This village is about a mile from Exmouth. Sir John Colleton who brought the first Magnolia to Britain from South Carolina. This has been adopted as the flower for Exmouth and the local shopping centre was named after it as The Magnolia Centre. Sir John had a mansion called Elm Cottage, which was sited in Exeter Road in the vicinity of where the Library now stands. He was buried in the garden of rest at the top of the village in 1754.

Sir John Colleton (1608 1666) rose to rank in the King's army during the Civil Wars, spent 40,000 in the service of Charles I, and lost much more when his property was taken over by the forces of Parliament. He retired to Barbados and was one of about a dozen Stuart followers there who were knighted by Charles II. He was a member of the Council for Foreign Plantations and of the Royal African Company which introduced slavery into British possessions in North America (not just in the South). He was an early promoter of the Carolina grant and actively interested in the successful development of the Province.

Two miles from the village in St Johns road is the lovely church of St.John-in -the-Wilderness where Francis Danby A.R.A was buried in 1861.He was an English painter of Irish birth. A landowner’s son he studied art at the Dublin Society. Danby became the best-known member of the Bristol school of painters but preferred to exhibit more ambitious paintings in London. He moved to London in 1824 and continued to paint poetic fantasy landscapes throughout the 1840s and 1850s (e.g. Enchanted Castle - Sunset. He also produced landscapes and marine paintings. He moved to Exmouth, Devon, in 1847 where he built boats and painted. Two of his sons, James Francis Danby (1816-75) and Thomas Danby (1817-86), became painters.

 

 

 

 

 

The Church of St John-in the Wilderness


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