Secret Barnstaple goes behind the facade of the familiar to discover the lesser-known aspects of the town's fascinating past. Barnstaple has many secrets, and as you stroll down its paths you are walking through streets steeped in history. Home of a Norman mint and a medieval centre of the woollen trade in its heyday, the town has long been key to Devonshire's industry. There are clear reminders of the town's past everywhere, waiting for you to stop, look and listen to their intriguing stories.
On a journey through this ancient town, local historians Denise Holton and Elizabeth Hammett tells these forgotten and untold tales. You may think that you know Barnstaple, but take another look around and you will find more than you could possibly imagine.
Denise Holton is a writer and local historian and has lived in North Devon for over 25 years. She worked for the Town Council for 16 years and was the manager of Barnstaple Heritage Centre for most of that time. Denise is interested in all aspects of history, but her specialist subjects include ancient history and the history of costume. She plays several musical instruments and enjoys watercolour painting. Elizabeth was born and educated in Barnstaple. Her ancestors have lived in the town for at least 150 years and in North Devon for centuries. She has been interested in history for as long as she can remember and has written several articles, as well as the previous book on Barnstaple's history with co-author Denise Holton. She has been a volunteer at Barnstaple Heritage Centre for 13 years. Her work there includes leading tours of Barnstaple and researching and writing about the town's history.