The Birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh
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Roger Conant 1592-1679
Roger Conant was brought up in the old Mill House in Hayes
Lane, just below All Saints. It was a substantial house and mill,
with a courtyard paved with stones from Budley beach, as it was
called in those days. Both he and
the young Raleigh may have been
educated at Vicars Mead by the
local Vicar. With his brother he
decided to emigrate to America in
March 1623, three years after the
Pilgrim Fathers. He did not find
the original Plymouth settlement
congenial and searched the coast
by small boat until he found
Naumkeag, also known as Salem.
Here he established his colony and
suffered hardship and fear of
possible hostile Native Americans.
He was made Governor in 1626
and relinquished the post two years later and was granted 200
acres of land to mark his service. Today his descendants in
America remember him with pride and East Budleigh is often on
their itinerary when they visit Europe. On the North side of the
aisle in All Saints church, you will find the replacement Conant
pew end. The original was vandalised in the early 20C.
Information courtesy Lilian Sheppard’s book on East Budleigh.
The site of the Conant Mill, House and pebble
courtyard demolished in the early 20th Century.
The millstone from
the Conant Mill.
Tableau by Michael Downes