Cockington Forge

The Forge has stood at the heart of the village for centuries, and any visitor can see how it’s earned its reputation as being one of the most photographed buildings in the country. Although often cited as being constructed in the 14th century, a forge had been on the site before that. In 1345 a fire destroyed large sections of the building, causing it to be re-built in the style you see today, so it was actually re-constructed in the 14th century. It is thought that Rose Cottage, now a popular tea rooms, was the traditional home of the blacksmith, and was passed on along with the forge. The first records of the forge’s blacksmiths start with a Mr Davey in 1615, whose daughter married his apprentice. From there, however, it is difficult to track down any other occupants. We know that the last blacksmith started working at the forge in the late 1940s, and held the position until 1971, when under the economic strain of a steadily decreasing workload, it was forced to close.

The Forge has stood at the heart of the village for centuries, and any visitor can see how it’s earned its reputation as being one of the most photographed buildings in the country. Although often cited as being constructed in the 14th century, a forge had been on the site before that. In 1345 a fire destroyed large sections of the building, causing it to be re-built in the style you see today, so it was actually re-constructed in the 14th century. It is thought that Rose Cottage, now a popular tea rooms, was the traditional home of the blacksmith, and was passed on along with the forge. . . . It seems likely that the front wall pre-dates the fire, being the only wall to be made almost entirely of cob, a building material made up of clay, sand, straw (which sticks out in places), water, and earth, and a popular choice for homes in the village.
Cockington Forge

Teignmouth, England

A Rough Sea | Teignmouth
Pubishers: J. Welch & Sons, Portsmouth

Google Street View.

Teignmouth is a large seaside town, fishing port and civil parish in the English county of Devon, situated on the north bank of the estuary mouth of the River Teign about 12 miles south of Exeter. It had a population of 14,749 in 2019 at the last census. From the 1800s onwards, the town rapidly grew in size from a fishing port associated with the Newfoundland cod industry to a fashionable resort of some note in Georgian times, with further expansion after the opening of the South Devon Railway in 1846. Today, its port still operates and the town remains a popular seaside and day trip holiday location.
. . .
By 1803 Teignmouth was called a “fashionable watering place”, and the resort continued to develop during the 19th century. Its two churches were rebuilt soon after 1815 and in the 1820s the first bridge across the estuary to Shaldon was built; George Templer’s New Quay opened at the port; and the esplanade, Den Crescent and the central Assembly Rooms (later the cinema) were laid out. The railway arrived in 1846 and the pier was built 1865–7. . . . The First World War had a disruptive effect on Teignmouth: over 175 men from the town lost their lives and many businesses did not survive. In the 1920s as the economy started to recover, a golf course opened on Little Haldon; the Morgan Giles shipbuilding business was established, and charabancs took employees and their families for annual outings to Dartmoor and elsewhere. By the 1930s the town was again thriving, and with the Haldon Aerodrome and School of Flying nearby, Teignmouth was advertised as the only south coast resort offering complete aviation facilities. During the Second World War Teignmouth suffered badly from “tip and run” air raids. It was bombed 21 times between July 1940 and February 1944 and 79 people were killed, 151 wounded, 228 houses were destroyed and over 2,000 damaged in the raids.

The Harbour, Teignmouth
D. Constance Ltd, London

Google Street View (approximate).

Berry Head, Brixham, England

Brixham Berry Head
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co

Google Street View.

Berry Head is a coastal headland that forms the southern boundary of Tor Bay in Devon, England. Lying to the east of the town of Brixham, it is a national nature reserve[1] and a local nature reserve

The headland towers 200 feet above the English Channel protecting what was an important naval anchorage during the Napoleonic War. There are two garrisoned forts (dating back to 1795) that were built to protect Brixham Harbour from the perceived threat of French Invasion. Limestone was quarried here from 1780 until the 1970s. In the latter years, limestone from Berry Head was used to produce steel for the manufacture of Ford cars at Dagenham.
Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust

