The Lawn and Brook

The Lawn 5 By John Hooper

Dawlish Lawn is situated in the heart of Dawlish Town Centre. It is a beautiful open space which is perfect for relaxing on. At one end is a bowling green and bandstand and the other links the town to the sea as it follows The Brook. Either side of the lawn are tempting cafes, perfect for a treat at any time of day.

The Lawn was formerly a swampy estuary. About 1800, Mr. John Edye Manning came into possession of this land and proceeded to reclaim it by raising the level, principally with the earth excavated in making Queen Street and Park Street. In the Georgian era the town began to develop as a resort; at the beginning of the 19th century the Strand and Brunswick Place were laid out around a lawn, and the river, Dawlish Water was straightened. This commenced the formation of what is now The Lawn.

Dawlish Water is also known as The Brook. Before Dawlish itself was settled, fishermen and salt makers came down from the higher ground where they lived, to take advantage of the natural resources available on the coast hereabouts. They built salterns to produce salt and stored it in sheds nearby. The unpredictable nature of the stream, Dawlish Water, during floods is likely to have led to nearby Teignmouth being the preferred site for salt-making, and the practice stopped at Dawlish during the Anglo-Saxon period (AD 400–1000). On its journey it drops over weirs and under bridges, passing through the Manor Gardens and the Lawn at Dawlish, before joining the sea on the eastern side of the main sea wall, passing under the railway viaduct that was built by Brunel.

The Lawn is owned and maintained by Teigbridge District Council – for more information visit: https://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/sports-and-leisure/parks-and-open-areas/parks/the-lawn-dawlish/