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Dawlish History

18th Century History


Industrial Dawlish

By the beginning of the 18th century the industrial revolution was firmly in place. The Brunswick Mill, built in 1717 was the first indication of its effect in Dawlish. Later the Town Mill was built in Church Street, and a further mill functioned near Ashcombe.

The Brunswick mill is the only remaining mill in Dawlish. Rebuilt in 1825, it functioned until 1959. The wheel and machinery still exist today and there are plans to renovate it since it is of historical value.

Brunswick Mill

Georgian Period

Until the the reign of King George III, the 1000 odd residents of Dawlish were used to an insular existence where encounters with outsiders were usually associated with trading. But towards the end of the 18th century this was all about to change, mainly due to George III who believed that bathing in the sea and breathing fresh sea air contributed beneficially to ones life. George's influence is seen greatly in Dawlish. At a time where there were no railroads, visitors would flock to Dawlish. The visitor was not your average working person, but rather an aristocrat that would bring his family and servants for the summer season. The aristocracy was not impressed by the cob cottages of the 16th and 17th centuries for accommodation and so built their own holiday villas. These Georgian buildings are still in existence today, and are found along Park Road and High Street.

At the time bathing was not considered suitable for women, and so the changing huts constructed along the beach were solely for men. Personal hygiene was not fashionable at the time, and so bathing would have provided a welcoming means of dispersing bodily odours.

18th Century Dawlish

View of Kings Walk painted during 18th the century