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East Budleigh

The Birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh

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 SIR WALTER RALEIGH

Sir Walter Raleigh was born in East Budleigh in 1552 at Hayes Barton, son of Walter Raleigh 'Yeoman' who was Church Warden at All Saints. The house did not belong to the Raleighs, but to Mr Duke then Lord of the Manor of Otterton. In a letter to Mr Duke in 1584, written shortly after having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth I, Raleigh asked Mr Duke if he might purchase the house, Sir Walter refers to the fact that he was born there. The original letter may now be seen at the Royal Albert Museum Exeter.    

 Hanneke Coates                                                                              

Hayes Barton. The Manor where Sir Walter was born and spent his early childhood.

VICARS MEAD

Vicars Mead opposite Hill Farm and down Hayes Lane was built in 1485. As the name implies, it was the Vicarage for many centuries. Used as a school where little boys were educated by the Vicar, Walter Raleigh received his early education here. In the 18th and 19th centuries smuggling was a very lucrative business and often a violent reality in Devonshire coastal villages. East Budleigh was certainly a hotbed of smuggling, especially during the incumbency of the Rev Mattew Mundy 1741 and the Rev Ambrose Stapleton 1794-1852. Both were deeply involved with smuggling and Vicars Mead has always been known to have been the centre of those smuggling days. The "Dissenters", who worshipped at Salem chapel at the top end of the village, had often been deprived of their livelihood so it is not surprising that they have also been connected to the lucrative smuggling trade. The churches may have been divided, but it seems that an excellent trade of smuggled goods existed between the All Saints Vicar and the Minister at Salem Chapel.                                                                  Hanneke Coates.    

.All Saints Church would have looked very similar when the Raleigh family worshipped there, all those years ago. In the centre isle and you will see a mat covering the grave of Sir Walter Raleigh’s wife.