Coleridge House, Stokenham, Devon
Coleridge must be an ancient estate as the house gives its name to the hundred (ancient territorial unit) within which Stokenham lay, but nothing is known of the house which stood here before the 19th century. The present building is an irregular two-storey gabled neo-Tudor house, probably built soon after Capt. John Allen (1791-1883) inherited the estate in 1828. Rights of way were diverted to enable the creation of a private garden in 1833 and it was called a 'handsome new mansion' in 1850. It has recently been restored and divided into flats and is in multiple occupation.
Descent: John Cornish; to daughter, Agnes (d. 1803), wife of Michael Allen (c.1749-1828); to son, Capt. John Allen (1791-1883), who rebuilt it; to son, Capt. George Edmund Allen (1841-1914), who sold.
Allen family of Coleridge House
Allen, Michael (c.1749-1828), of Coleridge House. Only son of John Allen and his wife Philippa, daughter of James Macarmick, born about 1749. Barrister at law. He married, 16 July 1776 Agnes (d. 1803), only daughter and heiress of John Cornish of Coleridge House, and had issue:
(1) Agnes Cornish Allen (1778-1846), baptised at Stokenham, 14 October 1778; married, 9 May 1799, Sir Edwin Bayntun-Sandys (1774-1848), DCL, 1st bt. of Miserden Park (Glos) and Chadlington Hall (Oxon) and had issue; died at Tintagel (Cornwall), 13 March and was buried there, 18 March 1846;
(2) Anne Allen (1780-1827), baptised at Stokenham, 5 October 1780; married 9 or 26 March 1804, Admiral Henry Manaton Ommanney (1775-1857) and had issue, two sons; died at Stonehouse (Devon), 31 March and was buried at St George's, Stonehouse, 7 April 1827;
(3) twin, Catherine Allen (1781-1829), baptised at Stokenham, 22 December 1781; died unmarried, 4 May and was buried at Stokenham, 9 May 1829;
(4) twin, Dorothea Macarmick Allen (1771-1834), baptised at Stokenham, 22 December 1781; married, 12 February 1807, Rev. William Ilbert Birdwood (1775-1841), rector of Throwley (Devon) but died without issue; buried at St Marylebone, London, 25 April 1834;
(5) Elizabeth Allen (1784-1867), baptised at Stokenham, 29 November 1784; died unmarried at Park Place, Plymouth, 8 February and was buried at Stokenham, 25 February 1867 where she is commemorated by a monumental inscription; her will was proved 13 March 1867;
(6) Mary Allen (1785-1873), baptised at Stokenham, 30 December 1785; died unmarried at East Stonehouse (Devon), 22 December 1873 and was buried at Stokenham, where she is commemorated by a monumental inscription; her will was proved 3 June 1874 (estate under £4,000);
(7) Phillippa Macarmick Allen (b. 1788), baptised at Stokenham, 11 March 1788; died unmarried;
(8) Fanny Allen (1790-1841), baptised at Stokenham, 28 March 1790; died unmarried, 16 February 1841 and was buried at Stokenham, 20 February 1841;
(9) Capt. John Allen (1791-1883) (q.v.);
(10) Phoebe Allen (1793-1845), baptised at Stokenham, 9 May 1793; married Rev. Dr. John Savory Tozer DD of St. John's College, Cambridge; died at Exeter, June 1845; will proved, 23 August 1845.
He inherited Coleridge House in right of his wife before 1793. In his will he was described as of Mount Plym, Plymouth.
He died 21 February and was buried at Stokenham, 27 February 1828. His will was proved 18 July 1828. His wife died 12 July and was buried at Stokenham, 22 July 1803.
Allen, Capt. John (1791-1883), of Coleridge House. Only son of Michael Allen (c.1749-1828) and his wife Agnes, only daughter and heiress of John Cornish of Coleridge House, baptised 24 April 1791. Captain in Royal Cornwall Rangers; JP and DL for Devon. He married, 4 February 1836 at East Allington (Devon), Marianne Catherine (c.1810-42), second daughter of Edmund Nathaniel William Fortescue of Fallapit, and had issue:
(1) Blanche Elizabeth Trosse Allen (1837-83), baptised at Stokenham, 27 January 1837; married, 12 December 1855, Frederick Gonnerman Dalgety (1817-94) of Lockerley Hall (Hants) and had issue five sons and seven daughters; died 11 April 1883 and was buried at East Tytherley (Hants);
(2) John Michael Allen (1838-59), baptised at Stokenham, 5 March 1838; Captain in 91st Argyllshire Highlanders; died unmarried, 1 July and was buried at Stokenham, 6 July 1859;
(3) Kate Fortescue Allen (1840-42), baptised at Stokenham, 15 July 1840; died in infancy, 30 December 1842 and was buried with her mother, 4 January 1843 at Stokenham;
(4) Capt. George Edmund Allen (1841-1914) (q.v.).
He inherited Coleridge House from his father in 1828 and rebuilt the house.
He died 17 May 1883, aged 92, and was buried 22 May 1883 at Stokenham, where he is commemorated by a monumental inscription. Administration of his estate was granted at Exeter, 22 July 1883. His wife died 29 December 1842 and was buried 4 January 1843 at Stokenham.
Allen, Capt. George Edmund (1841-1914). Only surviving son of Capt. John Allen (1791-1883) and his wife Marianne Catherine, daughter of Edmund Nathaniel William Fortescue of Fallapit (Devon), born 7 November 1841. Captain in the South Devon Militia. He married 1st, 4 April 1872, Catherine Rodber (1843-92), daughter of Rev. William Cooper Johnson of Diptford (Devon), and 2nd, 13 December 1894, Agnes Charlotte (1860-1923), daughter of Capt. Robert Knox of Cahirleske (Kilkenny), and had issue:
(2.1) Katherine Agnes Allen (1895-1981), born 12 October 1895 and baptised at Ballaghtobin (Kilkenny); died unmarried, 1981;
(2.2) Philippa Blanche Fortescue Allen (1898-1975), born 27 December 1898 and baptised at Ballaghtobin (Kilkenny); died unmarried, 28 October 1975.
He inherited Coleridge House from his father in 1883, but sold it before 1893 and bought the Wickeridge Lodge estate at Woodland near Ashburton instead. After his death, Wickeridge Lodge passed to his two daughters as tenants in common; they also had a home near Durban in South Africa.
He died 8 February 1914 at Maymyo, Mandalay, Burma, and was buried there the following day. His first wife died in London, 2 September 1892. and was buried at Woodland, where the reredos in the church was constructed in her memory. His widow married 2nd, 1922, Ernest Godfrey Mills, but died 19 February 1923.
Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, pp. 26-27; B. Cherry & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Devon, 2nd edn., 1989, p. 766.
Location of archives
Allen family of Coleridge and Wickeridge: deeds, correspondence, photographs and papers, 1793-1967 [Devon Heritage Centre, 6970]
Coat of arms