Select Page


All events take place in the Chivelstone Community Hall, unless otherwise stated.


Tuesday 23 July 2024 at 7.30pm

An Archaeological Aerial Survey of the local area by Bill Horner

Bill Horner is a County Archaeologist he studied Ancient History & Archaeology at the University of Exeter. From 1987 he worked as an archaeologist on the Somerset Levels Project and on the Somerset Sites & Monuments Register. In 1991 Bill joined Devon County Council. Since then he has worked in planning, land management advice and has managed and facilitated various survey and research projects. From 2011 Bill has been County Archaeologist for Devon and is currently President of Devon Archaeological Society.

Wednesday 21 August 2024 2.30pm

Guided Village Walk with local historian and East Prawle resident Richard Partridge

A guided walk around the village, which will last about an hour, followed by refreshments and an opportunity to view historical documents, artefacts and photographs in the village hall.

Tuesday 24 September 2024 at 7.30pm

Preparing for D-Day: the US Navy in Salcombe 1943-4 by Roger Barrett

Roger Barrett is a well known local historian who has written several books about the history of the coast. He is a popular speaker for the history society and is welcomed back to speak on the D-Day landing.



Tuesday 16 April 2024 at 7.30pm

Echoes of Prawle by Stephen Pedrick

An Audience of over 40 attended a fascinating presentation of living history from Stephen Pedrick. Using Steve’s recorded recollections of Prawle residents and historical slides compiled by Kate Jennings, it was possible to get an enlightening insight into East Prawle village life in bygone times.



Tuesday 5 December 2023 at 7.30pm

The prehistoric landscape of the South Hams by Win Scutt

We were delighted to welcome Win to a well attended meeting. His presentation covered Bronze Age field structures and social demographics, including his most recent work using Optically Stimulate Luminescence to date hedge structures in South Hams; followed by a lively question and answer session.

Win Scutt is a broadcaster, contributing weekly features to BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Devon, BBC Radio Cornwall, BBC Radio Jersey and BBC Radio Guernsey. He also presents television programmes on archaeology.

Tuesday 26th September 2023 at 7.30 pm in St Sylvester’s Church, Chivelstone

Medieval Horizons by Dr Ian Mortimer

We were delighted to welcome Dr Mortimer to St Sylvester’s Church to present at what was a very well attended meeting. The presentation explored how Medieval people’s knowledge, experience and understanding of the world expanded dramatically and their lives utterly transformed between 1000 and 1600, marking the transition from a warrior – led society to that of Shakespeare. After the meeting there was further opportunity for one-to-one discussion with Dr Mortimer, who was happy to stay on to answer more questions.

Tuesday 18 July 2023 at 7.30pm

The Mayflower: Legend and Legacy by Jo Loosemore

Jo gave a long description of her Mayflower exhibition that took place at The Box in Plymouth, with many accounts of the 101 people on board The Mayflower (30 children, four without their families). She described what the ship may have looked like and and the partnerships which helped to change perceptions of the ship, its passengers and an Atlantic journey made 400 years ago, as well as the interaction between the Pilgrims and the native Americans, the Wampanoags.

Lots of people attended the talk and it was a very jolly evening.

Tuesday 9 May 2023 at 7.30pm

Experiences of women in the Royal Navy in the 17th Century by Dr Elaine Murphy

Women in the Royal Navy History Society talk Women and the Navy in the Age of Sail – a historical perspective

This was a great talk. Dr Elaine Murphy really knew her subject – from nurses to sail makers, cooks etc. A most interesting subject and much enjoyed by everyone.

At the height of the First World War the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was formed in 1917. Long before the 20th century women went to sea on Royal Navy ships and worked for the navy. This talk explores some of the ways in which women engaged with the navy in the 17th and 18th centuries. It looks at women who went to sea on board men-of-war, sometimes in disguise but more usually quite openly. It examines the women who did business with the navy, and sometimes cheated it. It also investigates the position of sailor’s families on shore and how they coped and survived with their husbands/fathers/brothers away at sea.

Dr Elaine Murphy is Associate Professor of Maritime History at the University of Plymouth. She has written extensively on naval history and piracy in the 17th century and her current research focuses on Women and the early modern navy.

Tuesday 13 September: The Vikings in the West Country

This was a very successful evening for the History Society, with at least 40 people attending the talk. Derek Gore, from Exeter University, talked most interestingly about Vikings in the West – I think we all learnt a lot.

