The Dartington Solar Quest

The Dartington Solar Quest is an interesting example of the Dartington effect in action.  Started by Bill Elmhirst and his second wife Vera Strachen it is an example of the way in which aspects of alternative culture began to manifest in ways which were beyond the Trust’s control.  Below is a short extract about Solar Quest

I would be interested in anyone’s recollections of Solar Quest, particularly if anyone can confirm that George Trevelyan was a visitor.



The Dartington Solar Quest initiative was initiated on the basis of channelling, the ability to receive messages from spirits or non-physical entities, that of Vera Strachen, the second wife of William Elmhirst whom he married in 1972. Vera purportedly had the ability to channel messages from a number of ‘Masters’ including Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus Christ. In January 1972 Solar Quest began a monthly publication that was sent free to subscribers and contained messages from the Masters and other teachings. That year the Dartington Trust also conveyed the Staverton Bridge Farm to Dartington Solar Quest which became the physical base for the operation. The Dartington Solar Quest Centre opened as a healing centre to thepublic in June 1974. Over the following years it would offer regular mass healings, open discussions about the nature of its work and would provide a platform for a range of visiting speakers on new age and spiritual topics. It would also continue to publish books and pamphlets about its work. At a practical level Solar Quest was interested in natural medicines, healing, and meditation. There was also a strong interest in the ‘activation’ of earth energies. Spiritually, it had an evangelical streak which was a mission to end ‘the separation between human and divine realms’ (A Solar Questor, 1982, 7). To this end it offered a set of basic teachings and home courses which formed the basis of ‘a profound and holistic life transformation’ (ibid, 34). It was claimed that the teachings of the Solar Quest had spread to the United States, Nigeria and Central America amongst other places. Therefore Solar Quest became a small node in the emerging new age network of the 1970s.

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8 Responses to The Dartington Solar Quest

  1. Lynda Somerville says:

    I used to attend Dartington Solar Quest. It was an amazing place and so far ahead of its time. Yes I did see George Trevelyen there. If you read any of the booklets from that time you will see that much of what what was written has or is coming true. It was a very beautiful time in my life and I have continued on my spiritual path ever since then. I live in Plymouth about 26 miles away from Dartington. I would love to hear from you.

  2. Hobbs says:

    Vera was my grandmother and Bill my step grandfather. It’s interesting to come across this as I have a letter on my table from Bill which prompted me to search the net for anything on him. We are still in contact, but limited now.

    I remember being a pretty small kid at the meeting in Staverton collecting donations.

    The Solar Quest played a big part in my life, still does today really even though it exists no more as an organisation.

  3. Simon Rawlins says:

    Sorry to hear that DSQ is no more, as a teenage , I found the meetings to be very peaceful and cleared ones mind of the daily rubbish, it was a refreshing and exciting and some thing very spiritaul.
    I lost the silver cross with wings during my stay in South Africa.

  4. Kate says:

    My father was involved in the Dartington Solar Quest in the early 70s. His name was John White; he had separated from my Mother several years earlier so we rarely saw him. If anyone can remember anything about him I would appreciate contact as I need all the help I can get for a book I am working on.
    I also inherited his spiritual side so am receiving some help already. 🙂

  5. David Howells says:

    I remember reading Solar Quest booklets in about 1979 and have never forgot the spiritual effect they had on me – just from reading them I got pleasant tastes and moods. However, I read there about Joseph of Arimathea bringing the Holy Grael to England and leaving magnetic footprints as he walked which made a big impression on me and has never left me. I wish to read up on this again.

  6. Dutchdaughter says:

    In February 2016 I’ve been reading the book:William & the Solar Quest. from 2006. It resonated strongly with me and I wrote to the contact address in Porlock. In the middle of February (15/16/17) William himself contacted me by telephone from Guernsey(or Jersey) giving me his telephone no. and the address of his website, urging me to read ‘Activation’ online and calling him as soon as possible afterwards, for he had to go on a long journey a few days afterwards. As I was very busy at that time I couldn’t read all of ‘Activation’ before he left, so I never called him back, as he wasn’t home, but contacted him on the website a week ago as I now have read the book and have started on the other online books.
    However today I just now read on the Dartington website, that William Elmhirst died on February 29 2016, while travelling overseas. Did I miss a chance here?

  7. Ray Parkes says:

    I worked with William as I knew him and the Solar Quest for about eight years, up until about 2004. We met frequently at his home in Porlock and often at Dartington. I mapped the energy lines that he and Verra discovered when working with the Els. I was guided to move to California and have visited several of the sites he activated with Vera and did more activation in the USA mainly around San Fransisco. I continue to share the information we acquired. Some of the prophesy have already happened and Mother Earth is back in her rightful position ready for our ascension. That happened in 2014 and was noted by the Inuit elders who told NASA that the sun has moved. I checked and they are correct.

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