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.

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Jul1

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.

Jun19

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.

is famed for its delightful scenery and salubrious air. It is now quite full of visitors, every lodging being occupied, which gives it a very gay appearance. Picnic parties are to be seen under the shade of the fine old oaks in the woods and the South Devon Railway is constantly bringing parties.

 

Description from 1850

is famed for its delightful scenery and salubrious air. It is now quite full of visitors, every lodging being occupied, which gives it a very gay appearance. Picnic parties are to be seen under the shade of the fine old oaks in the woods and the South Devon Railway is constantly bringing parties.

 

Description from 1850

Jun13

Chapel Wood

At Monday’s meeting of the Local Board, a letter was read stating that Sir John Rogers was disposed to grant the use of Chapel Woods as a recreation ground, on condition that a nominal rent was paid, and that they built a suitable wall to prevent annoyance to the vicarage grounds, to prevent damage to the trees, and be prepared to give up possession at six months’ notice …

July 1890

By 1898, approval of a deed of conveyance for Chapel Woods from Lady Blachford resulted in the council taking full responsibility for this recreational area. Chapel Wood was later named Victoria Park in honour of the Queen.

 

The vicarage mentioned in 1890 was built when the Rev. Richard Pering Cornish was curate in Ivybridge. He took up the position in 1855. The Rev. Cornish made a lasting impression on Ivybridge and was described as ‘one of the most popular clergyman of the diocese, his liberality unbounded. Foremost in every work, whether clerical or secular, which could forward the interests or happiness of all classes.’ He took an active role in many aspects of village life which included being the secretary for Ivybridge Cricket Club.

Jun14

A National School for Ivybridge

On 30 December 1856 a village school opened. An official ceremony was attended by a large gathering, ‘children, villagers, gentry and clergy all seemed to bear an equal share in rejoicing’. Ivybridge at last had a National School rather than the private schools which had prevailed until that time. The new school was ‘built at no small expense – thanks to the liberality of the Rev. R. P. Cornish.’

 

The school was located beside the recreational park on a piece of land donated by Lady Rogers. The first schoolmaster and mistress was Mr and Mrs Mee.

Jun13

Chapel Wood

At Monday’s meeting of the Local Board, a letter was read stating that Sir John Rogers was disposed to grant the use of Chapel Woods as a recreation ground, on condition that a nominal rent was paid, and that they built a suitable wall to prevent annoyance to the vicarage grounds, to prevent damage to the trees, and be prepared to give up possession at six months’ notice …

July 1890

By 1898, approval of a deed of conveyance for Chapel Woods from Lady Blachford resulted in the council taking full responsibility for this recreational area. Chapel Wood was later named Victoria Park in honour of the Queen.

 

The vicarage mentioned in 1890 was built when the Rev. Richard Pering Cornish was curate in Ivybridge. He took up the position in 1855. The Rev. Cornish made a lasting impression on Ivybridge and was described as ‘one of the most popular clergyman of the diocese, his liberality unbounded. Foremost in every work, whether clerical or secular, which could forward the interests or happiness of all classes.’ He took an active role in many aspects of village life which included being the secretary for Ivybridge Cricket Club.

Jun14

A National School for Ivybridge

On 30 December 1856 a village school opened. An official ceremony was attended by a large gathering, ‘children, villagers, gentry and clergy all seemed to bear an equal share in rejoicing’. Ivybridge at last had a National School rather than the private schools which had prevailed until that time. The new school was ‘built at no small expense – thanks to the liberality of the Rev. R. P. Cornish.’

 

The school was located beside the recreational park on a piece of land donated by Lady Rogers. The first schoolmaster and mistress was Mr and Mrs Mee.

The vicarage with its impressive dracaena tree

By 1858 it was felt that Rev. Cornish ought to have a new parsonage.

Quote

Mr and Mrs Cotton of Highland House, by way of a thank offering on Mr. Cotton’s recovering from illness, gave an estate in Surrey, let for £120 a-year towards the building of a parsonage house. Lady Rogers added a handsome sum, and the result was a very comfortable domicile

Although the position of curate attracted a fairly meagre wage, around £100 per annum, the Rev. Cornish went on to substantially improve the property, the house and surrounding ornamental grounds described as ‘displaying no ordinary taste’. It was recorded that the Rev. Cornish spent several thousand pounds in doing so.

By 1858 it was felt that Rev. Cornish ought to have a new parsonage.

” Mr and Mrs Cotton of Highland House, by way of a thank offering on Mr. Cotton’s recovering from illness, gave an estate in Surrey, let for £120 a-year towards the building of a parsonage house. Lady Rogers added a handsome sum, and the result was a very comfortable domicile “

Learn more about the benefactor William Cotton of Highland House >

Although the position of curate attracted a fairly meagre wage, around £100 per annum, the Rev. Cornish went on to substantially improve the property, the house and surrounding ornamental grounds described as ‘displaying no ordinary taste’. It was recorded that the Rev. Cornish spent several thousand pounds in doing so.

