Part of an unique map giving a bird's-eye view of Crediton over 260 years ago has been acquired by the Devon Heritage Centre for permanent preservation with generous support from the Friends of Devon's Archives.
The historic map dating from 1743 has been purchased at a sale in London by Devon County Council with financial assistance from the Friends and the Crediton Area History Museum Society. Historians have long been aware that this map fragment might still survive, as a larger part of the same town map, which is owned by a local family, has been on deposit in Devon County Council's Record Office since 1978.
The new piece of map (see picture) shows part of one of Devon's most ancient towns just months before a large part of Crediton was destroyed by fire. At least sixteen people died on 14 August 1743 - more than the number who perished in the Great Fire of London.
The newly acquired portion of the map was unveiled before the Mayor of Crediton on 8th August, local historical society members and Councillor Hobden. The map is currently on display in the search room of the Devon Heritage Centre.