Wandrake Farm House (Mandrake Farm House)
Wandrake Farm House and the Wandrake Family
The Parish Return toward the re-building of St Paul's Cathedral for Alphington Devon 1678 records Andrew Wandrake giving 1d and John Wandrake 2d.
In a survey dated 1711 John Wandrake is recorded as the tenant of Wandrake, John died in 1713. In surveys dated 1749, 1751 and 1771 John Wandrake Jr. is recorded as the tenant. John Jr was a beadle which was a ceremonial office of the church, Parish officer appointed by the vestry or research officer attending on the minister.
There are no burial records for the Wandrake family in Alphington but there are christening and marriage records:
Wandrake Farm House and the Symons Family
From lease records:
1772 lease from William Viscount Courtenay to Samuel Symons of Alphington tailor. Wandrake's Tenement, Pope's Tenement and Lee's otherwise Chapple's all adjoining the road from Alphington bridge to Exeter including the sites of houses thrown down in the flood of 1760. Mary Symons named as his wife and Samuel and John Symons as his sons.
1798 surrender of lease from Mary Leave widow formerly Mary Symons. From another record dated the same year lease William Viscount Courtenay Wandrake's Tenement and other property formerly leased to Samuel Symons one of the husbands of Mary Leave.
From burial records:
Samuel Symons 5th May 1782 aged 4? Alphington
Mary Symonds [Leave] 17th June 1809 aged 7? named as wife of Samuel Alphington
From marriage records:
Possible marriage for Samuel and Mary, Samuel Symons married Mary Hayden 7th January 1759 Alphington
Mary Symons married Robert Leave 18th December 1784. Robert Leave was born in 1748 christened 10th January 1748 at St Pancras Exeter died 1794 Alphington.
Chapple, Lee and Pope families of Alphington
Records show the Chapple family in Alphington in the late 1600s. Clement Chapple born in 1680 Alphington, christened 3rd June 1680 Alphington, married Mary Towey 6th May 1706 Alphington, died 1730 Alphington. Their son Clement Chapple born in 1713 Alphington, christened 26th December 1713 Alphington married Anne Lee, died 1789. Their son John Chapple born in 1742 Alphington, christened 6th February 1742 Alphington married Dorothy Saral or Sarell 25th July 1765 Alphington, died 26th November 1825 Exeter.
The Lee family can be traced back in Alphington to the beginning of the 1600s and they married into the Chapple family on several occasions.
The Pope family can be traced back in Alphington to the middle of the 1600s and they also married into the Chapple family.
Record from 1811:
William Viscount Courtenay and his trustees to Mary Hooper of Alphington widow Mandrakes Tenement for the lives of John Symons Perring and Peter Perring sons of the rector of Alphington and William Babb son of Richard Babb.
The Perring/Pering family
The Land Tax Redemption records for 1798 show: proprietor Revd. Mr Perring for Northmores occupied by Geo. Croft the sum of £2 16s ¾d; proprietor Revd. Mr Perring for Popes occupied by Mr Perring £1 6s 6d; proprietor Revd. Mr Perring for part of Tapley's occupied by Mr Perring 6s 7 ¾d.
Revd. Mr Benedict Perring married Sarah Bower on the 5th August 1782 at St Mary Arches, Exeter. Benedict was the Rector of the United Parishes of St Mary Arches and St Olave Exeter. Benedict and Sarah's children were: Benedict christened 24th March 1784 St Mary Arches; John christened 7th August 1785 St Mary Arches, died 15th February 1786; Sarah christened 9th January 1787 St Mary Arches; Mary christened 26th April 1789, died 24th October 1789; Mary christened 10th September 1790, died in Alphington aged about 22; Harriet christened 7th October 1794; John Symons born 11th December 1794, christened 20th December 1795 St Mary Arches; Peter christened 19th November 1798.
From the Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, obituary 1815. Pering Benedict of Exeter (city) Gent St Alban Hall matric 31st October 1774 aged 24 BA 1778/1779 rector of St Mary Arches and St Olave Exeter until his death on 29th December 1814 at Alphington.
Mandrake Farm House and other occupants
In 1841 records show Henry Symons aged 72 a rope maker and his wife Grace aged 65 occuping the farm house. Also living there were Eleanor Bowcher aged 45 and Ann Solman aged 20 living by independent means. In this record Mandrake was recorded as Lee's. Henry was born on the 23rd October 1769 in Alphington, he married Grace Townsend (1774-1849) on the 27th June 1809 at Upton Pyne. From the burial records it would seem Henry was married before to Elizabeth who died aged 45.
