Brixham legend has it that a young man asked the father of his sweetheart for her hand in marriage. So appalled was the father that he replied “I would rather see my daughter in a coffin than wed to you.” The suitor took this to heart and went off and bought the coffin-shaped house.
The future son-in-law said to the father “Your wish is granted, your daughter shall live in a coffin, the Coffin House.” The father was so impressed that he relented and allowed his daughter to marry the man. They lived happily ever after, or so the story goes!
|A postcard of the Ye Olde Coffin House from the late 19th century.|
|The Ye Olde Coffin House in 2020, image via Google Street View.|
The Coffin House in Brixham is the only one in the world which is shaped like a coffin. In actual fact the strange building was built in 1640 as a fortification. Truth is never as good as fiction.
Over the years this old house at the foot of King Street steps has had a variety of uses including an inn, a workhouse, a barber’s shop, a sheep-skin shop, and a café before becoming a clock shop.