Jun15
The vicarage with its impressive dracaena tree

Festivities at Ivybridge

Coronation of Edward VII

” The Ivybridge celebrations of the Coronation Day consisted of a high tea in Victoria Park, where about 1,200 sat down. Previous to the tea the band assembled in the Park, and started a small procession around the town, and after tea they played a choice selection of music, and dancing was indulged in by a few. At the close cheers were given for the King, and a hope was expressed by all that he would have a speedy recovery, and that the sports and bonfire deferred from Thursday would be carried out in their entirety “.

Western Evening Herald Friday 27 June 1902

Jun16

The coronation of Edward VII had been scheduled for Thursday 26 June 1902. Unfortunately it had to be postponed at very short notice as the King had been taken ill and required immediate surgery. The ceremony finally took place at Westminster Abbey on 9 August 1902.

Silver Jubilee 1935

The Silver Jubilee for George V also witnessed a large gathering in Victoria Park on 6 May 1935. A special fund had been organised by a Commemoration Committee with Mr. Marriott of Lloyds Bank acting as Hon. Treasurer. Following a service in the park a procession took place to the war memorial and in the afternoon there was a sports meeting, tea and carnival.

Jun3

Honeysuckle

Lonicera periclymenum

A woody climber with trumpet-like flowers

Honeysuckle can be found in woodland and along hedgerows, twining itself around shrubs and trees for support

White Admiral caterpillars exclusively feed on honeysuckle

Dormice use honeysuckle for both shelter and food

The nectar of the honeysuckle flower is prized by bumblebees who are important pollinators

Its red berries ripen on the plant in late summer to autumn and are eaten by birds including thrushes, warblers and bullfinches

Jun3

Honeysuckle

Lonicera periclymenum

A woody climber with trumpet-like flowers
Honeysuckle can be found in woodland and along hedgerows, twining itself around shrubs and trees for support
White Admiral caterpillars exclusively feed on honeysuckle
Dormice use honeysuckle for both shelter and food
The nectar of the honeysuckle flower is prized by bumblebees who are important pollinators
Its red berries ripen on the plant in late summer to autumn and are eaten by birds including thrushes, warblers and bullfinches
Jun7

The Ivybridge Lawn Bowling Club

was founded in 1923 after successful negotiations with Ivybridge Urban District Council regarding the remaining land left by the Bridge Park housing project

In 1928 the club joined the English Bowls Association and the Devon Bowls Association. The club had by this time lady members playing just a small number of games each season.

 

By 1939 Ivybridge Bowling Club was affiliated to Portals Athletic Club and just after the war in 1946 an offer from Ivybridge Bowling Club was tabled for the club to be entirely taken over by the paper mill’s sport club. This was agreed and by 1947 the Bowling Club with the green, hut and equipment became the property of Portals Athletic Club.

Ivybridge Bowling Club’s Enterprise

Opening Ivybridge Bowling Club’s new pavilion on Wednesday, the President, Mr. H. J. Lee, was agreeably surprised to see such a fine building and the green in such good condition, and congratulated the club on having provided such facilities without appealing for assistance outside.

He stated several years ago that he considered Ivybridge a model town and considered it even more so to-day. Such an excellent green would be greatly appreciated not only by inhabitants, but by visitors. He was exceedingly proud of the town of his adoption.

Mrs. Hands threw the first “jack,” and Mr Lee the first wood.

A telegram was received from Major Kenyon Slaney, M.P., regretting his inability to be present at the ceremony.

Western Morning News 29 May 1925

Jun7
Quote

Ivybridge Bowling Club’s Enterprise

Opening Ivybridge Bowling Club’s new pavilion on Wednesday, the President, Mr. H. J. Lee, was agreeably surprised to see such a fine building and the green in such good condition, and congratulated the club on having provided such facilities without appealing for assistance outside.

He stated several years ago that he considered Ivybridge a model town and considered it even more so to-day. Such an excellent green would be greatly appreciated not only by inhabitants, but by visitors. He was exceedingly proud of the town of his adoption.

Mrs. Hands threw the first “jack,” and Mr Lee the first wood.

A telegram was received from Major Kenyon Slaney, M.P., regretting his inability to be present at the ceremony.

Western Morning News 29 May 1925

The Ivybridge Lawn Bowling Club

was founded in 1923 after successful negotiations with Ivybridge Urban District Council regarding the remaining land left by the Bridge Park housing project

In 1928 the club joined the English Bowls Association and the Devon Bowls Association. The club had by this time lady members playing just a small number of games each season.

