Thursday, 9 October 2014

Mapping old Budleigh Salterton





The Otter Valley Association’s recent launch of its scheme to list Local Heritage assets seems likely to heighten our awareness of how the area has changed - in many cases not for the better! Old maps of Budleigh Salterton and the surrounding villages provide a good way of appreciating such changes, thinks Fairlynch Museum Trustee Trevor Waddington.

Trevor, who is involved with the Local Heritage scheme, recommends the three Harry Lane maps of Budleigh published by the OVA. Dated 1842, 1890 and 1933, they are roughly A3 size and are available as a set for £20 via the OVA website at http://www.ova.org.uk/publications/books

“Interestingly, the 1842 map shown above depicts Primrose Cottage - now Fairlynch Museum - with what appears to be a glass-roofed veranda running the full width of the building,” notes Trevor.

Another item of interest on the 1842 map shows the original ‘Temple’ built by a retired London bookseller, James Lackington, and named after his London store in Finsbury Square. Known as 'The Temple of the Muses', it was one of the capital's tourist attractions.

 
James Lackington's Temple of the Muses in Finsbury Square, London
Image credit: Princeton University

Lackington, a devout Methodist, who moved from London to Budleigh Salterton, was so struck with what he called the "spiritual Destitution of the place" that in 1812 he built the Methodist 'Temple'. Demolished in 1905 it was replaced by the current Temple Methodist Church on Fore street.

James Lackington died in Budleigh 200 years ago next year. Some people would say that  like many of the town’s relatively little known but interesting and distinguished former residents he deserves to be honoured with a blue plaque.

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