Photographs, William Gilhen Collection (PD/19)

SWiB Reference PD/19
Accession Number 47
Coverage Temporal 1890s-1930s
Type Photographic

Administrative Detail -

The majority of the photographs in this collection were captured by William Gilhen b. 1866 who was a local, late Victorian photographer. It was William's stepson, Richard Edginton, who put the collection together in to the album which has now been deposited by the daughter of Pamela Serpell (nee Coles) whose aunt Ellen Jane Horrill married William.

The Horrill family lived in St Budeaux, having arrived there via Callington and Lezant. Pamela's mother Emily Horrill married in to the Coles family while Emily's sister, Ellen Jane Horrill, married, firstly, Thomas Henry Edginton, who tragically died a few years later, and secondly, William Gilhen.

In the collection there are a lot of photographs of family members. A large number of the general photographs are late-Victorian (1890s - prior to William’s marriage to Ellen), but many are later and vividly capture the flavour of Edwardian Plymouth.

Sadly William died at the comparatively young age of 57, in 1923, and it is remarkable not only that his photographs have survived since then, but have survived virtually unseen – until now.

Scope and Content

Collection of early photographs relating to Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall.

Collection Catalogue (full) PD-19_Catalogue.doc

Access -

Open access.

View the full collection via the SWiB collection galleries page or contact us to book an appointment to view/request further information.

Reproduction Conditions

Reproduction from scanned surrogates of originals upon request.


Description compiled by Stacey Dyer, Archivist, 25 March 2009.


All rights reserved. Site design supported by Rob Elliott at Strathview Consultants