 

By 1939 Ivybridge Bowling Club was affiliated to Portals Athletic Club and just after the war in 1946 an offer from Ivybridge Bowling Club was tabled for the club to be entirely taken over by the paper mill’s sport club. This was agreed and by 1947 the Bowling Club with the green, hut and equipment became the property of Portals Athletic Club.

Henry John Fice Lee, the President of Ivybridge Bowling Club was born in Yealmpton in 1861. He moved to Ivybridge with his wife Amelia to further his career as a baker. They lived initially at Clare Street and later, following the success of his businesses, at Greenwood on Western Road. Apparently, he had told his wife he would one day own a mill to supply his bakery business.

Jun9

His aspirations were to prove reality as by 1905 he had completed the renovation of Holman’s paper mill, converting it to a flour and provender mill. The business later expanded to include other agricultural supplies as well as coal and coke following further acquisitions in the centre of Ivybridge.

Learn more about the Henry John Fice Lee >

Filham Sports Field

In 1950 Wiggins Teape the owners of Stowford Paper Mill were approached by the employees in need of a sports field, stressing that the successful football team had lost the use of their pitch for the coming season. It was pointed out that the field at Filham, currently overgrown, could be suitable ‘with a little attention from the club members in cutting and rolling the field’.

A year later the Football Club, now made up of two teams, were still without a fixed ground whilst the cricket club had quite a ‘flourishing side and a number of enthusiasts” but had no field available in Ivybridge which could be successfully turned into a cricket ground.

Thankfully the company approved a proposal to transform the field at Filham to a sports field. The new Sports Ground was opened on 23 May 1953.

Learn more >

Filham Sports Field

In 1950 Wiggins Teape the owners of Stowford Paper Mill were approached by the employees in need of a sports field, stressing that the successful football team had lost the use of their pitch for the coming season. It was pointed out that the field at Filham, currently overgrown, could be suitable ‘with a little attention from the club members in cutting and rolling the field’.

A year later the Football Club, now made up of two teams, were still without a fixed ground whilst the cricket club had quite a ‘flourishing side and a number of enthusiasts” but had no field available in Ivybridge which could be successfully turned into a cricket ground.

Thankfully the company approved a proposal to transform the field at Filham to a sports field. The new Sports Ground was opened on 23 May 1953.

Learn more >

Tug of War

In 1937 a new Tug-of-War sports section was created at Stowford Paper Mill achieving instant success. They became champions after beating a team from Lee Mill in the final at the sports day.

 

After the war and following the resurrection of the annual sports days some years later, it was agreed to have a Perpetual Cup event for tug-of-war. The Bowls section had kindly donated a spare trophy which was later inscribed “Portals Athletic Challenge Cup”.

Image: Ivybridge Fire Service Tug of War team 1954

Tug of War

In 1937 a new Tug-of-War sports section was created at Stowford Paper Mill achieving instant success. They became champions after beating a team from Lee Mill in the final at the sports day.

After the war and following the resurrection of the annual sports days some years later, it was agreed to have a Perpetual Cup event for tug-of-war. The Bowls section had kindly donated a spare trophy which was later inscribed “Portals Athletic Challenge Cup”.

Image: Ivybridge Fire Service Tug of War team 1954

In 1937 a new Tug-of-War sports section was created at Stowford Paper Mill achieving instant success. They became champions after beating a team from Lee Mill in the final at the sports day.

 

After the war and following the resurrection of the annual sports days some years later, it was agreed to have a Perpetual Cup event for tug-of-war. The Bowls section had kindly donated a spare trophy which was later inscribed “Portals Athletic Challenge Cup”.

Image: Ivybridge Fire Service Tug of War team 1954

Climate

South-West England has a temperate oceanic climate, typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round but generally wetter and milder than other areas of the UK

The unpredictability of the summer weather was often the bane of  organisers planning agricultural and horticultural shows, summer fetes and gymkhanas, all events synonymous with country life

Climate

South-West England has a temperate oceanic climate, typified by cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round but generally wetter and milder than other areas of the UK

The unpredictability of the summer weather was often the bane of  organisers planning agricultural and horticultural shows, summer fetes and gymkhanas, all events synonymous with country life

South Devon Agricultural Association 1859

“ The annual meeting of the association was held on Friday last in the village of Ivybridge. An immense quantity of rain had fallen on the previous night and the usually placed river Erme, which flows through the village, although turbid and turbulent, presented an exceedingly picturesque appearance as its waters, passing under the old ivy clad bridge, foamed and tossed over its rocky bed. The early morning was unpromising, but the sky cleared before noon, and for a few hours the weather was bright and cheerful. There was a numerous gathering of agriculturalists and others from various parts of the county and considerable interest in the exhibition was manifested.

