Object 20: Church House

Harry Harrison reports on Church Houe “To the best of my knowledge, and inspired by Emma Tucker ………… In the late medieval period, it became fashionable to place pews in churches, which meant churches could no longer be used for purposes other than worship. This led to the building of “Church Houses” to hold events that would previously have been held in churches and Church Cottage was one such building. This places the probable date of construction as either the late 15th or early 16th centuries. The layout is typical of Church Houses in the south west – a small ale house (brewery) and a larger kitchen downstairs, with a large open plan meeting room upstairs.
By the early 19th century, the building was occupied as two separate cottages by tenants. The cottages and surrounding land were owned by the Dovell family who farmed land around Killington – James & Matilda from the mid 1800’s; passing down to their son Francis Dovell, who in turn passed them to his daughters Caroline & Susan Dovell. Caroline & Susan built and lived at The Bungalow (now known as The Haven) right next to Church Cottage until Caroline’s death in 1956. The cottages and some land were purchased from Caroline’s estate by James Lindsay who lived at Heddon Hall and was the MP for North Devon at the time. Later in 1956, the cottages were sold to two sisters – Grace Rouse & Irene Jones – who became the first owner occupiers of the cottages in modern times.
Grace and Irene died in 1972 and 1977 respectively, and the cottages were purchased by Dick & Pippa Wainwright who converted them into one house. The rest is history as they say.

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