Derek talked on ‘The Vikings in the West Country’. This is the first talk the History Society has held since February 2020, although of course it has been heavily involved in the restoration of the church grant from the Lottery. Below is Derek’s introduction:

‘A variety of written sources, for example the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, give us a vivid picture of Viking activities in the West Country. They show us Vikings attacking and raiding in the South-West between the ninth and eleventh century.  But the picture is by no means complete, as archaeological sources show. Study of place-names, personal names, metalwork, coins and stone sculptures give us a more balanced view of the Vikings in the area. They suggest Scandinavian settlement and integration into society.  This talk will examine these themes.’

Read about our online Bat Chat

The online Bat Chat on Wednesday 23 September went extremely well. Nigel Mortimer from the South Devon AONB showed us all sorts bats and talked about their history. It was a huge success – with 74 people attending the online talk. It finished with Mark Jennings telling us all about the reason the lottery money is so important to repairing St Sylvester’s Church. You can see the full show on YouTube.

This was our first activity in Phase 2 for the Lottery and it’s great that it has gone so well. For those of you who have not filled in the survey we would be really grateful if you would do so. It helps us with brownie points for the Lottery. Click here to go to the survey.


The South Devon AONB

Ran an online talk about Torcross and Beesands Start Bay’s wartime story, on 22 September 2020 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Join the South Devon AONB to discover more about the part played by Start Bay in the second World War and the preparation for D Day on this illustrated talk with archive images and stories.

Monday 17 February 2020 Tim Lynn, the Lone Fisherman

This was a truly wonderful talk. Pure Devonian and absolutely fascinating about Tim’s family in Hallsands and his life as a fisherman. Tim only started fishing aged 20 but he learnt the art from his elders and told us so much about fishing, I am sure very few of us knew.

So all in all considering how bad the weather was it was a very good evening with 35-40 people listening. The total takings (from the raffle and entrance) were £130 with £30 donated to South Devon Channel Fishermen at Tim’s request.

Saturday 9 November 2019 East Prawle History Society AGM

This took place at 2pm on Saturday 9 November in the Community Hall.

Following the AGM there was a further afternoon looking at the Church records of St Sylvester’s Chivelstone. This was a quiet afternoon with not many people attending, but those who did were able to spend time looking through all the documents.

22 October 2019 Roger Barrett22 October 2019 Roger Barrett's talk on 150 years of Salcombe lifeboats

Once again Roger came to the East Prawle History Society to talk on Salcombe Lifeboats 150 years of saving lives at sea. It was a full history of the RNLI round here with a special anniversary film. This was a truly fascinating talk and film of the history of the lifeboats. As one who had to make use of the Salcombe lifeboats earlier this summer (nothing serious just an engine failure), it was a reminder of their expertise and organisation.

The raffle proceeds goes to the Salcombe RNLI.

13 August 2019 Ron Howell

The presentation was about the Ketch ‘Lord Napier’ who sank off Rickham in 1912 with a cargo of bricks from Topsham to Kingsbridge and much more. Research into the wreck opened up a story ranging from ‘Fish n Chips’ to the First and Second World Wars and a war memorial in Topsham. The wreck is just outside the protected area of the Salcombe Cannon site.

It was a great evening as usual with over 40 people present. Ron is an amusing speaker and his stories were great to listen to.


Prawle Fair – 26 May 2019East Prawle History Society display at Prawle Fair

Every year the East Prawle History Society holds a display at Prawle Fair in the tea tent. This year the display concerned the St Sylvester’s Church Renovation and Community Project. Prawle Fair itself raised over £9,600. The History Society stall is not really about making any money, more of making public awareness. However two books “East Prawle through the Ages” were sold and all the profits go to the project. We had some new postcards printed and also mugs – see the photograph.

There was a lot of interest and many questions asked.

Friday 22 February 2019St Sylvester's Heritage Lottery Grant and invitation

Invitation to the Celebration for the St Sylvester’s Church Heritage Lottery Grant

What an exciting evening. Thank you all so much for being there, all the help and support. It was terrific. We all hope you enjoyed it and are now in a stronger position of understanding just what is involved in going forward with the grant applications. This has been a really good start to producing evidence to the Heritage Lottery Fund about our attempts to involve the community.

We had almost 100 people for drinks and nibbles. Greg Weatherdon and Mark Jennings gave a presentation explaining exactly what is involved in moving forward with the lottery grant.

Photographs to follow.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Laura Quigley  came to give us a very interesting talk about spies in the general Devon area, with many old photographs and drawings.

We are fortunate because once again the hall was full with over 50 people. The raffle proceeds will go towards the Church Restoration Fund.

