In Brief

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In Brief

Our next village event will be Christmas Tree Festival on 15th December 2017 at 11:00 AM in St Paul's Church

Read the Parish Council Minutes of 4th October 2017

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At least 80 Landkey residents attended the Act of Remembrance at the war memorial on 12th November 2017 at 11am. Earlier, from 10 am, almost all the seats in the village hall were taken for the Service of Remembrance at which as many as 50 people were present. Here, the 2 minutes' silence at the memorial is observed. Image courtesy of Charles Waldron 12th November 2017.
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About Landkey

Landkey's History - Discovering Landkey

In 1992, as part of what was known as the Common Ground Local Distinctiveness Initiative (see inset), a project named Discovering Landkey was launched by a small group of Landkey residents.

The aim of this project was to explore aspects of the culture, history and natural history of the village for the benefit of its residents. A substantial amount of work was carried out by these volunteers at that time and the results of their labours provided a comprehensive record of Landkey's heritage. To this day it remains the most valuable source of information that is available on Landkey's past and it is from this source that many of the historic references on this website are drawn.

Explore North Devon

In 2008-2009, a project called Explore North Devon was carried out on the initiative of the North Devon Record Office with the aim of encouraging local communities to research and collect information about their heritage and present to a global audience via the internet

Work on this project was coordinated by Mrs Emma Waldron and a large collection of material was obtained on Landkey thanks, in no small part, to the earlier efforts of the Discovering Landkey group. This material may be viewed by following the link above and then selecting "L" (for Landkey) under "Contributors".

On completion of the project, the work of Discovering Landkey was placed in the North Devon Record Office in Barnstaple from where it was hoped that local people could gain access to it. The reality was, though, that tucked away in this relatively inaccessible location, knowledge of the existence of this work soon faded. It is hoped, however, that the creation of this website will provide the opportunity to acquaint Landkey residents with the existence of this valuable work and to credit those volunteers who worked on this project.

The Volunteers and their work

The members of the Discovering Landkey project were: Mrs D (Doris) Sambidge, Mrs L Bourne, Mrs Lyn Morton, Miss M Knight, Mr N Honey, Mr A Darch, Mr M Darch, Mr J Patten.

The history of mazzard orchards was high on their work agenda at a time when moves were being made to re-establish this fruit that was once widely grown around the village. The history of the lime burning works at Venn Quarry was also researched and a Beating the Bounds event was organised to reacquaint villagers with boundary of the parish.

A carnival was held in the summer of 1992 with the aim of raising the awareness of Landkey residents to the history and culture of their village while participating in an enjoyable event.

The volunteers also conducted interviews with local residents who were able to pass on first-hand accounts of their knowledge of Landkey's history and culture. In some instances, tape recordings were made. Local man Ned Prideaux was 91 at that time and he provided some valuable insights into Landkey life in the early part of the 20th century. All of the work of the Discovering Landkey group was recorded in book called "Discovering Landkey" published by The Beaford Arts Centre in 1996 (see photo below). This book is now out of print but a few copies are available to borrow from the library in Barnstaple. It offers a fascinating insight into Landkey's past.

Alphabet of Parishes

The Alphabet of Parishes was an initiative pursued as part of the Discovering Landkey project with the aim of highlighting the distinctive features of 26 North Devon parishes, one for each letter of the alphabet. They were chosen from an area of North Devon bounded by the river Torridge to the west, Exmoor to the east and the coast to the north. Landkey's letter was 'M' for mazzard and the children of Landkey primary school helped to create the design for a plaque which would illustrate Landkey's distinctive features. The design features St Paul's church, the war memorial, mazzards and a set of keys to represent the 'key' in Landkey (in reality, the 'key' in Landkey derives from St Kea) in the central shield, with otters surrounding it. Their design was submitted to Judy Barber who created the artwork for the plaque. From this, local potter Harry Juniper created a ceramic version which was installed in the wall of the Feoffee rooms near the church and can be viewed there to this day.

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The cover of the "Discovering Landkey" book produced by the Discovering Landkey group and published by The Beaford Arts centre in 1996. It is available to borrow from the library in Barnstaple.
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Landkey's Alphabet of Parishes plaque, 1994. Artwork @copyright Judy Barber.
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Ned Prideaux was well known in Landkey for his involvement in village organisations, including the village hall and the playing field. Here, at the age of 91, he is pictured receiving the Landkey Parish Council's Community Shield in recognition of his work. Image obtained from newspaper cutting kindly supplied by Mrs Doris Sambidge (c1993).
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Beating the Bounds is an ancient custom in which villagers walk the boundary of their parish in order to familiarise themselves with where the boundary lies. This picture from 1992 shows a group of Landkey villagers (Bill Parker is in the foreground) "beating the bounds" of Landkey parish Image kindly supplied by Mrs Doris Sambidge.