Stoke Fleming, Devon

Stoke House, Stoke Fleming, a bit south of Dartmouth was the last home of George Parker Bidder (1806-1878), though he died in Dartmouth (qv) before he could move here. He was 'The Calculating Boy' who became one of the great Victorian engineers and described how he did his mental calculations. See London individuals.

There is a commemorative tablet on the side wall of the house facing in the direction of Dartmouth so that you do not see it when coming from the south. Just beyond the house are Bidder's Walk and Bidder's Close - at the corner of the Close is the Lodge House for Stoke House. Only the part of the house that he added is extant; the rest has been rebuilt and the whole is now flats for old people. The plaque says that he was a pioneer of the railways, with George Stephenson - but Robert Stephenson is more reasonable as he was Robert's partner.

He is buried in the churchyard of St Peter's, with a tall cross at the left rear corner of the church. His wife is in the same grave and his daughter Bertha is adjacent.

(DBS, with thanks to a local who gave me directions. Letter from P.L. Roe. Clark, p.287 is a photo of the house before rebuilding. I have photos by Laurie Brokenshire and myself.)

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An extract from The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles created by David Singmaster

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