Milverton and District Archive

Map of Milverton displaying buildings, roads and surrounding fields

The Milverton & District Archive is the charity recently established to act as custodian of the village Archive – a collection of documents, photographs, maps, books, videos and other items which provide information about the people, development and agricultural, commercial, industrial and social history of Milverton and its surrounding district.

Our primary aim is to establish and maintain the Archive and to make it available to the public. We are actively seeking suitable premises to store and exhibit the collection and make it accessible for the purposes of education, research and historical interest.

Milverton Archive activities

  • Displays of selected archive items at local events with help from the Milverton Local History Group
  • Peter Hutchinson prepared various lectures on specific areas of interest, including maps and a booklet titled ‘Milverton as it might have been in 1685’. His latest project is the history of Milverton church carved bench ends
  • A churchyard survey by Andrew Bowman produced a plan showing where the graves are located, and an aerial view of the graveyard was produced using a drone
  • David Dowling has taken over 30 recordings of villagers recollecting their memories of Milverton in times gone by. A YouTube channel has recently been created to allow access to members where these recordings can be viewed
  • A monthly newsletter is published in the parish magazine and on the village website containing various topics of local Interest
  • Ongoing work to find, fund and establish a Heritage Centre where the collection will be available for anyone interested in Milverton and its history
  • It is hoped that on online subscription will allow people to research their own local family history. Many families living in Milverton can trace their families back through the Milverton census records which are available from the 1841 census

How you can support the Archive

You can support us by becoming a member – use the MDA membership form. If you have any questions or would like to support the work of the MDA, please email us at milvertonarchive@gmail.com

Alternatively, you could talk to one of the charity trustees: Guy Hannaford (Chair), Maggie Dinning (Secretary), Shelagh Dempsey (Treasurer), Rod Burton, John Clements, Carol Hannaford.

If you have anything to share about the village and surrounding areas, or relevant items to donate to the Archive, please get in touch with us. All donors of items receive an acceptance slip. Items are not accepted on loan except photographs which may be loaned to be copied then returned to the owner.

A brief history of the Milverton Archive

  • 1938 – a short history written by Rev Maynard, using notes from a 1906 lecture by Mr Swanick, a talk by Col Phipps in 1929 and a brief village history by the WI
  • Early 80s – Farley & Ekless book on the History of Milverton prompted a renewed interest in Milverton’s past
  • 1990s – the recently formed Milverton and Fitzhead Society began collecting items of interest; Dr Watson allowed his old surgery building in North Street to store them in a big black tin box
  • 2005 – Nigel Wood took over the Archive, arranging to use the Old Coach House at the vicarage for storage. Its unsound structure does not permit public access, but a display case in the church enabled some of the items to be displayed. Nigel began formally accessioning the items of the Archive. By 2014, 355 items were listed
  • 2014 – the Howard Davies Collection was added to the Archive following his death. Howard was an archaeologist who retired to Milverton in the late 1970’s and the Archive received all his files, books and archaeological finds made in Milverton
  • 2018 – Maggie Dinning took over the care of the Archive and the not-for-profit Milverton Village Archive group was set up
  • September 2022 – the Milverton & District Archive was established as a registered charity (charity no. 1200287). Over 1400 accessioned items are listed in the Archive which is currently held at several locations around the village

Useful links