Guildhall, Totnes, England

Guild Hall, Totnes
Publisher: W. Denis Moss

Photos on Google Maps

The current building was originally part of Totnes Priory, which had been established by Juhel de Totnes, feudal baron of Totnes. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII in the 1540s, his successor, King Edward VI, granted Totnes a charter, in 1553, allowing one of the former priory buildings, which had been used as the monks’ refectory, to be converted into a guildhall. Part of the first floor of the building was converted for use as a magistrates’ court in 1624. Soldiers were billeted in the building during the English Civil War: the council chamber at the west end of the first floor hosted a meeting between Oliver Cromwell and Thomas Fairfax at the oak tables there in 1646. The lower hall was used as a public meeting room as evidenced by the names of over 600 town mayors, who have served since 1359, listed on its walls. After prison cells had been built in the basement, the building was also used as the town gaol until 1887. The building was extended to the east by the addition of a loggia in front of the original building in 1897: the extension was designed with Doric order columns which had been recovered from the Exchange which had been demolished in 1878.

Circa 1553, reconstructed in 1624 (wall tablet)and extensively altered in 1829. On the site of the Benedictine Priory of St Mary founded by Judhael in 1086. After the Dissolution in 1536 the greater part of the priory church of St Mary was adapted for use as the parish church (qv), and the convential buildings, on the north side, were granted to Walter Smythe and, in 1553, to the Town Council who incorporated them in the new Guildhall buildings. The Courtroom appears to be on the site of the monastic refectory and retains some of the original window openings.
Historic England

Clapper Bridge, Postbridge, England

Celtic Bridge at Post Bridge, Dartmoor
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Clapper bridge over East Dart river. Probably C13 although it may have had more recent repairs. Roughly shaped blocks of granite to the piers with 3 rough granite lintels. 3-span bridge. This bridge is one of the medieval routes across the moor from Exeter to Tavistock.
Historic England.

The first written record of a clapper bridge here dates from 1655, but the bridge was definitely built sometime in the medieval period, possibly the 12th century. It is composed of three large granite piers supporting four massive slabs, with a total span of over 42 feet.The slabs were probably brought from Bellever, 1.5 miles away, or possibly from Lower White Tor, 2 miles distant. Either way, it was a serious undertaking to quarry, then transport the huge slabs. The bridge crosses the East Dart, a tributary of the River Dart, and was built so that packhorses could carry tin to Tavistock.

Immediately beside the clapper bridge is a second bridge, built in the 1780s to replace the medieval bridge and take traffic between Moretonhampstead and Tavistock.

Britain Express

Lychgate & Church, Mortehoe, England

Morthoe Church & Lychgate
Publisher: Francis Frith, Reigate

Google Street View.

St Mary Church in Mortehoe is very much the village focal point being a much photographed and loved part of the village. The original Norman Church was a very simple rectangle shape and over the years has undergone numerous additions, now having the status of a listed building. The church itself was built in the 13th Century, and is considered to be a good example of a Norman Church with a barrel roof and Norman architecture. The pew ends in St Mary’s are quite stunning, as they are all carved depicting different symbols or scenes.
Woolacombe & Mortehoe Voice

Lych-gate to Mortehoe Parish Church 1886 by Edward Burgess. Scantling slate roof with slightly swept up hipped ends and shaped rafter ends, supported on 4 timber posts with short curved braces to each face which sit on wooden wall plates on low rubble walls. Wooden gate of 2 leaves, each leaf of 6 panels, the lower panels are blind with pierced crosses, the upper panels open with marginal slats also pierced with crosses. 5 wide slate steps to front. Large iron lamp bracket in situ.
Historic England

Lynmouth, Devon

Lynmouth from Harbour.
On back:
View Post Card
“Platinotone” fro O’ Flammger (Stengel & Co.)
39, Redcross Street, London E.C.

