The Chagford Community Archive is a treasure trove — not gold or precious metals but everyday paper-based items which record the history of the parish and on Saturday, March 25 the archive is holding a drop-in open day, inviting members of the public to see samples of the range of materials held there.

The archive is located at the back of Chagford Library, on the car park side of the Jubilee Hall and between 10am and 4pm archive volunteers will be on hand to show how it all operates, what it holds and how you can use it for research or simply to satisfy curiosity about our shared history.

You’ll also be able to find out how to book up an appointment if you want to spend some dedicated time searching for things.

The archive holds all sorts of keys to the past: photographs, maps, drawings, log books, letters, business invoices, books, lease and sale agreements and official documents. Some items are much older, but most date from the mid-19th Century right up to the near present.

The Chagford Archive and Heritage Centre was set up in 2018 by the Chagford Local History Society, having been awarded a generous grant from the National Lottery. With two rooms at the back of the library, the archive consists of a storage and office area and a reading and research room. Temperature and humidity levels are kept a consistent level in the store room to aid the conservation of the material. The storage and cataloguing is done to a professional archivists’ standard.

‘All are welcome to our open day, which is free of charge on a drop-in basis’, said Ralph Mackridge, Secretary of the Chagford History Society. ‘The day is designed as an introduction, with a display of selected materials, with the volunteers happy to answer your questions and whet your curiosity.

‘For those that want to spend dedicated time searching the archive, we ask you to make a booking by getting in touch with us: by email on [email protected] or through the contact age on our brilliant website:

‘Our archive co-ordinator will then be in touch with you. In the meantime we welcome everyone to our open day.’