Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Old King Cole

Old King Cole is a nursery rhyme, perhaps more common in the UK than in the USA. “He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl, and he called for his fiddlers three” etc. Well, some folks think Old King Cole was a Welsh King of Northern England, after the departure of the Romans. But the people of Bucks Mills in North Devon, think the rhyme is based on Richard Cole, the Lord of Woolfardisworthy (“Woolsery”), who built a harbour by blasting away rock on the beach and making a quay. This allowed ships to bring limestone and coal from South Wales to be processed in kilns built into the cliffs. Richard Cole died in 1614 and there is a monument to him in All Hallows Church, Woolfardisworthy.

Bucks Mills waterfall – not potable
The remains of the Old Quay at Bucks Mills in the foreground. In the middle ground is the Groin, built as a harbour, but the story is it was built by the devil as a road across the sea to Lundy Island. He gave up when the spade he was using (Devon) broke.
I think this is a raven on the rocks of the old harbour

There are some lovely doors in Bucks Mills (see previous posts) but here are some new (old) ones.

A door made from rough hewn timber. The metal handle is known as a “sneck”.
Leat Cottage is built over the stream running through the village and is the site of the original mill of Bucks Mills. Corn from the surrounding area and even as far as Lundy Island would be brought here to be ground into flour.

Rather than the traditional cock as a weathervane, here is a whale.

This is the weathervane of one of the houses in Bucks Mills. I know of no association of whaling with the village.
Oystercatchers flying through the misty gloom off Bucks Mills

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

6 replies on “Thursday Doors Old King Cole”

These are great doors and wonderful photos. I love that you added the history, especially the folklore. These are the things we never seem to learn about unless they are shared by locals or people in the know. It looks like a great place to spend some time.


I haven’t thought of that nursery rhyme since childhood and as I started reading your post the words came tumbling out of me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Great post – especially love the more weathered door.


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