Local historian: The Priory and The Brewery

By Ray Bickel

17th Nov 2023 | Local News

Looking towards The Priory from Priory Rd, Dawlish (Google)
Looking towards The Priory from Priory Rd, Dawlish (Google)

We now arrive at The Priory in our tour of historical buildings and streets.

The Priory

Why The Priory? This is a mystery as Dawlish didn't have any religious houses. Any ideas?

Built with an elaborate external design in 1843/4, possibly for Cornelius Raleigh, who lived there soon afterwards. His ancestor was Sir Walter Raleigh.

The house was up for sale in 1858, and was described as a 'picturesque marine residence' in the Swiss style with six bedrooms, dining, drawing and breakfast rooms, a breakfast room, coach house, stabling and walled garden.

In 1928, it was bought by Cecil A Burdett, an optician with a shop on the Strand.

However, it had been converted by 1982 into a residential hotel, and is now divided into three apartments. 

The Brewery

Brewery Court, High St, Dawlish (Google)

Built in 1817 by John Till, The Brewery was sold to Richard Ferris in 1824.

Ferris built a malthouse connected to The Brewery by a pipe. He also eventually owned 28 public houses in the area.

It was the largest business in Dawlish. It was added to with the Dawlish Mineral Factory which produced lemonade.

By now, the business had passed to his grandson Richard Brock Ferris. Having made his wealth he sold the business to Heavitree Brewery. 

Heavitree Brewery kept the pubs but sold the brewery premises. It has now mainly been converted to apartments although the malthouse was demolished.


Ed: This article is part of local historian Ray Bickel's series on Dawlish history. Use the links below to read previous articles:

Part One: What were the origins of Dawlish?

Part Two: The origins of St Gregory's Church

Part Three: The history of Dawlish's churches

Part Four: The origins of the Lawn and Tuck's Plot

Part Five: Tuck's Plot, the Lawn and the swans at the turn of the century

Part Six: The origins of Brunel's railway

Part Seven: Blowing up cliffs and Brunel's Atmospheric Railway

Part Eight: The early days of the railway

Part Nine: The 2014 storm and plans for a Dawlish avoiding line

Part 10: Pubs of Dawlish, past and present

Part 11: Pubs of Dawlish, past and present part II

Part 12: Pubs of Dawlish, past and present part III

Part 13: Pubs of Dawlish, past and present part IV

Part 14: Pubs of Dawlish, past and present part V

Part 15: Historic houses of Dawlish

Part 16: Historic houses of Dawlish part II

Part 17: Historic houses of Dawlish part III

Part 18: Historic houses of Dawlish part IV

Part 19: Historic houses of Dawlish part V

Part 20: The history of Marine Parade

Part 21: The history of Coastguards Cottages and the railway station

Part 22: Dawlish's Tudor cottages and Lammas Park House


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