CHCToday, Colyton Parish History Society (CPHS), in cooperation with Colyton Chamber of Feoffees, has been awarded £59,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Chamber, formed in 1546 provided an early form of local government responsible for social improvement. The grant is to fund an important project, digitising and conserving nearly 500 years of archives and interpreting the story of Colyton in the Heritage Centre.
The project will be led by the History Society and housed in its new home: Colyton Heritage Centre, within the Grade 11 listed Merchant’s House in the town centre.
The project will:
- Create a new digitisation suite in the Heritage Centre,
- Recruit additional volunteers,
- Provide volunteer training in research and digitising,
- Digitise and make publically accessible the nationally significant Feoffees archive, making available these uniquely continuous records of social and historical development of this important East Devon town,
- Deliver professional interpretation including a touchscreen interactive, which will engage visitors to the Centre and explain Colyton’s rich heritage spanning back over 2000 years including extracts from the archives,
- Produce a programme of educational visits, events and studies of the archive and heritage.

Marian Sydenham, Chairman of the History Society, said today:
“We are delighted and thrilled to have received this award from HLF. It reflects the hard work carried out by the History Society committee and its enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers. This funding will enable us to complete the exciting task of creating a Heritage Centre that the Parish of Colyton can be proud of and which will be a real asset to the community.”
Bernard Love, Chairman of the Colyton Chamber of Feoffees, commented:
“Since 1546, the Chamber of Feoffees has been required by Royal Charter from King Henry V111, to do: ‘good, godly and commendable’ deeds for the benefit of the people of Colyton. This tremendous award from the HLF will ensure that the story of those deeds and the impact they have had on the social and historic development of our town is recorded and preserved for future generations. We are looking forward to working with the History Society on this exciting project.”