Mel Stride

    SANDFORD PARISH COUNCILLOR Michael Lee celebrated the launch of his book ‘Dowrich – The Story of an old Devon House and its Farm’ today. Mr Lee purchased Dowrich – a Grade II listed mansion house situated on a hill about two miles north-east of Sandford Church – in 1981. He finally found the time to write a book about his life and the house that he loves after handing over farming responsibilities to his family.

    Among the attendees at the launch was Central Devon MP Mel Stride who thanked Mr Lee for decades of public service as a parish, district and county councillor as well as his contribution to national politics, having advised successive governments on agriculture policy.

    Mr Stride, who has a keen interest in history as a qualified tour guide of some of the UK’s most historical buildings such as St Pauls Cathedral and the Tower of London, often giving local talks to raise money for charity, said:

    “Michael is an extraordinary and much-loved man who has dedicated his life to his farm and to public service and I can’t wait to read his book. It will provide a fascinating insight into such a historical property and help preserve an important part of Sandford’s heritage.”

    Mr Lee added:

    “I’m delighted to have completed the book and hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!”

    Dowrich House formed part of the Manor of Crediton. It includes a 15th Century gatehouse, next to the Mansion House and according to local legend is haunted by the ghost of Lewis Dowrish who died in 1717.

    Photo: Central Devon MP Mel Stride joining Sandford Parish Councillor Michael Lee for the launch of his book ‘Dowrich – The Story of an old Devon House and its Farm’