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HER Number:MDV127006
Name:Sugar refinery at The Retreat, Topsham

Summary

The Retreat was formerly a sugar refinery which was converted into a mansion in the later 18th century. It is first documented in 1684 and described in 1707 as 'a convenient house with the necessary utensils for the refining of sugar'. By 1742 the buildings had fallen into decay. French prisoners of war were held here in 1762. The premises were bought in 1769 and the present house built by Mr Orme in 1773.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 957 887
Map Sheet:SX98NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
DistrictExeter
Ecclesiastical ParishTOPSHAM

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • SUGAR REFINERY (Built, XVII - 1601 AD to 1700 AD (Between))

Full description

Polwhele, R., 1793-1806, The History of Devonshire, 2, 208fn (Monograph). SDV21030.

First documented in 1684 title deeds. Described in 1707 as 'a convenient house with the necessary utensils for the refining of sugar'. By 1718 it consisted of dwelling house, sugar house and lodge. By 1742 the buildings were 'in decay and void for the lack of a tenant'. It was bought in 1769 'with the utensils and implements used in a sugar bakery still remaining on the premises'. The present house was built by Mr. Orme by 1773 when it was described as 'an elegant villa with numerous apartments elegantly furnished. And with useful offices at a proper distance from the house'. There were good gardens and 30 acres of pasture adjoining, as well as 'a small pavilion with 3 bedchambers, a library and a hot and cold bath'.

Braddick, C. E., 1953, The Port of Topsham, 30 (Article in Serial). SDV23368.

Sugar refinery converted to a dwelling house in early 19th century by a Mr. Orme. In 1762 about 2000 french prisoners were held here.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 825 (Monograph). SDV325629.

According to Polwhele, The Retreat is a former sugar warehouse converted by Richard Orme pre 1775.

Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.), 1998, Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 2, 80, 84 (Monograph). SDV341167.

Revd. Swete visited The Retreat in 1794 and states in his journal that it was a sugar house, the materials of which Mr Orme used to build the house some 30 years previously.
[The two accompanying sketches (DRO, 564M/F6/159, 161) are dated 1796 and depict a large, rectangular grandified warehouse like building.]

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX98NE11 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV23507.

The Retreat. Converted from a sugar refinery to a private house at the end of the 18th century. During the Napoleonic Wars it was used to house prisoners of war. It is now a block of flats.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV21030Monograph: Polwhele, R.. 1793-1806. The History of Devonshire. The History of Devonshire. Unknown. 2, 208fn.
SDV23368Article in Serial: Braddick, C. E.. 1953. The Port of Topsham. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 85. A5 Hardback. 30.
SDV23507Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX98NE11. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Unknown. [Mapped feature: #123109 ]
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 825.
SDV341167Monograph: Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.). 1998. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 2. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Sw. 2. Hardback Volume. 80, 84.

Associated Monuments

MDV9936Related to: The Retreat, Topsham (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 28 2019 1:56PM