EXMOUTH is the oldest “seaside “resort” in Devon. It is ten miles from the city of Exeter.It started out as a medieval fishing village built around a ferry –station on the boundary of two Saxon parishes of Littleham and Withycombe Raleigh.
As the 18th century progressed locals began to get used to the intermittent invasion of strangers. The rich and titled came from Exeter and then from further afield as Inns, lodging houses and eventually hotels sprang up to house them. Some stayed and built houses, villas and mansions.
People began to realise that in the sea and particularly the two miles of golden sand which gave them fish and often snatched away their lives they held an unexplained treasure.
For over a century Exmouth’s golden age continued until the railway opened up Dawlish, Teignmouth and finally Torquay. It was Torquay’s success which marked Exmouths gradual decline as a fashionable watering place. But the town did not die and after years of planning it too achieved its own railway and docks. It became a port and with its two miles of golden sands a resort for the family a retirement town and to some extent a dormitory for Exeter.
There are other sides to Exmouth’s story : the fishermen, pilots, and life boatmen who braved the elements to bring sustenance and safety to its people: the smugglers and revenue men who fought a running battle along its shores and the lace workers who laboured for a pittance and lived in grinding poverty behind the glossy facade.
There is an excellent history of the town plus much more at Exmouth Guide. If you visit Devon you might like to go to the Exmouth Museum click on the link for more details. Much more information about Littleham for the family historian can be found at the Genuki Littleham page
A la Ronde is a quirky 18th-century, 16 sided house with fascinating interior decoration and collections which was built by two local wealthy but rather eccentric ladies Jane and Mary Parminter. Read more about A la Ronde here
Information on this site for Littleham (Exmouth) Parish
Here is a summary of resources I have available to share with you or links to other sites of interest. Some are transcriptions or extracts and will be on this site; some, for reasons of copyright are in my possession and I or another person will do lookups where you see the email button.
1851 Census LDS CD - Rom Lookups available email me
1881 Census LDS CD - Rom Lookups available email me
I have limited abstracts and transcriptions available for births, marriages and burials. All of them are post 1800 so ask me if you would like me to look these up. Email me
Pigot & Co 1830 Book Go to the transcript
Pigot & Co Directory 1822-23 List of names Go to the Genuki page
Kellys Directory 1902 of Exmouth Click here for list of inhabitants
Kellys Directory 1902 of Littleham Click here for list of inhabitants
Littleham (Exmouth) Freeholders
Extract of Littleham (Exmouth) freeholders 1711-1799 from the Index transcribed by the Friends of Devon Archives
Littleham Plague 1628 Short article with list of burials
Littleham and the Church
Religious dissent and the relationship between the established Church and the parishioners
An article by Keith Searle
Books about Littleham / Exmouth
I recommend these books many of which can still be purchased from many local book shops or you can try various web based book sellers. Follow this link if you want to buy the book from a local book shop. Some of these books have been indexed with the permission of the author or publisher where appropriate. I have listed the name of the person who is willing to do look ups for those books which have been indexed. I am willing to do look ups where a precise reference is given.
Guide to the ParishChurch of St Margaret and St Andrew, Littleham, Exmouth Lookups email for look up
The book of Exmouth: portrait of a resort. Barracuda Books email for look up
One Hundred Years of Progress, Exmouth Docks Company email for look up
Exmouth Milestones. Exmouth: Delderfield, E ERD Publications email for lookup
The Raleigh Country Delderfield, E. ERD Publications email for lookup
Exmouth to Starcross: an ancient ferry: a story of almost 1200 years, Pascoe, W.H Exeter, Obelisk Publications email for lookup
Exmouth Yesterdays Delderfield,E ERD Publications email for lookup
Old Exmouth Sleeman, W.J. email for look up