1117 C/Rent No.71
In 1693 the Duke
Estates granted a Lease for 99 years on a cottage,
barn and garden in Otterton to John Halse,
husbandman (DRO 96/M Box 50/4). Before 1778 Robert
Barns and then Clement Halse were holding the
lease. Then on 12th. February 1778 a new lease was
granted to Thomas Halse for “Dwelling house,
garden, close and little orchard called Pinn Lane
of 2 acres in Otterton. Rent 4/- pa. (CDE 20084).
This cottage/house, after a rebuild became present
day “Otter House”. Pinn Lane Close was near the
junction road to Sidmouth and road to
Northmostown. The Halse’ were farmers (husbandmen)
and Thomas had his house with barns in Otterton
and Pinn Lane Close and other fields scattered
about the Parish.
Thomas Halse died 8th.
June 1836 while living in Exeter and his tenant at
his house in the village was Thomas Vilday. A new
99 year lease was granted to John Hayman of
Otterton, yeoman dated 15th July 1836 for
“Dwelling House, offices and garden” Rent 5/-.(CDE
20084) ( Pinn Lane Close was leased separately to
Burnt House Farm). The house was held by the
Hayman family at least to 1918. John (senr.) was
born in 1791. His grandfather William came from
Yarcombe and was farming Houghton Farm, Otterton
in 1770’s. Haymans farm there today. John (senr.)
died in 1871 and William, a relative, lived here
followed by John snr’s. grand-daughter Miss Mary
Ann Hayman. Directories 1902/1914 describe her as
“Private Resident” and it is apparent that John
snr and his successors were of some means. At the
Tithe Award he and his family held leases on a
number of cottages in the village. John senr’s
surviving son. John jnr is recorded living in East
Budleigh as a sawyer, married to Mary Ann Hitt and
attending Salem Chapel and seems not to have lived
It is not known when
the house was rebuilt in its present form.
Exterior walls are built of cob. It is possible
the rebuild was carried out by the Hollett family
builders in the early 1800’s. They had built the
cob cottages on the south side of the Green
between 1808 & 1814. Otter House may
originally have had a thatched roof similar to The
Green cottages. By the 1880’s it had been divided
into two (Nos 61 & 62). William Hayman, age
70, in one and Mrs. Anna Hayman age 66 in the
other. The Tithe Award and Map of 1844 indicates a
building similar to today. Eliza Hayman was
Leaseholder then and had rented it to William
St. Otterton 1906
The Estate Survey of
1911 (CDE 20064) lists no. 61 (east part) Ellen
Carter Rent £3; No.62 (west part) Miss Mary A.
Hayman £2.12/- pa. The division into two houses
probably came to the left of the present front
door. The East wall was exposed in July 1997 to
reveal stone & cob with a bricked in doorway.
Steet 1928, Village Hall (left), Otter House
(centre), King Arms (right)
It is not known who
lived in the Haymans House from 1918 to 1956, but
Directories from that date list Mr. B and Mrs.
Kathy Dyke as living at the house and it was
called “Coolgreanie”. This name apparently derives
from a Westcountry term for beer and it is
suggested that the house was connected with the
brewing trade, but we have seen no evidence for
this. It was still called this in 1986/7 and
probably renamed “Otter House” in the late 1980’s.
The house is not listed. A listed buildings survey
would probably reveal an interesting history.
Steet in 1955
2017 (CDE Archivist)
- Devon Record
- Clinton Devon
- Members of Hayman
- Copies of Leases
(CDE 20084) held in file.