Ian Pykett

Ian Pykett’s career has centred on the development and commercialisation of high technology imaging innovations.

His 18-year residence in the Old Vicarage of Ashford-in-the-Water kindled his love of local history, an interest he now pursues in parallel with his long-time avocations of choral singing and organ playing.

“When bell-ringing one Sunday at Holy Trinity Church, Ashford-in-the-Water, I became intrigued with a parish priest named in a list hanging on the wall in the tower – a priest who had been the incumbent for the remarkably long period of 52 years.

He and his family would have lived in Ashford vicarage (formerly my home) for longer than any other resident. If any shade should linger there, it must surely be that of this man: John Reddaway Luxmoore.

Having googled his name, I gained the impression that he was a descendant of Bishop John Luxmoore of St Asaph, and that he therefore came from a highly privileged and very wealthy family background. If so, why would this clergyman, with so many opportunities available to him through well-developed and influential social and ecclesiastical networks, be content to spend half a century in a small village in rural Derbyshire?

My insatiable curiosity led me into the fields of genealogy and Victorian social history, where I searched for answers to my questions about this man and his family, and about the society in which they lived. I also became fascinated with the details of Revd Luxmoore’s restoration of the Church of Holy Trinity, Ashford – his most visible legacy.”


Revd Luxmoore has been reviewed by Paul Auchterlonie, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, and the Book Review Editor for The Devon Historian:

He says,

‘I wrote the review myself, and felt that it would give your book more exposure if the review were published online, where your friends from Ashford-in-the Water can read it, rather than publishing it in three months’ time in The Devon Historian, which is only available to subscribers.

‘Your book was an enjoyable and interesting read. Thank you for sending it to Devon History Society for review.’

You can read the review on pp 28-29 of the August 2022 issue of the Devon Historial Society’s Newsletter, attached; or online, at:


Click Here to read Kenneth Hillier’s review.