Ivybridge

took its name from ‘ye bridge which lieth over ye Erme, being much inclined to ivy’.

Sir William Pole, Devon historian.

Welcome to Ivybridge Uncovered

A Mill Town Heritage

The Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town.

HERITAGE DONOR CARD
To help preserve historical documents, objects and photographs, we have created a Heritage Donor Card for individuals to make donations of such items to Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group. Please go to our ‘Links’ page for further information.

 

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All rights, including copyright, in the content of these pages are owned or controlled for these purposes by Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group.
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IvyHertge
aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town

The History of Ivybridge  

IvyHertge
aims to celebrate the rich history of Ivybridge and is dedicated to promoting a lively interest in the Town’s background and development by researching, collecting and preserving archives and photographic records of this unique Mill Town

The History of Ivybridge  

The humble bramble
Devil's fruit?

The popular Devon pastime of blackberry picking goes back thousands of years but according to folklore, blackberries should not be picked after old Michaelmas Day as this is the day when the Devil was cast out of heaven and he landed in a bramble bush and sullied it, causing blackberries to become unpalatable after 10 October.

 

Brambles were once planted around graves to stop sheep grazing, but superstition might suggest it was introduced for the purpose of keeping the dead in!

The humble bramble
Devil's fruit?

The popular Devon pastime of blackberry picking goes back thousands of years but according to folklore, blackberries should not be picked after old Michaelmas Day as this is the day when the Devil was cast out of heaven and he landed in a bramble bush and sullied it, causing blackberries to become unpalatable after 10 October.

 

Brambles were once planted around graves to stop sheep grazing, but superstition might suggest it was introduced for the purpose of keeping the dead in!

Ivybridge left in the dark

The inhabitants of Ivybridge are in sore plight just at present over their public lighting … a grave responsibility rests on the Local Board for leaving the place in utter darkness. Whether the action of a section of that body, in dispensing with gas in favour of oil lamps is wise or not, the future will show; but light of some sort should have been provided before the dark evenings set in. That the public lighting of Ivybridge has been notoriously bad for the past year or two there are no two opinions. The oil lamps in use compare very favourably with the gas lights; but that the matter should have been delayed so long reflects no credit on the responsible body.

 

Western Morning News 14 September 1893

 

Image: Billy Fry, the Ivybridge lamp lighter

Oct37

Ivybridge left in the dark

The inhabitants of Ivybridge are in sore plight just at present over their public lighting … a grave responsibility rests on the Local Board for leaving the place in utter darkness. Whether the action of a section of that body, in dispensing with gas in favour of oil lamps is wise or not, the future will show; but light of some sort should have been provided before the dark evenings set in.

That the public lighting of Ivybridge has been notoriously bad for the past year or two there are no two opinions. The oil lamps in use compare very favourably with the gas lights; but that the matter should have been delayed so long reflects no credit on the responsible body.

 

Western Morning News 14 September 1893

 

Image: Billy Fry, the Ivybridge lamp lighter

Ivybridge left in the dark

The inhabitants of Ivybridge are in sore plight just at present over their public lighting … a grave responsibility rests on the Local Board for leaving the place in utter darkness. Whether the action of a section of that body, in dispensing with gas in favour of oil lamps is wise or not, the future will show; but light of some sort should have been provided before the dark evenings set in.

That the public lighting of Ivybridge has been notoriously bad for the past year or two there are no two opinions. The oil lamps in use compare very favourably with the gas lights; but that the matter should have been delayed so long reflects no credit on the responsible body.

 

Western Morning News 14 September 1893

 

Image: Billy Fry, the Ivybridge lamp lighter

The members of the Ivybridge Local Board at the time were very unpopular in reverting back to oil lamps and awarding a contract to Messrs. Cowdy for the maintenance of the oil street lamps. Many ratepayers were of the opinion that the oil lamps did not provide the ‘35 candle’ brightness they were suppose to offer. Thankfully, electric street lighting was too far away so the inhabitants did not have to endure the situation for very long.

Gas lamps

William Murdoch, an engineer working for Midlands based Boulton and Watt, was the first man to exploit the flammability of coal gas for the application of lighting. In the early 1790s, whilst overseeing the use of his company’s steam engines in tin mining in Cornwall, Murdoch began experimenting with coal gas and lit his own house in Redruth. By 1798 coal gas was being used to illuminate the company’s foundry in Birmingham. Samuel Clegg, an employee at the foundry saw the potential of this new form of lighting and left his job to create his own gas lighting business, the Gas Lighting and Coke Company. Street lights using coal gas dispensed with the need to fill lamps with oil and trim the wicks. Lighting maintenance became considerably cheaper and this form of lighting gradually spread further afield.

The members of the Ivybridge Local Board at the time were very unpopular in reverting back to oil lamps and awarding a contract to Messrs. Cowdy for the maintenance of the oil street lamps. Many ratepayers were of the opinion that the oil lamps did not provide the ‘35 candle’ brightness they were suppose to offer. Thankfully, electric street lighting was too far away so the inhabitants did not have to endure the situation for very long.

Gas lamps

William Murdoch, an engineer working for Midlands based Boulton and Watt, was the first man to exploit the flammability of coal gas for the application of lighting. In the early 1790s, whilst overseeing the use of his company’s steam engines in tin mining in Cornwall, Murdoch began experimenting with coal gas and lit his own house in Redruth. By 1798 coal gas was being used to illuminate the company’s foundry in Birmingham. Samuel Clegg, an employee at the foundry saw the potential of this new form of lighting and left his job to create his own gas lighting business, the Gas Lighting and Coke Company. Street lights using coal gas dispensed with the need to fill lamps with oil and trim the wicks. Lighting maintenance became considerably cheaper and this form of lighting gradually spread further afield.

Ivybridge Town Council
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Devon County Council - Copy
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