Cockington Things to Do

  • Pedestrian Entrance From Main Road
    Pedestrian Entrance From Main Road
    by johngayton
  • A Few Winter Blooms
    A Few Winter Blooms
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  • The Organic Kitchen Garden
    The Organic Kitchen Garden
    by johngayton

Most Recent Things to Do in Cockington

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    Take A Walk In The Countryside

    by johngayton Updated Sep 6, 2013
    Footpath Heading North

    Walking south or east from Cockington returns you to the urban sprawl of Torquay but taking any other direction leads you into the lush rolling rural landscapes of this part of South Devon.

    There are several circular walks within the immediate area and for walks further afield (so to speak) the relevant OS map is the Explorer 110 - Torquay and Dawlish which yields all sorts of possibilites (and of course the OS maps at this scale show all the pubs!).

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    And Finally, The Pub!!

    by johngayton Written Apr 18, 2012

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    Impressive Edifice
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    The village's pub, The Drum Inn, is one of the more recent buildings, having been constructed in 1936 after the aquisition of the estate by Torquay Council. The pub, and its extensive gardens, were designed by the renowned British architect Edwin Lutyens as part of the council's attempt to create a "model village".

    It is, architecturally, an impressive edifice but as a pub leaves me unimpressed. I suppose it is intended to serve the summer masses rather than being a village local; and being run by a major National pubco doesn't endear me to it either.

    Nice building though!

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    The Almshouses

    by johngayton Written Apr 18, 2012
    Almshouses Rear
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    The original row of almshouses was built around 1620 by the then Lord of the Manor, Sir George Cary, for occupation by "Aged and Deserving residents of Cockington and Chelston".

    The present row of seven cottages were rebuilt by the Mallock family around 1840 and are now individually privately owned.

    These are an archetypal set of English almshouses and being Grade II listed retain most of their external features from the 19th century reconstruction.

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    The Stableyard Craft Centre

    by johngayton Written Apr 18, 2012
    Stableyard Craft Centre
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    Whilst there's the hideously inconconguous modern Seachange Art and Craft Centre which is, to my mind, a total eyesore there's also the Stableyard Craft Centre which is much more in keeping with the rest of the estate.

    The 17th century stables have been converted into artisan workshops where visitors can watch demonstrations such as glass-blowing, leatherworking, ceramics and the internationally-renowned Cockington Rocking Horse makers.

    Observing is free and if you want to buy anything they'll be more than happy to part you from your cash!

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    The Organic Kitchen Garden

    by johngayton Written Apr 18, 2012
    The Organic Kitchen Garden
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    In the manor's heyday its kitchen garden would have made the house's kitchens pretty much self-sufficient for seasonal fruit and vegetables.

    The garden is now set up as a learning resource focusing on educating people about how to grow crops using purely organic techniques without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides. There is a full-time gardener who works year-round with volunteer and trainee assistants and anyone interested can contact the Coutryside Trust via the website below.

    However as pic #2 shows maybe winter isn't the best time of year to showcase the pesticidal methods involved, although, having said that, as an old gardener I worked with many years ago used to say: "You have to let nature take its course and the bugs deserve their little bit too."

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    The Rose Garden

    by johngayton Written Apr 18, 2012
    A Few Winter Blooms

    In the grounds of Cockington Court you'll find this walled rose garden. Of course this visit was in winter and so the blooms were a bit thin on the ground but I can imagine the heady scents and vibrant colours during the summer.

    The rose garden doubles as a memorial garden where you can pay for roses to be planted in memory of loved ones and the fee includes planting and an engraved plaque. Plantings usually take place in Novemeber and details, including a link to the reservation form, are on the website below.

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    Cockington Court

    by johngayton Written Apr 4, 2012
    The Manor House (Cockington Court)

    Cockington as a village was pretty much privately owned from Norman times until it was taken over by Torquay Borough Council in 1932. During this period the estate was owned by just three families and the manor house, now known as Cockington Court, was developed and redeveloped during this period.

    The oldest obvious extant part of the building is the Tudor southwest wing, built under the Cary stewardship, which is dated 1577 but the manor had been on the site long previous to that. A major rebuilding took place around 1673 after the Mallock family moved in. In 1820 the Court was substantially remodelled (once again under the Mallocks') and not much has changed since then apart from a couple of cosmetic bits.

    Following the aquisition by the Borough Council the house has become a museum and gallery with part of the the ground floor used as tea rooms - which BTW are friendly, reasonably priced and very characterful.

    There's also the expected gift shop which is in keeping with the building and its surroundings and so there's no cheapo tourist, cwap but rather a lot of interesting stuff from local artists and artisans.

    If I remember correctly my morning coffee cost me £1.20 and the view and relaxed ambience were totally free.

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    The Gamekeeper's Cottage

    by johngayton Written Apr 4, 2012
    Heading Towards Manscombe Wood

    One of the estate's most interesting buildings is the Gamekeeper's Cottage. This dates back to the 16th century and is conveniently located next to the former rabbit warren, which was a walled enclosure used to breed rabbits for fur and meat. The cottage is quite substantial but then only part of it would have been used as the gamekeeper's accommodation, the rest being for storage and during the season the hanging of meats. The slatted side in the pic was used for hanging pheasants after the shoots.

    The cottage was vandalised in 1990 but has been restored and is now used as meeting rooms and as an environmental education centre.

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    The Old Mill

    by johngayton Written Apr 4, 2012
    1878 Millwheel
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    An inventory from 1654, probably made in preparation for the sale of the estate by the Cary family to the Mallocks, lists the village as having four mills (along with 60 messuages, 10 tofts and a dovecote).

    The only remaining one however is much more recent and was a water-driven saw mill built sometime in the late 1800's - the millwheel was made by the Newton Abbot company A Beare and Sons in 1878.

    This mill was in use until the 1970's when it was destroyed by fire and never repaired. The building still stands though, along with the millwheel and the pond, and is located close to the Linhay entrance to the grounds.

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    Take A Walk In The Park

    by johngayton Written Apr 4, 2012

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    Linhay Entrance
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    The 460 acre grounds of the Court (the former manor house) are now managed by the local charitable organisation the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. The Trust maintains what were the formal gardens and woodland paths dating back from when the village was part of a private estate.

    The walks are well-kept and fully accessible with good signage and plenty of information boards. Not only can you enjoy the scenery but you also get a taste of the village's history when passing places such as the former gamekeeper's cottage or the old mill.

    For the botanically inclined the arboretum is renowned for its deciduous collection, particularly its hickories, and there are occasional warden-guided walks.

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