Prawle Fair – Sunday 27 May 2018

The East Prawle History Society was at Prawle Fair again this year. Prawle Fair 2002, Alan Blyth's swing boats

As usual many people came to see what we had on display. We had many photographs of the church’s state of repair and out hope for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Tuesday April 10 2018

An afternoon session viewing the old Church Records

This took place on Tuesday 10 April from 3.30 until 8 pm and was well received. There were very old unusual records which made it possible for people to search through births, marriages and deaths going back several centuries. The afternoon raised £82 in donations which will go towards the repair of St Sylvester’s Church, Chivelstone.

Tuesday 15 February 2018 Roger Barrett's talk U-Boat war 1915-1918 East Prawle

The U-Boat War off Prawle Point 1915-1918 Slide Show and talk by Roger Barrett

Roger Barrett is a regular speaker for the East Prawle History Society, and once again his talk was full of interesting information, much of which was not known before. It was a very cold winter’s night but there were still 45+ people there. The proceeds of the raffle will go towards the repair of St Sylvester’s Church, Chivelstone.

Tuesday 21 November 2017Tim Blyth's poster for his talk November 2017

More of Tim Blyth’s Films

Once again the village hall was packed, between 60 and 70 people, and a wonderful atmosphere as Tim showed a lot of new digitised films, as well as ‘A year in the life of a farm by the sea’. The raffle proceeds will go towards the repair of the Roll of Honour in the church in preparation for the last year of World War I presentations.

 Wednesday 17 May 2017East Prawle through the Ages by Kate Jennings 2017

East Prawle through the Ages book launch by Kate Jennings

This was very successful – we sold nearly 100 books and there were a large number of supporters. We have now sold at least 364 copies (at 1 October). All profits from the sale of the book will go towards the repairs of St Sylvester’s Church, Chivelstone

 Wednesday 8 March 2017Cookworthy photograph of Hallsands for Holly's talk March 2017


by Holly Trubshawe, Curatorial Assistant, Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum

This was an excellent evening. Holly had lots of information and photographs. There were around 60 people, which considering the blank fog outside was quite amazing. Some people could hardly see to drive home.

The raffle proceeds went to the Chemotherapy Outreach at South Hams Hospital in Kingsbridge.

 Tuesday 25 October 2016Tim Blyth's poster for his talk November 2017

Bygone Scenes of Southern South Hams, film show prepared by Tim Blyth

This was a very successful evening – with the hall absolutely packed and standing room only. So it was great to see so many people who loved watching the old films.

The raffle proceeds will go towards the fund to provide a night landing area in East Prawle for the Devon Air Ambulance.

Wednesday 10 August 2016Tea Clippers for Roger Barrett's talk in 2017

The 1916 Salcombe Lifeboat Disaster: Filmshow and Talk

This was a brilliant evening with over 50 people in the village hall. Roger Barrett gave us a really interesting talk with a film show presented by Adam Hart Davis and Monty Halls, featuring local actors. It was moving and extremely informative. The raffle proceeds will go towards the fund to provide a night landing area in East Prawle for the Devon Air Ambulance.

 Thursday 2 June 2016   Bronze Age Dartmoor, a story of life and death 2016

Bronze Age Dartmoor, a story of life and death

an illustrated talk on the remarkable archaeological landscape of Bellever

This was a really interesting talk given by Andy Crabb, whose knowledge of Bronze Age Dartmoor was exstensive. About 50 people attended and the atmosphere was very informal. Raffle proceeds go to the Triangle Centre at Kingsbridge Hospital.

Monday 15 February 2016

SS Great Britain

by Ian Caskie

This was an excellent and very well attended talk. Many questions were asked and a general feeling that a trip to Bristol to see SS Great Britain is something that should be planned in the future.

February 10 2016

Chivelstone Church Records from 1685

Records from Exeter were on display in the Community Hall. Hard to know the numbers but the afternoon was very busy and many were interested in tracing back the records.

Sunday 24 May  2015

Prawle Fair

A further History Society exhibition was on display with a display of World War II photographs and other related items.

There were also be two running slide shows: the history of Prawle and Weddings at Chivelstone Church dating from 1929 until the present day

Kate Jennings ran a query session on the database of 1500 images and spent most of the afternoon answering questions and showing the photographs.

Thursday 9 April 2015

Salcombe at War

Salcombe and the surrounding area in World Wars I & II A slide and film show by Roger Barrett (Chairman of Salcombe Maritime Museum). The presentation was in two parts:

Part 1: The US Navy in Salcombe 1943-5 including rare film footage showing the repair of landing craft for the D-Day invasion fleet and beach landing exercises

Part 2: Salcombe in the Great War including U-boat casualties off Prawle Point and the treatment of the wounded

This was a fascinating evening with 60 plus people attending, which was brilliant. £60 raffle money is being donated to SCOF.

