The Methodist Parsonage of Torquay (East Devonport) ca.1885
This house was originally built as a Methodist parsonage in 1885, where a number of priests and their families would reside, tending to church and local matters as they occurred. Every quarter, the house would host church members to discuss church matters.
Over the coming years, the house would host important meetings, parties, weddings, christenings and even funerals. There have been births and deaths on this site, some natural, others by suicide.
After it served its purpose as a parsonage, it was converted to an orphanage where some of the Devonport children where housed and raised. After that, it was sadly neglected and left to be ruined.
There were reports of the house being run as a bordello, but the dates are blurry at best. In 1982 it was an antiques store called “71 Antiques”. After that it was an Italian restaurant called “The Rectory”. Then it became “The Gingerbread House” and after that it was called “The Rectory” again.
In 2018, we purchased the house and called it “Café Squire”. The Squire originally being the shield bearer or servant to the knights of old. A squire is a servant and we are the servants to our customers and the house we live in, hence the name “Squire”.
We don’t consider to “own” the house, more that we are caretakers, looking after it, hopefully improving the dwelling for all to enjoy.
Since living in this wonderful place, we have noticed many strange and unusual occurrences, from weird noises, to objects being misplaced or moved, nothing here seems to be consistent.
Below are some photos and the original newspaper article, written in 1886 describing the parsonage’s new arrival. I hope you enjoy reading this and even more so your visit here. There are many stories this house has to tell and many more in the future.