The Lustleigh Society was formed in 1978 as a society for lectures on local history. In the years following, much material relating to the history of the village was donated to the society and stored in the village reading room, located in the Church House, an ancient building in the centre of the village. In the mid 1980’s this collection relocated to a small room in the Old Vestry, until 2006 when a larger room within the same building became available. There followed an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund – and other funding bodies – to completely renovate the room to archival storage standard. The archive re-opened in April 2009 having been completely reorganised and re-catalogued. The Archives of Lustleigh provide an important insight into the development of a village situated on the edge of Dartmoor, which has origins in prehistory.
Lustleigh Community Archive consists of:
• Parish records (baptisms/marriages/deaths) , registers and census data
• Maps including the 1837 Tithe Map with Schedule of Apportionments
• Parish Magazines dating from 1889
• Minutes of village organisations
• Over 3500 photographs and postcards
• Paintings, books, oral history recordings and many other documents of historic interest
LUSTLEIGH SOCIETY HERITAGE AWARD 2023
Lustleigh bell ringers recognised for their contribution to community heritage:
Robert Brown, Tower Captain of the Lustleigh bell ringers, accepted an award on behalf of his team for their contribution to preserving a much cherished part of the community’s heritage which stretches back several hundred years. The award was presented last week at the Lustleigh Society’s AGM.
Along with assistant, Ann Cotton, and a regular team of bell ringers, Robert has ensured that the bells are rung not only for church services but also to mark many commemorations, most notably the 100th anniversaries of Lustleigh’s World War One fallen. They have also rung out to mark special occasions connected with the Royal Family. The current set of bells is 100 years old this year. Cast by Gillet and Johnston of Croydon during their peak in 1923, the bells are considered amongst Devon’s finest. The first bells had been installed in St. John the Baptist parish church, sometime between the 15th and 16th centuries.
In awarding the Lustleigh Society’s “Heritage Award 2023”, chairman David McGahey said that: “The sound of the bells of the Lustleigh parish church are an integral part of our heritage. There is a longstanding tradition of bell ringing in the village, with the team being distinguished competitors in local bell ringing competitions in the past. The sound of church bells is slowly becoming lost in this country: many churches do not have active ringers or working bells. Lustleigh is extremely lucky that it still has an active bell ringing community”.