Thursday 30 October 2014

Tea Clippers lost off the South Devon Coast

by Steve Clarkson

Once again the Community Hall was completely packed for Steve’s talk on Tea Clippers and other wrecks. It was good to see Steve looking so well and it was a thoroughly interesting talk. Steve and Neville brought some of their books on the Gossamer and donated £2 for each book to go towards the repair of the gravestone for a sailor drowned from the Marana. The proceeds of the raffle also went to this cause.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Apologies to everyone for failing to update the website and introducing the talk that we held Thursday 14 August this year. It was going to be by Steve Clarkson on Tea Clippers in South Devon. Unfortunately Steve was unwell and so Neville Oldham stood in for him. The hall was standing room only and the talk was very well received.

Steve apparently is now well enough to give us his talk and watch this space for once it’s arranged – I will be sure to update it!

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Photographic and local records session

The History Society has now been going for almost exactly three years and we have collected nearly 1500 photographs and documents.

This was a great success with lots of questions – we’ll do another one next winter.

Wednesday 19 February 2014Todd Gray's illustrated history of Devon's gardens 2014

An illustrated history of Devon’s gardens 1200 – 1900

by Dr Todd Gray

This was a really excellent and amusing talk by Todd Gray. He travelled from Exeter in very bad weather, arriving in Prawle in thick fog just before the talk was due to start. With very little trouble he got himself organised and settled down to give us an extremely pleasant hour. Thank you Todd.

The hall was almost full and the raffle raised £69 for the Coleridge Bus.

Thursday 31 October 2014

400 years of High House Farm and West Prawle Estate

by Ted Froud

Ted gave a really interesting talk about the history of both High House Farm and West Prawle. Between 70 and 80 people attended and we raised over £100 on the raffle, proceeds of which will go to the South Hams Hospital League of Friends.

Thursday 29th August 2013

South West Maritime Archaeological Group History of the Sea

Ron Howell and Andy Elliott gave a fascinating talk to the (East Prawle) History Society entitled “Salcombe Gold”.

In 1994 a group of divers were doing a series of dives in the Erme Estuary but one day, due to bad weather, they decided to dive off Moor Sands between Salcombe and Prawle Point on what had been known as the Cannon Wreck.

Ron Howell was the first diver down and to his total surprise he came across a hoard of gold coins. He told how he came to the surface with both hands full of coins and asked the other divers on the dive boat to help him aboard because he did not dare open his hands will all the coins in them. Once over the side of the boat he dropped the coins into the bottom of the boat.

Because of the fear of looting the diving group were all sworn to secrecy so that the news of the find was kept a very closely guarded secret for several years. The divers, now renamed as the South West Maritime Archaeological Group, made many dives and recovered many more coins and gold ingots as well as pieces of gold jewellery. The hoard is now at the British Museum and only licensed divers are allowed onto the site. One of the tasks of the NCI Look Out on Prawle Point is to help protect the site from illegal diving.

Over 50 people attended the talk and there were many questions afterwards.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Noyce Family from 1895

by Tim Noyce

Between 30 & 40 people came to the Community Hall to enjoy an illustrated talk by Tim Noyce about the Noyce Family who came to Kingsbridge in 1895 and helped to make Kingsbridge the place it is today, including the history of the old Regal Cinema & the Charabancs. He showed pictures of Kingsbridge and surrounding areas as they were in the 20’s,30’s, 40’s,50’s and 60’s, how much has changed since then and how Noyce business has evolved into what it is today. Coffee and biscuits were served after the talk and all those who came enjoyed the evening.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Evacuation Film

by Ian Phillips

This was in fact a Community Hall event, not the History Society, although most of us were there. Once again the village hall was packed with both adults and children. A very successful evening. The raffle money was donated to the church for the binding of very old books of registers that are rapidly deteriorating .

Monday 11 March 2013Winnie Easterbrook in glasses and sunhat, possibly bunching spring onions at Town Farm

Steve Pedrick capturing the words of local people.

Steve brought some of his recordings and photographs of people living in Prawle or nearby during the early part of the 20th century – a wonderfully evocative evening of times gone by. Winnie Easterbrook, Gladys Login, Will Login and Bill Stone, all talking of their memories, were special to East Prawle.

Wednesday 28 November 2012Roger's Talk 100 years farming around East Prawle 2012

100 years farming around Prawle

by Roger Tucker

This was an enormous success. The hall was standing room only and people kept on pouring in.

The raffle raised £120 which the History Society is donating to the Devon Air Ambulance, who over the years have come to the aid of several people including both Roger and young Roger Tucker.

