In 1972 James Ravilious moved with his wife to North Devon, her childhood home.  Soon afterwards he was hired by the Beaford Centre to start a photographic archive recording the landscape and people of the area. Robin Ravilious, his widow worked closely with him in his photographic work and has written his biography.

James Ravilious took nearly 80,000 photographs for the Beaford Centre in an archive that may be unique in its comprehensiveness, but his artistry and empathy also caused it to contain some of the greatest photographs ever taken of rural life in Britain.