Alan Lambourne's Timeline

This section is based on research conducted by Dr Alan Lambourne, who has provided the following introduction to his work. Very many thanks for this contribution. See the sub-sections for any detail that I have been able to provide.

I am very grateful to Anne for giving me the opportunity to make my findings available from time to time through her website. I have been researching the history of Ashburton for several years, particularly through the Dartmoor National Park's Moor Than Meets the Eye project, and now seems to be a good time to begin to share my results. This is not because I am looking for an audience or a publisher: quite the opposite. Anne's website clearly shows that Ashburton is a town with a long history, during which it has been both prosperous and important, which is quickly confirmed by a walk along West Street into East Street and a visit to St. Andrew's Church.
Unfortunately, however, not much of that history is readily available in documentary form on the public record. To take just one example, we are proud of our town's office of Portreeve, but there are a number of gaps in the list of people who have held that post, and it is not until 1335 that we know of a Portreeve by name.  Comparatively little has been written about Ashburton, and much of what has been published is out-of-date and based more on speculation or tradition than evidence. Ashburton has not attracted the attention of historians willing and able to conduct primary research by combing through archives for documents written in illegible handwriting in medieval latin. Visually our images of early Ashburton are all comparatively modern, and I have not found a street map of the town before the invaluable Tithe Map of 1840.
What I did, therefore, was read through all the secondary sources I came across, gather together all the useful bits of information they had to offer, evaluate them and put them in chronological order. My findings are summarised in the Time Line below, and the evidence on which this is based is set out in full in the Chronology that follows it. Inevitably the results are patchy and have more to do with buildings and institutions than with people.
And that is where you come in. Do you know of any other sources that I can access? Do you have any papers that may help to fill in any of the many gaps? Do you have any comments, suggestions or criticisms of this version of the Time Line or the Chronology? If so, please contact me at the address below.
I am now using the Tithe Map of 1840 and the various documentary sources to try to build up a picture of medieval Ashburton. This will form part of the exhibition of the Moor than Meets the Eye project in early September at St. Lawrence Chapel and will be published on this website as soon as it is ready.
2015 © Alan Lambourne