history


Below is a brief history of The Crescent in Mortehoe. If you have any further relevant info that you can share with us please let us know!
For history of Mortehoe village please see www.mortehoe.org.


19th Century

2 The Crescent, Mortehoe Historic map c.1880

The house shown in red on this c. 1880 map was a large detached house called Cromlech House. This house was divided in 2010 into two houses known as 'The Buttery' and 'Cromlech House'. The 19thC map shows the house before further adjacent houses were built alongside Cromlech House.
The name 'Cromlech' comes from the nearby cromlech stones which were until WW2 still standing on National Trust land as one walks from Mortehoe towards Morte Point. It is said that US forces training for D-Day used the Cromlech stones as target practice. After that they were no longer standing.
"Cromlech: c.1600, from Welsh, from crom, fem. of crwm "crooked, bent, concave" + llech "(flat) stone." Applied in Wales and Cornwall to what in Brittany is a dolmen; a cromlech there is a circle of standing stones." Source: www.etymonline.com.


Victorian era

2 The Crescent, Mortehoe Historic map c.1904-06

This Victorian map shows the original Cromlech House has become part of a terrace known paradoxically as 'The Crescent'. The plan view correctly shows a straight terrace of houses. The hilltop situation of the terrace makes it somewhat crescent-shaped in elevation - could this explain the name?

The buildings to the North and East of victorian Cromlech were until the 1980's (?) a bakery. Heading South along the terrace, Jane's Mortehoe Deli was (to the 1990's?) once internally joined to Cromlech house forming a hotel and restaurant. Further South there are two more houses completing the terrace as it is today.

Cromlech House has in the past century been used as a buttery (a place where butts/casks of ale or liquor were stored or served from), a hostelry, a tea shop, and a restaurant (in the 1990's ?).
"Buttery (n.) "place for storing liquor," originally "room where provisions are laid up" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. boterie, from L.L. botaria, from bota, variant of butta "cask, bottle;" see butt (n.2) + -ery." Source: www.etymonline.com.

Circa 2000-2005 Cromlech House was a restaurant plus B&B, called 'The Brasserie'. Then the house was used as a private house and was once more known as 'Cromlech House'.

In 2010 the present owners, Iona Foster and Dominic Parkinson, bought the double house. During the subsequent 12 months we worked with our excellent builder Pearce Barnstaple to modernise the property and to give it a new life as two separate houses now called 'The Buttery' and 'Cromlech House'.