Built in early 17th Century, Badlake House was part of a small farm, with a few acres around the house and some fields opposite the house and further up the hill. The earliest known tenant was Robert Painter in 1722. He died in 1816 and the Pensons took over the farm. The family were still there in 1852, when a fire in the barn killed a horse, two pigs and some chickens. It had probably been caused by a spark from a lantern, when the farmer checked his animals before going to bed.

From the mid 1860s, the house was occupied by a series of curates and was known as Myrtle Cottage. And in 1882, the Rev. James Kavanah lived there. He married a local girl and moved away. Sadly, their first and second child died in infancy and the children’s mother soon after. All are buried in Dawlish Churchyard.

By 1909, the house, owned by Robert Hambly, was a farm again but in bad condition. A sanitary inpector’s report said: “water from a spring above, rubbish in the garden, 8 rooms, 2 adults, roof of thatch, no slate or downpipes.” Mr Hambly owned all nine houses up Badlake Hill. In 1945, numbers 7, 9 and 11 were demolished.

In 1919, Hambly sold Badlake House (still called Myrtle Cottage) to Miss Cavendish-Bentinck of The Cottage at the end of Weech Road. A relation of the late Queen Mother, Mis Cavendish-Bentinck’s chauffeur, Henry Negus, lived here. And later, his widow until she died in 1932.

Later, Weech Road was widened and the house reduced by one room width.