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June 26, 2020

Interesting Story of the Ye Olde Coffin House in Brixham, the Only Coffin Shaped House in the World

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 cafĂ© before becoming a clock shop.


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