South Hams Curiosities – May


May 7th 1646

Surrender of Fort Charles, Salcombe, the last Royalist stronghold in Devon.

May 9th 1738

Baptism at Dodbrooke of John Wolcot, poet, satirist, who later wrote under the sobriquet of Peter Pindar.

May 20th 1916

A meteor was seen across Devon a few minutes after 8pm.

May 22nd 1858

A Bee-eater was shot near Malborough.

May 23rd 1782

An influenza outbreak hit South Devon.

May 25th 1782

One one man's memorial stone in Portlemouth it was inscribed:

Through poison strong he was cut off,

And brought to death at last,

It was by his apprentice girl,

On whom there's sentence past,

O may all people warning take,

For she was burned to a stake!


Taken from Todd Gray's 'The Devon Almanac'.

South Hams Curiosities – April

1681April 2nd 1852

The Slapton Hounds met at Pollard's Sands Hotel and William Bastard was presented with a silver hunting horn as a token of the Hunt's esteem.

April 9th 1811

An Osprey was seen hunting for fish on the river Avon near Aveton Gifford Bridge.

April 13th 1886

A Hoopoe was shot near Loddiswell.

April 16th 1607

It was rumoured that at Salcombe several hundred sailors were stealing boats, threatening to burn the town, committing murder and burying their victims in the sands.

April 16th 1832

It was reported that an eagle, weighing ten pounds and with a wingspan of fourteen feet, was shot near Kingsbridge.

April 19th 1717

It was reported that a Blackawton tailor, who weighed between three and four hundred weight (up to 448 pounds) and accounted 'a wonder of the age being one of the biggest men that ever was seen in these parts', claimed the Devil incited him in beating his wife to death.

April 29th 1882

Chimneys and trees were pulled down in high winds throughout the county.

Taken from Todd Gray's 'The Devon Almanac'.


New Booklet and DVD Presenting the Fascinating History of Fishing From Salcombe

L&M 2

L&M 1

Fishing has occurred around the South Devon coast for hundreds of years but there were dramatic changes over the past 100 years as fishermen moved from rowing boats to the Supercrabbers of today. Salcombe History Society committee member, Geoff Foale, has researched and presented this fascinating history of the last 100 years of Salcombe's fishing industry in a full colour A4 booklet containing many interesting facts and photographs of local fishermen and their vessels at work in the waters around Salcombe. The information and photographs are also available as a DVD narrated by Salcombe History Society's Chairman, Ken Prowse. The booklet and DVD are available from the website shop.

SHS at Salcombe Crabfest 2016





Salcombe History Society's Chairman, Ken Prowse, and committee member, Geoff Foale, represented the society at the inaugural Salcombe Crabfest on Sunday 1st May. They had a very busy morning selling DVDs and books and discussing the Society's work. The event also generated several interesting stories and leads which will be followed up over the coming months. Our grateful thanks go to The Fortescue Arms for allowing us to use their beer garden as our temporary HQ for the morning.