Merchants House, 8 Fore Street

Seventeen century Merchant’s House. Half timbered, with cob and stone mix to side and rear, plastered, under gabled-end slate roof thought to have been built about the same time period as the Manor and Walronds. It was built with a shop and storage on the ground floor and family accommodation above.

It was formerly called Westerns after a blacksmith of that name who lived there in the 1850s Mr Frederic Burrow had his solicitor’s offices here and the practice was taken over by his son Alfred Burrows. Following his death in the 1940s it was taken over by the Nichols family solicitors and then Ashford Sparkes and Harward until the office close in 1994.

An extension was added to the rear of the property soon after WW2 and a solicitor and his family lived here for some years. Later the modern extension was used as a print works and then as a courtyard café. The property was also used as a second-hand bookshop before being auctioned in 1996 and becoming a private home.


1851 CensusRichard Weston, 52, smith, employing one man, born Cullompton; Sarah, 44, born Cullompton
John, 16, smith’s apprentice, born Cullompton
Sarah A, 4, born Cullompton
Harriet Sweet, 20, domestic servant, born Cullompton
1861 CensusRichard Weston, 60, general smith, born Cullompton
Jane, wife, 53, born Butterleigh
Sarah Ann, daughter, 14, scholar, born Cullompton
Margaret Wilcocks, boarder, 21, schoolmistress, born Bracknell in Berkshire
Mary Ann Bray, boarder, 16, scholar, born Butterleigh
John Henry Page, boarder, 23, schoolmaster, born London
William May?, Boarder, 23, smith’s journeyman, born Butterleigh
John Arbery, boarder, 14, smith’s apprentice, born Cullompton
James Dunning, visitor, 6, scholar, born Exeter
Eliza Taylor, 19, house, servant, born Cullompton
1871 CensusRichard Western?, 71, blacksmith, born Cullompton
Sarah, 63, born Butterleigh
Ellen Brown, boarder, 29, certificated teacher, born Exeter
Emma Didham, 13, general domestic servant, born Cullompton
1881 CensusJohn Goss, married, 28, Baker, born Cullompton
Clara Ann, wife, 29, born Shoreditch
Jack, son, 4, scholar, born Shoreditch
George, son, 2, born Cullompton
1891 CensusUnoccupied