On the Anniversary of Peterloo, one of our volunteers, David Phipps writes about an interesting Devon connection to the events in Manchester... After the launch of Mike Leigh’s new film about the Massacre of Peterloo (named to echo the battle of Waterloo), I wondered just how many people were aware of just what happened in …


From Kingsley to Wodehouse!

Discover Charles Kingsley and more…On Our Shelves! Over the years we have discovered several varied and fascinating connections in the North Devon area. A series of these starts with the man who was born 200 years ago today. On the shelves dedicated to local authors you will discover Mr Kingsley sitting right next to a …

The Jewell in Barnstaple’s Crown – Twelve Months of War & the Splendid Work of Barnstaple’s Mayoress

One from the Archives to celebrate both Local History Month and Museums Week both of which are highlighting the role of women in culture and local politics throughout history.

Tales From the Archives

As part of our series of newspaper articles from the First World War comes this piece about the work done by Harriette Ellen Jewell during the first year of the war…Barum Athena

Mrs Jewell, Mayoress of Barnstaple [Harper Album 3] Mrs Jewell, Mayoress of Barnstaple [Harper Album 3]

The war into which, as an Empire, we were so suddenly plunged twelve months since found us quite unprepared in the country, whatever might be said of the naval or military position. We had allowed ourselves to be lulled into a feeling of false security. With the outbreak of war a heavy burden of responsibility was thrown on the municipalities—a far heavier burden than they had ever previously been called upon to bear. Barnstaple, on common with other towns and cities throughout the country—many of them, perhaps, more “before the footlights,” but very few of more ancient origin or possessing a finer record of patriotic traditions—through its representative authority, manfully…

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On Lorna Doone

One of the interesting opportunities of writing a Blog Post is finding on the Athenaeum Catalogue Search inconspicuous books and pamphlets which you might bypass when looking at a row of books on the shelf. Under the reference Miscellaneous Pamphlets D040PAP number 24 is “The Original Doones of Exmoor” by Ida Brown [Audie Doon]. Having …