APRIL AND THE GARDEN
Nos.30 & 28, Fore Street.
Believed to be C/R 73
The house, now made up
of April and The Garden Cottages, was probably
built as a small farmhouse during the prosperous
times of Ottermouth port in the late 1400ís.
Otterton today has survivors of that period in
Anchoring and Houseterns Farmhouses; Horestones at
Pinn; Pitson and Pavers Farmhouses.
April/Garden was a 3 room through passage house,
with open fire in the main hall and has blackened
The earliest record seen is the 1779 Auction
Prospectus for Otterton Manor thus:- Lease No 73
John Mayne, messuage and tenement 15 ĺ acres Rent
12/- pa. The lives were:- John Mayne 46, Mary
Luckis, now Hooper 45.
John Mayne died in 1781/85? and by his Will left
his leases in Otterton to his nephew Oliver
Carter. Johnís sister Susanna was married to
Olivers father, John Carter of Harpford. Mary
Luckis may also have been Johnís sister. He and
his father, John Mayne senr, had been holding
leases in Otterton at least since 1737. John
snr.was married to Agnes, who may have been a
Luckis. Luckis Tenement, now Rydon Farmhouse, was
held by the Luckis or Lucas family from 1707 (the
date on the house lateral stack) and are named in
Otterton in 1613 (Malt Book). John Mayne leased it
in 1751. By 1779 it was held by Matthew Butson.
Both the Mayne and Lucas families came from East
Budleigh. Both are named on the 1524 Subsidy Roll
and further Rolls during the 16th.century. There
is a remote chance that the Lucasí had
April/Garden Cottage built. John Lukeys is named
as importing goods into Ottermouth in 1318. Lucas
were shipbuilders in Otterton in 1619.
The Land Tax Returns from 1781 to 1832 indicate
that one of the leases conveyed by the Maynes to
Oliver Carter C/R No. Was known as Braddicks. This
family are first mentioned in 1694 when William
was appointed Churchwarden for Otterton. During
the early 18th.century they held small farms in
Pitson and Northmostown and probably also held the
cottages in Fore Street.
The 1790 Survey lists
C/R 73 thus:- Oliver Carter a messuage and
tenement, divided in 1801 15 ĺ acres. The dwelling
house, barn, home orchard and Rydon orchard held
by Oliver Carter and the other part of the house
was let, tenant not known. The lives were members
of the Carter family. Oliver Carter died 1829, and
the cottages passed to Mary, his daughter, now
Mrs. Oldridge. She died in 1841. Her tenants were
Hermon Robins, farmer and William Sandford,
tailor. The latter was living and had his shop in
one half of the house to 1857. He was also Parish
Clerk. Hermon Robins moved from the other half to
Clapps (Basclose) by 1850. His father Richard
Robins had been farming there from 1825. Hermon
was followed by his brother Sherman until 1880ís.
He was a wheelwright and carpenter, but was
probably working for the Bakers wheelwright
business at Bramley Cottage.
April/Garden with Albert Smith carrying garden
The next record we have
seen is the Estate Survey of 1911. Albert Smith is
renting the building, which appears to be one
house again (£7.6/3d). He is listed in Kellys
Directory for 1902 as a market gardener and
entering his daughter Olive at Otterton School in
1904. He appears in Directories to 1939 and to all
accounts had a flourishing business with
glasshouses on his land behind the cottages.
Albert Smith died in 1954 (age 79) and his family
continued to live in half the house, now known as
ďThe GardensĒ on the east side (1956/1961). The
west side was known as The Cottage at this time,
the Andrews family living there. The Smith family
lived in The Gardens. The cottages were sold by
the Estate in 1976 and Mr,& Mrs Ron Butler
moved into the newly named April Cottage and
Mr.& Mrs. Martin Perryman into The Garden