APRIL 2022

The beginning of March saw us hold our first open Social Evening of the year in the Village Hall, and it was very pleasing to see it so well attended. We had forty-two people come to listen and view a very interesting talk and slide show, given by Nick Pannell, about various ships that have come to grief in Torbay over the years, some that we knew about and some that were probably unknown to most.
 It was also good to be able to boost our group numbers as five new members signed up on the night.
Our next Social Evening is in June, so more about that in another report!

Village cobblestones often crop up as a topic of conversation (they do, seriously!), so here is a small excerpt from our Parish archives which may hopefully be of interest.

As you may know, the cobbled area in front of the Church House Inn extends to the cottage with the pointed arch windows, as in the main image, (Marldon’s first Post Office) towards the rear of the lychgate steps and also continues into the frontage of the adjacent cottage which backs onto the lower churchyard. It is interesting to note that although the steps up to the lychgate are of stone, the level area under the lychgate and the further level area at the top of the steps are in fact cobbled with small stones from the 19th Century. However, the cobbles between the top stone step and the start of the concrete path were laid at the same time as the path, around 1996, but it isn’t unreasonable to assume all the paths around the Church from that point were at one time also cobbled.

With Marldon being the small rural Village it once was (and still is some would like to say), it is certain that there would have been many examples of cobbled areas – with three farms close to the old Village centre there would have been cobbled farmyards and areas giving access to farmhouses, barns and other buildings where animals and carts were kept, as well as the floors of all those buildings. Indeed most places that had regular use by feet, hooves or wheels would have had hard surfaces leading out of the mud which could have been easily washed down and cleaned.
 In addition to the area outside the Church House Inn and possibly the Church paths, the floor of the adjacent National Trust barn is cobbled, as probably were the adjoining barns which are no longer there to be seen. There will be many other examples around the old Village as well, along with the older parts of Compton.
Keep your eyes open as you walk round, and imagine how many years ago those cobblestones were laid, and how many varying feet and wheels those cobblestones will have had pass over them!

Derek .. MLHG Chair
www. marldonlocalhistorygroup.com

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