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Lecture: The Great Fire of Crediton

Lecture: The Great Fire of Crediton

Many towns suffered disastrous fires in earlier centuries. The Great Fire of Crediton in 1743 was reported as being particularly dramatic and destructive.

The events of 1743 were well-recorded. There is an unusually detailed town map from the same year. The presentation discusses that map – along with snippets from the mass of information we have unearthed about Crediton in and around the 1740s – to tell the story of the town and its people before, during and after the Great Fire of Crediton.

Tony Gale is a Crediton-based local historian who specialises in the history of Devon. His main focus is on the Early Modern period, but his studies range from the 8th century CE (the Crediton Great Charter of 739, and a history of The Copplestone) to the 20th century (“Some May Call us Common Girls” – Devon Women in World War I), with stopping off points such as a history of the Chapel and Hospital of St Lawrence at Crediton (1231 – 1920); John Norden’s Survey of the Manor of Crediton (1598); John Ogilby’s Britannia (Britain’s first road atlas, 1675); and the Great Fire of Crediton (1743). Tony is a trustee of the Devon & Cornwall Record Society, as well as being involved with the Devon History Society and local groups in his hometown.