Three quarters of hedges in Devon are 600 years old or more! Our characteristic landscape of small irregular fields was largely formed between 1150 and 1350 AD. For a full account see Devon hedges and their history in the landscape.
In 2011, as part of our Green Lanes and Veins project, we interviewed 19 farmers and hedge managers to produce an oral history of Devon’s hedges. These interviews are held in major public libraries and with the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service. Sue Wheeler, who led on the oral history, produced two DVDs which together present the highlights from the interviews. These can be viewed online on the YouTube channel of the Devon Hedge Group, and also on the Oral History page of this website.
At the same time we collected an archive of 52 old images showing hedges in Devon, mainly photographs but including a few paintings. Some of the photos are over 100 years old. You can view them by clicking the links below. Thanks to Totnes Image Bank, Blackawton and Strete History Group, for making these images available. Click on the images to open a slide show.
Images from the Devon Record office
The paintings below are © of the Devon Record Office (very helpful people) who allowed us to photograph them. They come from sketchbooks by Peter Orlando Hutchinson a 19th century artist based I believe in Sidmouth. He recorded events and places with a paintbrush much as we would take photographs to-day. Click on the images to view a slideshow.