 The field in which the cattle were exhibited is situated about a mile from the railway station and about a quarter of a mile from the village. The entries were far more numerous than on former occasions and were said to be nearly double those at Totnes last year… The character and quality of the livestock were exceedingly good, and some prime animals of the South Hams and other breeds were exhibited. Of horses, sheep and pigs there were some excellent examples. “

In addition to the showing of livestock there were stone walling and ploughing competitions enabling the local farming community to compare their skills.

 

November 1859

Jul3

“ Numerous meetings of the landowners and agriculturalists of the district have been held at the King’s Arms, Ivybridge, to take into consideration the best means of establishing a monthly cattle market at Ivybridge…The quality of the agriculture in the district was good, added to which there are many excellent breeders of cattle. There is also the advantage of railway communication to the town. The richness of the district, and the very favourable position of Ivybridge for the holding of a cattle fair were pointed out and it was ultimately resolved that the market should be held on a piece of ground adjoining the schoolroom, and the first market-day was fixed for the third Tuesday in January, when the establishment of the market will be inaugurated with a dinner. The succeeding markets will be held on the third Tuesday in every month. ”

November 1861

The characteristic light red South Devon breed was practically unknown outside of the region in the nineteenth century.

 

In 1890 a meeting was held in Totnes to discuss the merits of establishing a Herd Book for the breed. This essentially formed an official register of the breed where the parentage of each animal was known. Such registers issued certificates for each recorded animal often indicating their lineage. Following this move the breed began to proliferate more widely. The South Devon was valued for its early maturity, large size and beef-yielding qualities.

Jul4
Jul4

The characteristic light red South Devon breed was practically unknown outside of the region in the nineteenth century.

 

In 1890 a meeting was held in Totnes to discuss the merits of establishing a Herd Book for the breed. This essentially formed an official register of the breed where the parentage of each animal was known. Such registers issued certificates for each recorded animal often indicating their lineage. Following this move the breed began to proliferate more widely. The South Devon was valued for its early maturity, large size and beef-yielding qualities.

Jul5

Charity bazaars or what was called ‘Fancy Fairs’ were popular events in Victorian times. They comprised of stalls selling donated hand crafted embroideries and other similar items, with the money going to good causes. Raffles and other amusements also helped to augment funds.

 

Erected tents enabled local produce to be shown to the public and judged, with entries ranging from flowers and fruit to vegetables and poultry. Sporting events were organised for the children whilst amusements included the popular ‘Aunt Sally’ target practice activity. Originally this game comprised of a modelled head of an old woman with a clay pipe in her mouth and the object was to throw sticks at the head in order to break the pipe.

Jul26

A Bazaar and Fancy Fair held in 1861 was hosted by Mr Widdicombe at Torrhill. The sale of the fancy articles was held in a large marquee. ‘The stalls contained a large assortment of pretty things, many of the most tasteful description. In the same tent were two large and revolving stereoscopes, which were much patronised by the youngsters’.

 

A raffle, with tickets costing 1s. each had the first prize of a donkey. Two ‘very smartly dressed Aunt Sally representatives proved as attractive as remunerative’ with throws costing a penny. All proceeds of the day went to 4th Devon Mounted Rifles.

Jul5

Charity bazaars or what was called ‘Fancy Fairs’ were popular events in Victorian times. They comprised of stalls selling donated hand crafted embroideries and other similar items, with the money going to good causes. Raffles and other amusements also helped to augment funds.

 

Erected tents enabled local produce to be shown to the public and judged, with entries ranging from flowers and fruit to vegetables and poultry. Sporting events were organised for the children whilst amusements included the popular ‘Aunt Sally’ target practice activity. Originally this game comprised of a modelled head of an old woman with a clay pipe in her mouth and the object was to throw sticks at the head in order to break the pipe.

Jul26

A Bazaar and Fancy Fair held in 1861 was hosted by Mr Widdicombe at Torrhill. The sale of the fancy articles was held in a large marquee. ‘The stalls contained a large assortment of pretty things, many of the most tasteful description. In the same tent were two large and revolving stereoscopes, which were much patronised by the youngsters’.

 

A raffle, with tickets costing 1s. each had the first prize of a donkey. Two ‘very smartly dressed Aunt Sally representatives proved as attractive as remunerative’ with throws costing a penny. All proceeds of the day went to 4th Devon Mounted Rifles.

Stereocards incorporating two flat images could be viewed through a stereoscope to fuse the two images and create the illusion of depth

Stereocards incorporating two flat images could be viewed through a stereoscope to fuse the two images and create the illusion of depth

Ivybridge Town Council
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