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History_08 - Coffin House image

There are many interesting things to see in Brixham. Can you find the Old Coffin House?

The coffin house reflects Brixham humour: it is coffin-shaped, and when a father was asked for the hand in marriage of his daughter, he said he would 'see her in a coffin, before she wed'. The son-in-law to be bought the coffin-shaped property, called it the Coffin House and went back to the father and said 'Your wishes will be met, you will see your daughter in a coffin... the Coffin House'. Amazed by this, the father gave his blessing!

The street names tell you about the history. Pump street is where the village pump stood. Monksbridge was a bridge built by the monks of Totnes Priory. Lichfield Drive reminds us that this was the route that the dead (from the Anglo-Saxon ‘lich’ meaning a corpse) were taken for burial at St Mary’s churchyard. Salutation Mews, near that church, dates from when England was Catholic, and the salutation was to the Virgin Mary. Similarly, Laywell Road recalls Our Lady’s well.

The first building that you see when you come into Brixham from Paignton is the old white-boarded Toll House where all travellers had to pay a fee to come into the town and to keep the roads repaired... just what the government is thinking about introducing today. What’s new? The past is all around us, especially in Brixham.