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Mamhead

Mamhead is located within Teignbridge local authority area. Historically it formed part of Exminster Hundred. It falls within Kenn Deanery for ecclesiastical purposes. The Deaneries are used to arrange the typescript Church Notes of B.F.Cresswell which are held in the Westcountry Studies Library. The population was 230 in 1801 178 in 1901 . Figures for other years are available on the local studies website. In 1641/2 46 adult males signed the Protestation returns.

A parish history file is held in Dawlish Library. You can look for other material on the community by using the place search on the main local studies database. Further historical information is also available on the Genuki website.

Maps: The image below is of the Mamhead area on Donn's one inch to the mile survey of 1765.

Mamhead area on Donn's map of 1765 (mamthumb.jpg)

On the County Series Ordnance Survey mapping the area is to be found on 1:2,500 sheet 102/2,3,6,7 Six inch (1:10560) sheet 102NW,102NE
The National Grid reference for the centre of the area is SX930811. On the post 1945 National Grid Ordnance Survey mapping the sheets are: 1:10,000 (six inch to a mile: sheet SX98SW, 1:25,000 mapping: sheet Explorer 031, Landranger (1:50,000) mapping: sheet 192. Geological sheet 339 also covers the area.

Illustrations: The image below is of Mamhead as included in the Library's illustrations collection. Other images can be searched for on the local studies catalogue.

Mamhead (SC1682)

Extract from Devon by W.G.Hoskins (1954), included by kind permission of the copyright holder:

MAMHEAD is a small parish on the massive E. flank of the Haldon Hills, which rise to over 800 ft. Mamhead Park is exceedingly beautiful, with many noble trees, and views over a luxuriant landscape to the sea. The estate was sold by Sir Peter Carew to Giles Ball, whose son Sir Peter Ball (1598-1680) became attorney-general to Queen Henrietta Maria, and recorder of Exeter. He began the building of a mansion here, to replace an older house (which had been garrisoned for the king in the Civil War), which was completed by his son before 1718. His grandson Thomas Ball (1671-1749) was a merchant. When he succeeded to the estate about 1718 he brought back numerous exotic trees from his European journeys and planted extensively. It was he who erected the obelisk on the hill above the house in 1743 "out of a regard to the safety of such as might use to sail out of the Port of Exon [Exeter] or any others who might be driven on the coast."

In 1823 Mamhead was bought by Mr. Newman, whose family had been prosperous merchants at Dartmouth since Elizabethan times, and he completely rebuilt the house on a new site in 1830, to the designs of Salvin. Westley Farm was rebuilt by Salvin in 1833. The church (St. Thomas the Apostle) stands in the park. It is in the main a 15th century building. The chancel was rebuilt about 1830 by the Newmans, who also built the S. transept as the Mamhead pew. Among the rectors of Mamhead was William Johnstone Temple (rector 1766-77), grandfather of Archbishop Temple and a member of the company who gathered to hear Dr. Johnson talk. Temple and Boswell were fellow-students at Edinburgh, and Boswell visited his friend at Mamhead rectory just after Easter, 1775. The rector was a water-drinker, and it is said that under his influence Boswell made a vow under the branches of the great churchyard yew at Mamhead- still flourishing-never to get drunk again.

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Page Updated 18/05/03