Over the last few weeks the Young Explainers have been getting underway with all aspects of research in preparation for new labels, Art Bites and gallery guides.

Two members of the team, Vicky Smith and Ellie Barker, took a visit to the prior residence of William Cotton in Ivybridge. The trip was very rewarding as on finding the house had been split into three residences they were able to talk to most of the families who now live there. The residents gave all the knowledge they had on the estate and what they knew about the house, as well as giving us a tour of their beautiful sections of the house, each as grand as the other. Where the house was divided, which was done in such a way it complemented the house, you can see the old archways of the grand entrance of the house so you can imagine the grandeur of the house when in its original state.

They explained to us about how the front of the house once looked, and in which direction the horse and carriages would drive the family or guests up the drive.

Whilst there the pair also took the opportunity to visit the graves of William and Mary Cotton (William’s wife) which are situated in the grave yard, which is only metres away from the house. One of the residences of the house told us that he goes down and cleans the ivy and moss off the graves from time-to-time so that the graves are up kept.

William Cotton's Grave at the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Ivybridge

William Cotton’s Grave at the Parish Church of St John the Evangelist, Ivybridge