‘Burley’ is shown on Lieut Murdoch Mackenzie’s 1779 map and Benjamin Donn’s Survey of the Plymouth area that was published five years later. At that time there was little else in the neighbourhood, apart from ‘Tar House’(Tor), Prospect (later incorporated into the now long-gone St Boniface College), and Mutley House (the lodge remains at the entrance to Mutley Park). Other notable features in the area included; ‘Stubs’, ‘Barn’, ‘Human’s Barn’ and ‘Mutley Firs’.
The Hunt family would appear to be among the earliest occupants of this substantial Georgian property and later the Hawkers(another branch of that family had Mutley House, at a time when the two were still only separated by fields)… and the ancient Burleigh Lane.
Requisitioned and used by the Manpower Board during the war, the house survived the war but not the post-war replanning and in the late 1950s it was demolished to make way for a play area for the new Burleigh School. The school itself was to be even more short-lived and was demolished in the 1980s to make way for Burleigh Manor, an upmarket development of detached and semi-detached red-brick houses.
Curiously enough the name ‘Burley’ could suggest the presence of an ancient camp somewhere in the area and the location, and elevation of the neighbouring Tor could well have once supported such a development.