Here at wembury we don’t just do Rockpool rambles and craft activities. We often cater for people who want to do an event without the children or grandchildren. Our most recent event of this kind was a Wembury History Wander, led by David Pinder from the Wembury History Society.

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Arial photo taken in 1946. The white breaking go to waves mark Wembury beach. Church road runs to the North-East, with the beginnings of some ribbon development.

The wander started at the Marine centre, and moved down towards the beach and the Old Mill cafe. We talked about how the mill was run and the possible source of the water to turn the wheel.

Moving around to the top of the beach we looked across the bay and to the Mewstone. The house on the Mewstone wasn’t mentioned as we were focusing on the last 150 years.

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However this is a good image of some visitors to the Mewstone in the 1920’s.

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Image from South Devon AONB

What might have been….

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In 1908 plans were put forward to build the countries largest port in Wembury bay. Stretching from the River Yealm in the east to Wembury Point in the west, and protected by breakwaters stretching well out to sea. This was to replace Plymouths ageing port and rival its naval base. These plans were widely accepted, and if not for the refusal of the necessary permit by the House of Lords, the port would have totally transformed the Bay.

The walk took us through Mill meadow, where we learnt of a second mill, a bungalow built by the stream, and the dozens of little temporary sheds used by holiday makers from plymouth. These were later made into permanent residences for people fleeing Plymouth during the second world war.

We left the meadow and rounded the church to the fields beyond, to hear about the Hon. Mrs Ida Marie Sebag-Montefiore. A enthusiastic horticulturalist who owned Thorn house in Wembury. Ida moved out of Thorn in 1938, leaving a large proportion of her land closest to the coast to the National Trust.

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We learnt a lot about how after the Langdon estate was split up and auctioned off, the locals worked towards protecting the land closest to the bay from development, and eventually turning it over to the National Trust.

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Langdon house in 1927. Photographed when the estate was divided and put to auction.

We both had a great time on the wander and learnt so much about the area, the people that lived here, and the fascinating history surrounding it all.

 

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