Our Next Zoom Talk :-

    7.30 pm Tuesday 22nd November by Dr Helen Wilson

" From Lady Woodcarvers' to Professionals;  The Remarkable Pinwill Sisters"

The Pinwill Sisters, Mary. Ethel and Violet, learnt to carve as teenagers, during the restoration of their father's church at Ermington. With the patronage of architect Edmund H. Sedding, they established a professional woodcarving business, Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co in 1890 which later relocated to Plymouth.  After about 1907, Violet ran the business single-handedly, with a workforce of nearly 30 carvers and joiners, establishing one of the best wood and stone carving companies in the West Country.  The full story of the Pinwill Sisters and their astonishing woodcarvings has now been revealed in Helen's new book about them.

Dr Helen Wilson was born and brought up in Plymouth, Devon, and studied for a BSc and PhD in Environmental Science as a mature student at the University of Plymouth, teaching there for a number of years.  She has since developed interests in local history, architecture and churches, applying research skills to her main project of the last decade, studying the life and work of the Pinwill Sisters, ecclesiastical woodcarvers, Dr Wilson sits on the Executive Committee of the Devonshire Association and acts as Chair of their Buildings Section


Please sign up for our newsletters to keep you up to date on all future online talks using the link.

Harberton Cristmas Tree Festival - 16-18 Dec 22

We shall be having a History Society Christmas Tree and are currently thinking of a theme for the tree -

-                                                            - all ideas very welcome!  Details to follow.

The Harberton and Harbertonford History Society encourages the study of the local history of Harberton Parish and the surrounding County.


There are approximately 5 meetings with speakers each year and at least one field excursion.  Meetings take place in Harberton or Harbertonford on alternative dates, or via Zoom sessions  - details of which can be found in the Programme.


Members of the Society have gathered information on the past history of the villages, personalities and the Parish including the preparation of historic walks around both Harberton and Harbertonford.  The Society is making collections of photographs and some artefacts and have embarked on an oral history project to build an archive of first hand histories in both villages.


Subjects covered in previous meetings have included:-

        The History of Harbertonford Mill                  Pilotage on the River Dart    

        The Construction of the Avon Dam                Victorian Crime in Totnes

        Tuckenhay Paper Mill                                     Church Houses in Devon

        Vagrants and Travellers in 17 Century Harberton

        The Trist Family of Harberton


Field Trips have included visits to:

        Finch's Foundry at Sticklepath

        Grimspound and Bellever Neolithic Sites, both accompanied by an

             Archaeologist from Dartmoor National Park


Membership is open to anybody interested in local history and is £10 per year with talks free to Members.  Non members are wecome to meetings at the cost of £3 per meeting.


The Society is keen to receive photographs/articles/family records for the archives which can also be added to our website.

Please contact our secretary Jill Powell  -  jill.powell-redlion@outlook.com


We are affilliated to   The Devon History Society - see links page



          Derek Robinson       in Harbertonford       01803 732442

          Stanley Oldfield       in Harberton             01803 864654


Harberton Ch
Harbertonford ch

Harberton & Harbertonford 

History Society

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