Things New and Old Concerning the Parish of Widecombe-in-the-Moor and its Neighbourhood (1876)


Robert Dymond

Robert Dymond, a local historian and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, was born in Exeter in 1821, the son of an Estate Agent. He bought Dunstone and Blackslade Manor in 1869 and lived in Blackslade Manor House until his death in 1888.

He was a respected member of Exeter’s community joining numerous local societies. More details on Robert Dymond and his family can be found in Stephen Wood’s book ‘Widecombe-in-the-Moor – A Pictorial History of a Dartmoor Village’ (the source of most of these biographical details).

From our current point of view, it is Dymond’s book ‘Things New and Old Concerning the Parish of Widecombe-in-the-Moor and its Neighbourhood’ that is of primary interest. This was published in 1876 to raise money for the renovation and restoration of Widecombe Church, which he felt was in disrepair and deteriorating rapidly. He wrote the work largely himself and it provides a fascinating record of Widecombe as it was in the second half of the nineteenth century, with an interesting collection of short pieces that are individually easy to digest.

We are providing a transcription of each of those pieces for you to pick out and read what attracts you. It will also enable a search to be made of the book so that you can easily find your area of interest.

These pieces will be added gradually over the coming months until the whole book is available (it's over 100 pages long so it will take a while!).

Contents List

    Title and Preface Pages

 1. Widecombe Parish - an Introduction

 2. The Coffin Stone

 3. All Round Widecombe - a perambulation around the high ground above the valley

 4. The Dart and Webburn - a short poem about the two rivers

 5. Widecombe Church - architecture, history and archaeology, memorials and inscriptions, incumbents and Leusdon Church

 6. The Manors of Widecombe

 7. The Old Clapper Bridge at Dartmeet

 8. Parish Registers

 9. The Contents of the Parish Chest

 10. Dart-meet - a poem

 11. Archery at Widecombe

 12. Lines on a Gravestone, Without Inscription, in the Chapel Yard at Dartmoor Prison - a poem

 13. Dartmoor and the Singers of Brent

 14. Reminiscences of Widecombe Between Thirty and Forty Years Ago

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