exeter) ISBN 0 861148436

Mining in Devon

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The study of mining on Dartmoor and in South Devon has given rise to many books from Dines’ encyclopaedic work to the very accessible books by Greaves on the daily lives of miners.

Brooks, T. (2004) Devon’s Last ‘Metal’ Mine – Great Rock ‘Shiny’ Ore Mine, (Cornish Hillside Publications, St Austell) ISBN 9781900147323

Brooks, T. (2016) Kelly Mine and the ‘Shiny’ Ore Mines of the Wray Valley, (Tony Brooks, published privately)

Campbell, D. (2019) Powdermills, The Story of the Dartmoor Gunpowder Factory, (Blackingstone Publishing, Exeter), ISBN 9780995498617

Dines, H.G. (1988 3rd ed) The Metalliferous Mining Region of SouthWest England, Volume II, (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London) ISBN 978052721049

Edwards, R.A. (2011) Devon’s Nonmetal Mines, (Halsgrove, Wellington) ISBN 9780857041180

Hamilton Jenkin, A.K. (1974) Mines of Devon, Volume 1, The Southern Area, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot), ISBN 9780715367841

Greeves. T. (2001 revised ed) Tin Mines and Miner of Dartmoor, (Halsgrove/Devon Books, Tiverton), ISBN 0861147669

Greeves, T. (2016) Called Home, The Dartmoor TinMiner 1860-1940, (Twelveheads Press, Truro), ISBN 9780906294871

Greeves, T. and Newman, P. (2011) The Great Courts of Devon Tinners 1510 and 1710, (Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group), ISBN 9780952944218

Transport History

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There is a range of books available detailing the roads, canals, railways and shipping of Devon. Those cited give an introduction to the subject for further exploration.

Ewans, M.C. (1966) The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal, (David and Charles Ltd, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715340202

Hadfield, C. (1967) Atmospheric Railways, (David and Charles Ltd, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715341070

Hadfield, C. (1967) The Canals of South West England, (David and Charles Ltd, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715341766

Kay, P. (1993) Exeter to Newton Abbot – A Railway History, (Platform 5 Publishing Ltd, Sheffield) ISBN 9781872524429

Rolt, L.T.C. (1957)Isambard Kingdom Brunel – A Biography, (Longmans, Green and Co, London) ISBN 9781013591501

Thomas, D.S. (1960) A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Volume 1 – The West Country, (David and Charles Ltd, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780715363638

Place Names

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Place name derivation is a popular pursuit of those interested in local history. Cameron includes useful sections on prefixes and suffixes and Ekwall and Mills offer a broad selection of local places. For in depth analysis, Gover, Mawer and Stenton is the seminal work.

Cameron, K. (1996 6th ed) English Placenames, (B.T. Batsford Ltd, London) ISBN 9780713473780

Ekwall, E. (1984 4th ed) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Placenames, (Oxford University Press, Oxford) 9780198691037

Gover, J.E.B. Mawer, A. and Stenton, F.M. (1931) English Placename Society Volumes VIII and IX The Placenames of Devon, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge) ISBN 9780521071581 and ISBN 9780521080835

Thorn, C. and F. (eds) (1985) Domesday Book Volume 9 (Part 1 & 2), Devon, (Phillimore, Chichester) ISBN 9780850334913

Mills, A.D. (1991) A Dictionary of British Place Names, (Oxford University Press, Oxford), ISBN 9780199609086

Writers and Literature

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Three writers dominate the South Devon scene, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Eden Phillpotts. Many of Christie’s stories are set in the South Hams (see the transcript of Graham Hawkins’ talk Agatha Christie in Devon – In Fact and Fiction on this website). Conan Doyle dominates Dartmoor fiction with his The Hound of the Baskervilles and Phillpotts novel Storm in a Teacup is set in around the Paper Mill in Tuckenhay.

Christie, A. (1977) An Autobiography, (Harper Collins, London), ISBN 9780007314669

Hawthorne, B. (2009)* Agatha Christie’s Devon*, (Halsgrove, Wellington) ISBN 9781841148564

Phillpotts, E (1919, facsimile) Storm in a Teacup, (Macmillan, New York) ISBN 9781549706240

Pugh, B.W. and Spiring, P.R. (2008) On the Trail of Arthur Conan Doyle, (The Book Guild Ltd, Brighton), ISBN 9781846241987

Thompson, L. (2007) Agatha Christie A Mysterious Life, (Headline Publishing Group, London) ISBN 9781472269560

Weller, P. (2001) The Hound of the Baskervilles – Hunting the Dartmoor Legend, (Devon Books, Exeter) ISBN 9781855227903

Worsley, L. (2022) Agatha Christie – A Very Elusive Woman, (Hodder and Stoughton, London) ISBN 9781529303872


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Many travellers visited Devon before 1900 such as Leland and Fiennes but the C19 was the heyday of the great Devon Antiquarians including BaringGould and Worth.

Baring-Gould, S. (1899, facsimile) A Book of the West, Being an Introduction to Devon and Cornwall Volume I, (Lightning Source UK Ltd, Milton Keynes) ISBN 9781519673350

Baring-Gould, S. (1900, facsimile) A Book of Dartmoor, (Lightning Source UK Ltd, Milton Keynes) ISBN 9781533386885

Chope, R.P. (1918, 1967 new ed) Early Tours in Devon and Cornwall, (David and Charles, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9780678057520

Crossing, W. (1992 2nd ed based on1903 original articles in the Western Morning News) Crossing’s Dartmoor Worker, (Peninsula Press, Newton Abbot) ISBN 9781872640198

Donn, B. (1795, 1965 new ed) A Map of the County of Devon, (Devon and Cornwall Record Society and The University of Exeter, Exeter) ISBN 9780900771521

Fiennes, C. (1888, 2016 reprint) Through England on a Side Saddle – In the Time of William and Mary, (www.folkcustoms.co.uk), ISBN 9781326546076

Leland, J. (1745) The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary, (Printed at the Theatre, Oxford), Smith, L.T. (1907 reedited) The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 15351543 (G. Bell and Sons, London) ISBN 9780900000379

Worth, R.H. (1994 ed based on 18881950 original articles published mainly in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association) Worth’s Dartmoor, (Peninsula Press, Newton Abbot), ISBN 9781872640303