Google Street View

The twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth together make up one of the most popular seaside resorts in Devon. Though the two villages are often linked together, they have very different characters. Lynton, on top of the cliffs, is a Victorian resort, while Lynmouth, at the base of the cliffs, is a historic fishing village of stone-built cottages beside the River Lyn.
Britain Express


Street View

Exeter Castle (Rougemont), Exeter, Devon

Rougemont Castle, Exeter
Postmarked 1924
Publisher: “H. W. & Co”

Google Street View.

The Castle of Exeter stands atop the highest part of the city, within the north-east angle of the city walls. From the reddish colour of the volcanic rock on which it stood, it became known locally as Rougemont Castle. . . . After its surrender to General Fairfax, in 1646, this once formidable castle ceased to be a military fortress, and although most of it’s its towers and battlements remain, the impact of this magnificent structure is hidden behind the undergrowth of the surrounding park and gardens. It is today best viewed from within the castle yard. There are now but few remains of the very early buildings within the walls, its site being mostly occupied by the former Devon Assize Hall and Sessions House; but the lofty entrance gatehouse, with a circular arch, is still to be seen from Castle St
Exeter Castle

The Roman-Saxon defences were still of sufficient quality in 1066 to enable the citizens to attempt resistance to William the Conqueror. Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, mother of King Harold who had been killed trying to repel the Normans at Hastings, had moved to the town and this coupled with Norman taxation demands inevitably incited rebellion. In 1067 the South West rose up in revolt against the invaders prompting William to lead a large army into the area to quell resistance. Exeter refused to surrender prompting him to initiate a siege which forced capitulation after 18 days.

With resistance in Exeter neutralised William sought to immediately stamp his authority with the construction of a castle which started as an earth and timber ringwork fort positioned on the highest point of land within the Roman walls. The Domesday Book of 1086 implies that a significant number of Saxons houses were demolished to make room for the fortification – probably as much a statement to the local populace as the castle itself. William entrusted Baldwin FitzGilbert (also known as Baldwin de Meules) to complete the structure and it was he who commissioned the impressive stone Gatehouse Tower. This tall structure would have dwarfed all others around it and would have clearly articulated the Norman message of power and permanence. Based on the Saxon style of architecture, its construction almost certainly used forced local labour. The wooden stockade surrounding the castle was quickly replaced with a stone curtain wall. The unfinished site was attacked by rebels in 1069 but not taken.
Castles Forts Battles

“Ground Plan of Exeter Castle, from an original survey in the reign of Henry VII”, from Archaeological Journal, vol 7, 1850

This monument includes a Norman ringwork, bailey, gatehouse, towers and castle curtain wall and parts of a Roman city with its defences, an Anglo Saxon Burh, a medieval walled city and 17th to 18th century gardens all s”ituated on and around a rocky knoll in Exeter called Rougemont. The Norman castle was constructed within and utilised the northern angle of the city walls. It survives differentially; the reutilised city walls to the north east and north west still attain a considerable height. Additional towers were inserted at the junction with the city walls with later bastion towers and a postern which partially stand. Parts of the curtain wall of the castle are still visible and the line of it can be traced. . . . The outer bailey with walls and barbican was probably in existence by 1136 when the castle was besieged by King Stephen, although they were dismantled sometime after 1587.
Historic England

After this it began to flourish again, till William the Conqueror laid close siege to it. However, the inhabitants held out till part of the wall was thrown down, and then they surrendered, upon the best terms they could obtain. In the reign of king Stephen, Baldwin Rivers, earl of Devon, fortified this city and cattle in favour of Maud the empress ; but it was forced to surrender for want of provisions. After this it underwent three other sieges ; for in the reign of Henry VII. Perkin Warbeck, pretending to be duke of York, second son to Edward IV. laid siege to Exeter, and battered it with ordnance ; but the citizens defended themselves, till they were relieved by Edward Courtney, earl of Devon. The king was so pleased with their bravery, that he made them a visit, and gave them the sword which he then wore, to be born before the mayor, as also a cap of maintenance. In the reign of Edward VI, the rebels of Devonshire and Cornwall, pretending to be displeased with the reformation, came before this city, in July 1544, and summoned the citizens to surrender. The rebels began the siege, by stopping up all the passages for provisions, cutting their conduit-pipes, and breaking down all their bridges. After this they battered the city with their cannon ; but the citizens bravely defended themselves, though reduced to famine, till the lord John Ruffel defeated the rebels, and raised the siege.
“A description of England and Wales, containing a particular account of each county etc.”; vol III, Newbery and Carnan, 1769

