Heritage Centre

Welcome to Colyton Heritage Centre, the home of Colyton Parish History Society, a registered charity.

The Colyton Heritage Centre was proud to receive a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which provided new digitising equipment, illustrative wall panels and an interactive display to enhance the visitor experience.

A small museum which showcases the Parish’s heritage, complete with interactive touchscreen to illustrate Colyton’s fascinating past. Heritage books, cards & gift items are available. All proceeds support the work of the CPHS and Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre is located in the building now known as The Merchant’s House. A Grade II Listed property dating to early 16th Century, with even earlier origins.

It was a wealthy wool merchant’s house and features decorative plastered ceilings, Beer stone fireplace with medieval wall mural above, Tudor timber walling and excellent oak panelling. The adjacent tea room, once part of the original dwelling, features heavy moulded timber ceiling beams and remnants of a once handsome fireplace.

Admission to the Heritage Centre is FREE!

heritage centre

Archive & Research Materials

Feoffee Archive Doc

A collection of historic photos, documents, maps, books and artefacts relating to Colyton has been built up and this forms the basis of the research archive.

Research projects have included

  • Architectural history of St Andrew’s church
  • Water mills of the Coly valley
  • Church yard burials and recording of the cemetery headstones
  • WWI – A Parish History
  • WWII Evacuees
  • History of Lace Making
  • Colyton Station railway heritage

Most importantly the Colyton Chamber of Feoffees possesses a unique collection of records spanning some 450 years. They are of national significance and over 20,000 documents have been digitised and summarised by the society. A digitised version of the Feoffees Archive is available to search in the Heritage Centre.

Feoffees Archive

The Feoffees Archive comprises the original charter of 1546; transcripts and records of Feoffees meetings and accounts over the centuries; churchwarden and overseers of the poor records; legal papers relating to leases and rents, together with title deeds of individual properties and lands – some predating by several centuries the creation of the Chamber of Feoffees. Copies of wills, tithe apportionments, apprenticeship indentures; maps and general correspondence.

The meticulously kept records reflect social, business,and religious aspects of life in an important Devon town over six centuries.

Some 20,000 documents have been digitised by volunteers from Colyton Parish History Society. The majority of documents have been summarised to allow for specific searches, and the archive is free to search at the Colyton Heritage Centre.

The project was made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015.



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