King’s Cottage, Bucks Mills is the home of Albert and Eadie’s grandparents. We get a glimpse inside in the first chapter of Barefoot on the Cobbles.
On 27 January 1845, Reverend John Thomas Pine Coffin, the landowner, had entered into an agreement with Albert’s grandfather, James, giving him permission to build ‘a house over the watercourse at the machine platform at Buckish, Parkham’. This land was adjacent to James’ father’s home. The new house was to become King’s Cottage and the rent was one shilling a year. By the time we open the front door of King’s Cottage in the novel, the family have lived there for forty five years. They were to remain there for a further twenty years. It was a substantial cottage, with a view over the bay and unique plumbing arrangements, which are mentioned in the book. King’s Cottage was described in the North Devon Journal in 1855, the house ‘at the lower extremity of Bucks, on a towering height above the beach, is a real curiosity. The rivulet that comes down between the hills, by and under part of his eagle’s nest premises, discharges itself in a cataract on the beach where it flows into the Atlantic.’
After the family left, it was tenanted by a relative of Clementine Churchill.
‘Even the gate was exciting, having, as it did, a ship’s wheel at the centre. Eadie’s small fingers would proudly trace the name that was engraved in the wooden frame: King’s Cottage. She smiled; her granfer was a king.’
More information about Bucks Mills can be found here.
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author.
I would love to hear more about the original inhabitants of KIngs Cottage and which bedroom did Capt James sleep in, is the privy still located over the waterfall at the side of the house and how are the beautiful flowers that climbed the wall along the back of the cottage? I spent many happy summers there as a child and my grandparents always told me I had the Capt room..that was the room at the top of the stairs going upstairs with the wooden handle that looked like a bolt! One could actually see the sea from that window also and I wondered many times how often Capt James had slept in that room and woke up looking to sea…
Hi, Glad to hear you have happy memories of King’s Cottage. I sounds like you did have Capt James’ room. He would certainly want to be able to see the sea. He had the cottage built in 1845 but it was still part of the Pine Coffin estate. His daughters lived their after he died and it seems it was associated with Lady Maude Whyte who lived in the adjoining cottage, before passing to the family of the present owners. It was sold to them as the sitting tenants in 1947. The privy is still there but not the flowers.