But neglect fell on the fortress, as it did upon most of the castles of the kingdom in the reign of Elizabeth, so that in the next century it is spoken of as entirely ruinous, and it is doubtful if in the Civil War the castle was of any actual value to the defences of the town. Exeter was taken in 1643 by Prince Maurice, hut in 1646 was surrendered to Fairfax on the first summons and without sustaining a siege.

The ancient fortress is de-scribed by Clark as standing in the N. corner of the city, on the summit of a natural eminence of reddish stone, having the sides which grow out of the valley below artificially scarped ; the knoll is abrupt on the N.E. and N.W., sloping somewhat on the other sides. At the foot of the scarped front is a ditch, outside which the hill is again scarped down to the bottom of the valley : and a second ditch once existed on the S. At the top was a rampart of earth 30 feet high, but this has been reduced and the main ditch on the N.E. and N.W. tilled up and converted into a boulevard ; the ditch on the S. and S.E. remaining still unaltered.

The Conqueror came before Exeter on the N.E., and summoned the city just below the castle at the E. gate, entering it through a breach in Athelstan’s wall. The gatehouse is the oldest part left, and is probably his building ; it is in two storeys, with a drawbridge over the ditch in front. . . . The chapel was near the W. corner, but it cannot be told what buildings were contained in the enceinte, though it is evident that, as at Corfe and Taunton, no regular keep was ever erected here. The ancient entrance has been walled up, the existing one being on the W. of the main gatehouse.
“The Castles of England: their story and structure, Vol 2”, James Mackenzie, 1896

“Plan of Rougemont Castle in Exeter, Devon, England by John Norden, 1617, with text additions by George Oliver, 1861”, from Wikimedia Commons, also in Archaeological Journal, vol 7

Situated on a high eminence, north of the town, are the remains of the Castle, called Rougemont. When this fortress was first erected is unknown ; but it was either rebuilt or much repaired by William the Conqueror, who bestowed it on Baldwin de Briono, husband of Albrina, his niece, in the possession of whose descendants it remained till the fourteenth year of the reign of Henry III., who then took it into his own hands. It was completely dismantled during the Civil War, and has never since been rebuilt
“Abbeys, castles, and ancient halls of England and Wales”, John Timbs, 1872

The gatehouse is decidedly original, and a good example of a rude Norman gatehouse. It is about 30 feet square, with walls 6 feet thick. At each end is a full-centred archway, of 12 feet opening, very plain, having a square rib 2 feet broad, with deep recesses or “nooks” of 2 feet on each side. The southern capital of the inner archway shows traces of Norman carving. There was no portcullis, each portal having doors; the space between the portals was covered with timber. On each of the two outer sides are two broad flat pilasters. The superstructure is lofty, and seems to have contained two stories. Above each portal are two windows, of 2 feet 6 inches opening, divided by a space of about 2 feet. . . . There is no evidence as to what buildings, save the chapel, were contained within the court of the castle. There must of necessity47 have been a hall, kitchen, lodgings, stabling, and barracks; and probably most of these buildings stood near or on the site of the Sessions House, where there seems to have been a postern gate. There is no evidence of a keep, nor, at so great a height, was any needed. Rectangular keeps, though found at Corfe, Sherborne, and Taunton, were not common in the west. A shell-keep, as at Trematon, Launceston, Dunster, Restormel, or Truro, would, in such a position, have been the usual structure; but the previous earthworks had converted the only site for a shell-keep into a pit so deep that it would have been commanded from the ramparts. Probably the Normans regarded the whole court as a shell-keep.
Mediæval Military Architecture in England, Vol. II, George Thomas Clark, 1884