Marhamchurch was a thriving rural and coastal parish 100 years ago. With 5 church/chapels, pubs, a school, many shops including a post office and numerous trades running alongside extensive farming and business from the canal and railway.
Since the 1950’s the village has grown in size with additional housing including council housing. 1960’s onwards has seen an increase in housing but a decrease in the number of local shops and trades. With more people owning cars giving the opportunity to shop further afield, shops and trades linked with farming, the canal and railway have declined and disappeared.
We are now in the 21st century – the building of houses has continued to increase, some affordable but many large houses which are seeking very high prices, we seem to be moving from a rural parish to a well sought out location. The Bullers Arms nearly disappeared under the threat of under use but fortunately remains as one of the villages focal points. However, losing the car park due to a developer’s dream has meant the end of a function room which provided the best Hunt Balls, weddings, and anniversary events in the area. The Post Office lost its funding, and the shop not being able to survive without it had to close. Twelve years ago, the village was in danger of becoming a dormer satellite of Bude….
However, the parish and village are beginning to thrive again, the shock of losing the shop and nearly losing the pub has led to a huge stir in community values and we seem to be becoming more self-sufficient. We appear to have an up-and-coming community with a vision and desire to reduce their carbon footprint and support their parish.
We hope that developing a Neighbourhood Plan will help us to continue to support these values, if in fact this is what the community wants…
These are our Facilities and Amenities to date:
On our Parish coastline which can be reached by extensive walks including the coastal footpath, can be found:
- The Beach House Wet Fish and Farm Shop which sells general groceries, newspapers, and takeaway food.
- The Beach House Hotel which provides parking, food, accommodation, live entertainment on occasions, and a beach garden.
- The Bay View Inn which provides a car park, accommodation, and food. In the summer months it has also provided a temporary campsite.
- The viewing car park which has disability access to a coastal point view, the coastal path and extensive views. In the summer months an ice cream van and more recently a takeaway food service have served the holiday trade.
In land, in and around the village can be found:
- Marhamchurch C of E Primary School which has 5 classes for children aged from 4-11 years.
- Marhamchurch Preschool, which is on the same site as the school and provides for the needs of pre school children from the age of 2 years.
- The Revel playpark has a small tarmac basketball court, a small football field and a children’s play park for children under 12 years. It hosts the village Revel in August.
- The Bullers Arms which serves food, hosts village events for village needs and charities including the quiz night fundraiser for the village Christmas tree fund.
- St Marwennes Church which hosts regular services and activities and has its own bell ringers. It also has a large cemetery.
- The Bray Village Hall which is available for hire – activities to date include a regular coffee morning, yoga, Kung fu and a village Book club. There is also an adjoining snooker room which boasts a magnificent snooker table – new members are being recruited to bring this club back to life.
- A post office which has just opened on a Monday afternoon in the Bray institute.
- The Methodist Chapel which hosts regular services.
- The Methodist Sunday School Rooms which are available for hire, present activities include the WI meetings, Parish Council meetings, an art group and a newly formed choir.
- The Village Shop which is run by volunteers and has gone from strength to strength and was a vital lifeline to the village when Covid 19 lockdown measures were in place. The shop carries an extensive stock and has an outside area with picnic tables for a chat and coffee. A community litter pick station is situated at the front of the shop.
- Adjoined to the shop is a disabled access public toilet.
- The telephone box outside the shop houses a defibrillator.
- A sports injury treatment room runs from the back of the Bray Institute and a health massage and reflexology business is also run from the village.
- A veterinary service is found in the village providing care for farm animals and horses.
- Several large working farms.
- A large agricultural and groundwork contractor company works from the village.
- Many village farms which have diversified from farming provide converted farm buildings and properties as holiday lets. Many cottages and properties throughout the parish are used for holiday accommodation.
- There are several small cottage industry units available for hire at a farm leading out of the village.
- The Weir at Whalesborough which is across the A39 can be accessed by an underpass and links the village and farming areas of Marhamchurch to the coastline. The Weir has a large lake for fishing, extensive café, holiday accommodation and the W club which has a newly refurbished gym, spa treatments and a swimming pool. A market garden business has started in the lower fields and bike hire is available on site. It has extensive walks which link to the coast, village and Bude. Whalesborough have over 4 different routes to the coast teeming with wildlife, navigating through countryside from open field to woodland walks, many of these have disabled access, horse and cycle access. Whalesborough also links with walks along the canal path to Bude and a cycle path which runs along the old train route is very popular.
- The Parish has many local footpaths linking farms and Marhamchurch to its adjoining parishes.
- A mobile Library visits the village once a week.
Mobile Fish and chips can be bought from a van weekly and during the summer season Asian food and pizzas can be bought from mobile vendors.
- The village also hosts the traditional Marhamchurch Revel in August, a pram race in the evening and a Food Fair earlier in the year. All events are very popular and raise money for the parish, its clubs and organisations.