“Every village should have a book like this,” says Peter Beacham of English Heritage, in his Foreword to The Houses of Lympstone.

Published on 10th September, Rosemary Smith’s new book takes us on a tour of our village, describing all the 93 listed houses, and many others of architectural and historic interest. It tells us their history, and introduces us to some of the people who have lived in them. There are the families from the big houses, the shipbuilders and merchants, and the old Lympstone families who lived in the cottages, the fishermen, boatbuilders, undertakers, shopkeepers, farm workers, coal merchants, smugglers and lace makers.

And through the memories of diarists such as Annie Thomas, Fanny Orchard and Minnie Street, we learn of life as it was lived in Lympstone 100 years ago, with stories of the many village shops, of the postman who organized the Saturday Night Penny Concerts, of torchlight processions to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking, and tea in the Big House.

The book is illustrated with 55 black and white photographs by Harland Walshaw, and is published in hardback by Lympstone Historic Houses Group. It is on sale at the Post Office at £8.50.

Helen Dimond