Part 4-Memories


Sea sand was used for fertilizer, for it’s calcium content. By 1770 farmers wanted lime.

Lime kilns.  Look out for keyed entrance, height, diameter and shape. Packhorses could go to the top and walk round to allow stone to be unloaded direct.  Wells were packed with alternate layers of small coal and limestone, and above kiln (sink ? as burnt.)? Into the eye or grate was pushed furze bush burning birch twigs. Door shut fast and sealed (for slow and thorough burning). Half burnt or overburnt lumps angered the farmer. 1 ton of limestone = 11cwt after 8 hours burning. 3 to 5 tons per acre.  Busiest times were Autumn and Spring. Heat and fumes. Drink included in the cost to the farmer. Cold and wet weather, the kilns were social places and keep dinners warm. Tramps would often climb to the top of the kiln and fall asleep. (11/2 cwt bushel was used. )?


Pembroke – Survey 400 years ago.

Local limestone.  Red sandstone doors.  Beer stones for arches.  Granite for windows has been replaced, once had wooden frames.

Organ 1880 —  before there was a string orchestra in the Tower gallery.  Bert Bridgeman sang in it.  Uncle , the flute, 6 or 7 in all.  Orchestra went on strike and went to the Chapel ( on the hill?). Choir outings in four-horse brake to Slapton.

Bells go back to 1553, (recent 1636,1639,1885).

Clock – modern, 1914-1918 Great War memorial.

Floodlighting – 1939-1945 War Memorial.


Frederick John Bridgeman (85 years old),  Born in Torhill House in 1882.  He remembers :- the Castle in ruins, caretaker in charge. The estate owned by the Buse family. Items in the castle made in the foundry. Gilberts 1930? Cast iron firebrakes, wall brackets, agricultural work, ploughshares. Cooking ranges in the local cottages, with the name ‘Bridgeman’ on the doors.

4 wheelwrights, 4 smiths, moulders and machinists employed. On the top floor by wheel provided power. Horse shoes. Washtubs. My brother and I paddled down main road. My uncle owned the “Roal Oak “ pub.  Ropewalk close by.  Dame school run by Otway at Compton. Mr. Grey was the headmaster at Marldon, 3d. a week for children, 1d. for villagers.

MRS.MOORE – MISS BAWDON.  (80 years old)

She went to Sunday School at the age of three in the Old Chapel by Compton shop, then the new chapel (now old house at Compton). 96 children in Sunday School.

Blacksmiths shop on both sides, double doors for the smithy are still there.

Walked to Marldon School – home to dinner and back again. Home at 4p.m.

3 cottages and later 7 cottages pulled down. Floods.

Marldon Congregational Church. Miss Parsons. The building was opened in 1864.  Rocky room underneath opened in 1964.


Employed at Foundry in 1916. Fixed all sorts of things. Waterwheels maintained at Bickley Bottom to send water to Bulleigh Barton. Tom did gardening for 6d. an hour. Never allowed to smoke except when firing wheels, – took a long time to get a pipe going. The brook goes under the foundry.  Culvert closed the stream and made the water flood over water meadows on the other side of the road.


(Talking about 1912-1913).  Sheep shearing, horse races, Smokey House cider and ginger at 6p.m. (Smokey-Ship Inn, (Sheep Inn)).  Marldon sheep shearers were famous as far as Plymouth.

ERNIE HARVEY  (60 years old)

Born at Rookery Cottages, remembers – Horse carriages outside the pub on election day. (no date). At age of 4 invited to Compton Castle which was owned by Mr. S Hellier of Brixham. The castle was all in ruins.

A silent picture was made at Compton Castle called “The Silver Bridge” with Madge Tree, George VI, as a cdet told to put out fire or his pants would be ——–?.

Cider press in farmyard. (Peter Farm)

Chapel Sunday School outing (all day) to Teignmouth in farm wagons.  4 in — carriage from Torquay called at Marldon church.


End of 1918 War. Barn at Peters Farm for celebration.  * This is now the private house known as “Greystones”.   See the reference to this celebration in Mrs.  Wards Memoirs.

Old quarry now the village hall.  Water came from Clappps Well. Water piped across field.

Ford Tin Lizzy into Paignton once a week, getout and walk up Marldon hill.

Big garage near the shops for the first chassis bus*. 1924 first buses from Palace  Avenue to Compton Castle, return via Preston down road.  * This was the original  large garage (replaced 2009) adjoining “Springwater Cottage”.  The MLHG           has the original large enamel tinplate sign.


Independent hall (from Church school) Quarry sold for 1s. A year, Hall cost £525.


Council houses built in 1928 in Furzegood. (Land) belonged to Revd. Trewelvyn(?), he kept a part for a garden (near Smith’s house). 16 originally on one side. Furzegood was a private road with big white gates – closed for 1 day a year.  7/6 a week rent until 1965.  Light allowed for 1 room upstairs and 3 downstairs, but not connected. Baths in wash-houses – cold tap. Hot water from boiler and ladled out. No refuse collection, tins and bottles over hedge. Many trees gone in school field.


The W.I. was started in 1934 by Mrs. Edwards or Edmonds ? of Cross Cottage ? Mr. & Mrs. Hiley came to Marldon in 1932.


“Downalong” was Club Cottage – medical dues paid for free treatment.  Alice Westaway’s son cut his head and she had to ask for a medical letter and then she pushed her son down to Paignton Hospital, he got stitched up and then she pushed him back up the hill again in the pushchair.

First sewage system laid after 1945, before that there were earth closets.

Compton Castle 1329. Saxon family (William de Compton) over 7 generations held from the Bishops of Exeter.  Re-owning – get rid of ivy and then consider how to restore to modernrequirements – no passages.  3 0f 5 towers have sanitary shafts – still used for soilpipes and water pipes.  Old kitchen.


Lived in cottage near chapel – now pulled down. Went to Aptor to get milk.  School – infants tiered by steps?  Boys and girls separated by big curtain.   Lime kilns were in constant use (Underhill) Kids would warm up.  Worked for Singers at Occombe House and then Oldway. 1915.

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