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Latitude: 50.6276 / 50°37'39"N
Longitude: -3.5089 / 3°30'31"W
OS Eastings: 293373
OS Northings: 81966
OS Grid: SX933819
Mapcode National: GBR P1.HCWX
Mapcode Global: FRA 37JD.YN5
Plus Code: 9C2RJFHR+2F
Entry Name: Mamhead Cottage
Listing Date: 2 December 1988
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1169108
English Heritage Legacy ID: 85874
Location: Kenton, Teignbridge, Devon, EX6
Civil Parish: Kenton
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Kenton All Saints
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
Tagged with: Cottage
SX 98 SW
5/289 Mamhead Cottage, shown as
- Maraylea on the OS map
Garden house to Oxton House (q.v.), designed in 1792 by the Reverend John Swete who
rebuilt Oxton House, 1781-1782. Swete used the building as a rustic retreat and
displayed his watercolours in it (Gentlemans Magazine. (1793), p. 592-593. Altered
and extended in the 1970s, repair in progress at time of survey (1987). Whitewashed
rendered stone rubble, outshuts said to be cob ; slate peaked roof to main block
(formerly thatched); one stack with a modern brick shaft. Idiosyncratic Picturesque
style, reflecting Swete's personal enthusiasm for Picturesque landscapes and
buildings which prompted his 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon'.
Plan: The original arrangement is still discernible, although wrapped round on 2
sides by 1970s additions. It was a 2-storey 1 room plan cottage, commanding
spectacular views, with an external stair on the west side, rising between 2
outshuts. The first floor room has large windows on all sides except the west. The
external stair, originally with a thatched pentice roof on an open arcade and narrow
open gallery on the west side, has been glazed in and the thatch replaced with slate.
There was a door on the north side, now converted to a window. A small single-storey
wing on the south side is not shown in the original watercolours but has a Gothick
window very similar to those in the main block. Single storey additions, one partly
enclosing the wing on the south side, one on the east side.
Exterior: 2 storeys with single-storey additions. The main 2-storey block has
diagonal buttresses at each corner and canted oriel windows on the north, south and
east sides, with the remains of diamond leaded panes and ornamental glazing in the
Gothick heads of the lights. The north side has a timber arched doorway with moulded
shafts to the jambs, converted to a window. The gabled wing on the south side also
has a pretty Gothick window.
Interior: The gallery on the west side has a coved plaster ceiling with plaster
vaulting. The first floor room preserves the original coved plaster ceiling and
original polished Babbacombe limestone chimney-piece with mouldings in white Italian
marble and a Babbacombe limestone hearthstone. The windows retain some coloured
glass, some C20 replacement, some fragments of very pretty painted C18 or early C19
glass including naturalistic painted flowers, and some pieces of figures.
The account of the building to the Gentleman's Magazine describes Swete's
inscription over the door "Sibi et fuis amicis IS 1792 Hic licet incertibus horis
ducere follicitae jucunda oblivia vitae". Swete illustrates the building in his
'Picturesque sketches of Devon'.
The Gentleman's Magazine (1793), p. 592-593.
Swete, J., 'Picturesque sketches of Devon' (1792-1801). Vol. 11, MS held in Devon
Listing NGR: SX9337381966
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