Monday 20 August 2013

Open Day

Once again this was a very successful open day with around 80 people including children passing through the doors. There was a display of maps and artefacts relating to the history of the village. There were many new photographs and a new slide show: photographs of 80 years of weddings of the local parish from 1929 to 2009.

There were some good raffle prizes and refreshments were served throughout the afternoon.

We are planning further events for the winter and information will be published as soon as it is available.

Thursday 28 June 2012 at 7.30 pm

A talk on Life in the South Hams between 900 and 1200 and the role of churches in the organisation of society

Professor Sarah Hamilton of the Exeter University History Dept.

Professor Sarah Hamilton gave an illustrated talk on Living in Medieval South West, the role of churches in the organisation of society and what do we know about life in the medieval south west – this was listened to with much interest by the 40-45 people who were present. Coffee and biscuits were served and also a raffle took place.

Monday and Tuesday 4 and 5 June 2012

East Prawle Jubilee Celebrations

at the big lunch on the Sunday slide shows were on display as well as old films of the village. On the Monday, Jubilee Prawle Fair day, we also had a large display of wedding photographs from 1929 up to 2009 – 70 weddings in 80 years that took place either at St Sylvester’s Chivelstone, or at the home of the bride marrying into a local family.. All this was of general interest to everyone passing through the tent to get their cups of tea.

We sold several Millennium books, and acquired 7 new members for our History Society. We now have 48 members, although membership renewal is due for 2012-2013.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Guarding Prawle’s Coast

Roger Barrett came to Prawle and gave a talk “Guarding Prawle’s Coast” to the East Prawle History Society. It was a very interesting and amusing talk on the history of the area, with some great photographs. About 60 people turned up including several children, and we gained a new History Society member bringing our number to 40. Four of Roger’s book ‘Prawle Point and the Coast between Start Point and Salcombe Bar’ were sold – Roger donated £2 a book to the History Society and the rest of the proceeds goes towards the NCI Prawle Point. All in all a wonderful evening.

Roger Barrett is a well known local historian who has written several books about the history of the coast. He is also manager of the NCI East Prawle lookout. Being the most southerly point in Devon, Prawle Point has a long history associated with the sea from early Bronze Age settlements and has acted as a lookout position from the Middle Ages, through the Napoleonic and the Second World Wars to the present day.

Thursday 16 February 2012

East Prawle History Society Open Day

This was another successful event and approximately 80 adults and 14 children came along

There were many new photographs on display and two slide shows – one of the village and the second about Prawle Point and some of its history – from the coastguards, the life saving rocket apparatus and the NCI Coastwatch

We have acquired a digitised version of the 1842-1847 Tithe map and people were able to find various places of interest on it – or that weren’t on it, like the road into East Prawle round Moorwell Pond

We had home made cakes, tea and coffee served throughout the afternoon and of course a raffle

We were very pleased to make £240 – which goes to the running costs of the History Society

All in all a very good afternoon.

Thursday 27 October 2011

East Prawle History Society Open Day in the Chivelstone Parish Community Hall

This was a great success with between 60 and 70 people attending. We had many more photographs on display; the rolling slide show was very popular as well as the artefacts Richard Partridge had displayed. Lots of coffee and tea, sandwiches and salads were produced, and the bring and buy stall was heavily supported. Ditto the raffle. Thank you to everyone who came!

Thursday 25 August 2011

South West Maritime Archaeological Group History of the Sea

It was an exciting evening in the Chivelstone Parish Community Hall in East Prawle, where we had our first major event – a presentation by Ron Howell and Andy Elliott on their adventures diving among the wrecks of Cornwall and Devon.

In April 1995 a dive planned in the Erme Estuary had been aborted due to the sea state and rather than abandon the weekend the team decided to measure the cannon on the Salcombe Cannon Site at Moor Sands; little did anyone know what would be discovered on this dive or where it would lead.

On returning from his first dive Ron Howell told the guys in the boat ·

Get hold of my glove, I’ve got a flaming[sic] fortune in it!·; he had found 3 gold coins, a finger ingot and pieces of jewelry.

It was an amazing evening. There were nearly 80 people crammed into the hall, including children, and we had 16 new members join our society. Roger Barrett sold several copies of his book “Prawle Point and the Coast between Start Point and Salcombe Bar”.

Andy Elliott’s email is andrew@aelliott46.wanadoo, – please contact him if you have any questions or whether you have found anything that might be of interest.

Their next presentation will be for the National Coastwatch Institution at Charleton Village Hall on Tuesday 13 September 2011 at 7.30 pm.