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Images of Dawlish

These images were presented and discussed at the History Group meeting on December 5th 2017.  This is the second set of pictures, the first five were shown here from mid-December to mid-February. If you have any further information (or corrections) on any of these pictures please let me know. .

                                                                                                                                                 David Gearing


This is one of a series of watercolours commissioned in 1848 by the Great Western Railway from a Mr W Dawson of Exeter, that covered the whole line from St Davidís station to Totnes. This image shows the line just north of Starcross station. The road on the right marks the line of the pre-railway river bank. In the foreground is one of the pits dug out to provide material for the base of the railway line. They were supposed to be flushed out by tidal water flowing through holes in the embankment but this didnít work and as a result river mud and weed became trapped, and stank terribly in hot weather. This caused much distress and some illness to Starcross residents who petitioned the GWR to fill in the pits but nothing was done, and eventually the work was carried out in 1863 at the expense of the Earl of Devon. It isnít clear what the workmen are doing, but most likely they are removing some of the accumulated weed. 


This is another image in the 1848 series. Rather confusingly the illustrated map, more or less aligned to the painting of the coastal scene, is shown upside down. Itís shown the right way up below.

The scene is centred on Coryton Cove, here called ĎCrane Coveí Ė perhaps the artist misheard when he asked someone what it was called.
On the map Cliff Cottage (where Miss Coryton lived) and Clevelands are shown on the cliffs above. The Kennaway tunnel entrance has been angled so it can be seen more clearly. The archway under the railway line to the beach still exists, but is boarded up now to prevent trespassing on the line.
The people on the beach admiring the scenery or whispering sweet nothings to one another are in danger of being cut off by the tide - until the Earlyís Walk promenade was built in 1885/6 one had to walk on the beach from Coryton Cove to the main beach, and at high tide the foot of the cliffs were washed by the sea.


Collecting cut corn into sheaves using a horse drawn machine, taken at Gatehouse Farm ca 1910.

Although agriculture was a major employer in the area until the early 20th century and much of what was produced was sold and consumed locally, there are relatively few photos of farm activities.

The land of Gatehouse Farm is currently being covered by housing.



This is a lithograph of a fine painted view from WestCliff down Teignmouth Hill. There are substantial properties along Teignmouth Hill and Marine Parade. The building at a higher level in the centre of the picture is Seagrove House. It looks like sometime in the 1820s, but if thatís the Public Baths towards the far end of Marine Parade itís no earlier than 1828.

This is another depiction of Seagrove House, from a few years earlier. Itís a drawing dated 2nd September 1817 from a sketchbook by someone called Jeffs, and was recently listed for sale by an art dealer.
He calls it Sir William Watsonís Cottage - Watson was a physician and astronomer who wrote ĎA Treatise on Timeí.