From burial records:
Elizabeth Symons 4th May 1808
Grace 2nd December 1849
Henry 22nd May 1844 aged 75
By 1851 the Ellis family were living in the house. Records for that year show Edward Ellis aged 32 a civil engineer from Newton St Cyres, his wife was Fanny aged 31 and their two children were Elizabeth aged 3 and Francis J. aged 1, they had a servant Sarah Salter. The family returned to Newton St Cyres before 1871.
In 1871 Thomas Crump aged 71 a farmer of 12 acres and his wife Susannah lived in the house, there were also two sisters Harriet B. Quick and Selina G. Quick.
In 1881 The Bray family were living in Mandrake House. James Bray aged 48 district surveyor (road) from Exminster, his wife Harriett aged 48, and their children, Arthur James Bray aged 16 district surveyor, Laura Emily aged 15, Bertha B. aged 13, Beatrice B. aged 11, Henrietta Selina aged 10, Harriet Kate aged 8, Hannah Lavinia aged 6.
In 1891 only James remained with a house keeper Mary L. Dean. James was recorded as a surveyor and a farmer.
In 1901 James was still recorded as a farmer and surveyor, Harriet and Hannah were at home, Mary L Dean continued to work as the house keeper and David Moore aged 10 was recorded as a grandson.
In 1911 James was a highway surveyor, Hannah was at home and a new house keeper was recorded Hannah Cole aged 59.
From Marriage Records:
James Bray married Harriett Waters at St Thomas in 1863.
The Bray Children
In 1891 Bertha and Kate were visiting Thomas and Maria Waters at Hackney, Arthur Measures was a lodger, Bertha married Arthur, in 1901 they were living in London. Henrietta married Alfred Stodds in 1899 and they moved to Middlesex. In 1891 Hannah was at a boarding school in Somerset. In 1901 Arthur James was working as a gold miner and living with Bertha.
From Burial Records:
Harriett Bray 28th August 1883 aged 51
James Bray 22nd October 1918 aged 86
From Sales Posters:
Mandrake sale of 50 tons of hay and 50 tons of Mangold Wortzel 27th February 1893.
Mandrake House sale of 15 acres of grass 8th March 1918, auctioneers Hussey & Son.
From an Auction Catalogue dated Friday 12th November 1937:
Mandrake House a farm residence suitable for conversion into a guest house or for other business purposes.
Large gardens, farm buildings at the rear and tow enclosures of land.
The house: stone or cob, stuccoed and slated.
First floor: six bedrooms, 19ft x 15ft, 19ft x 12ft, 9ft x 9ft, 10ft x 10ft, 9ft x 9ft, 15ft x 10ft and WC.
Ground floor: two sitting rooms 13ft x 12ft, 12ft x 16ft, old back kitchen now used as a sitting room, kitchen with gas cooker, larder, dairy, boot room, wash house with copper, WC. Gas and electric light, water from excellent well with force pump, main drainage.
Farm buildings: in rear forming enclosed yard included brick and galvanished four-stall stable, cow shippen for six, galvanished and timber built trap house, work shop with loft over, boarded and galvanished cattle shed, root house, cow shippen for six with electric light installed. There were other out buildings, a water tank and engine with pump.
The land: lower orchard arable; orchard pasture extending to 1a 3r 25p. In the occupation of Mr R. Lockyear from an agreement dated 30th December 1919.
The vegetable garden of Mandrake ran right up to Mile End Cottage. There was a tennis court and also a Walnut tree but this had to be cut down in around the 1950s as it was dangerous.
Part of Mandrake House was demolished after the 1930s. Behind the house a riding stable was situated called Cowler's. Mr Cowler rented the stables and he hired out gigs and horses. The stables ceased to exist due to the blitz.
After the War Watsons from London the company that supplied the steel to rebuild Exeter moved into Mandrake. In 1947 or 1948 when the Newberry's farm on Marsh Barton was bought out by the Council Watsons moved from Mandrake into the first building on the newly forming industrial estate on Marsh Barton.
From a 1946 directory A. R. Brooking and electrical engineer was at Mandrake From a 1949 directory A. R. Brooking continued to occupy Mandrake and Whitley G. was recorded at Mandrake Yard. Mrs Curtis rented the house after Mr Brooking left.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick