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Mamhead Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Kenton, Devon

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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

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1169108

English Heritage Legacy ID: 85874

Location: Kenton, Teignbridge, Devon, EX6

County: Devon

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

Find accommodation in


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
Record Office.

Listing NGR: SX9337381966

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