Thursday, 3 September 2009

Fairlynch Heritage Day: Friday 11 September 2009

With one of the important costume collections in the country, Budleigh Salterton’s unique thatched museum is not just a collection of fascinating fossils and other curiosities from the past but a unique opportunity outside London to see how clothing fashion has changed over the centuries. And it’s not just Victorian ball gowns and 19th century Honiton lace underwear. This year has seen a special exhibition of costumes by the designer Zandra Rhodes celebrated as one of the new wave of British designers who put London at the forefront of the international fashion scene in the 1970s.

Visitors to Fairlynch will be admitted free of charge all day on Friday 11 September as part of the Heritage Open Day programme organized by English Heritage.

It’s an amazing building dating from around 1811 in the ‘marine cottage ornĂ©’ style so frequently found in Budleigh’s larger Jurassic Coast neighbour Sidmouth. The original owner, ship owner Matthew Lee Yeates, is said to have added the thatched turret so that he could see his ships coming into the bay carrying limestone and coal for the Salterton lime kilns and timber for Exmouth.

Inside there are collections of geological specimens, including radioactive nodules discovered by Budleigh archaeologist George Carter There is also a lace room as well as a costume room, and an exhibition of toys and items for children, souvenir china and model ships. And the shelves of folders in the Local History section testify to the impressive amount of work carried out by Fairlynch volunteers to catalogue all the photographs, documents and artifacts which illustrate the fascinating history of Budleigh Salterton and the surrounding villages.

Outside the Fairlynch building itself there are some curious and interesting features in the surrounding gardens, like this chair.

The gardens themselves deserve a mention, if only because they are a beautiful place to sit in, overlooking the sea. They were lovingly restored to feature plants contemporary with the building.
Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to interesting properties that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee. They are England’s biggest and most popular voluntary cultural event. Last year the Open Days attracted around 1 million visitors.

For more examples of interesting buildings in Budleigh Salterton see

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