Quay Place, the building of which Mallard Cottage and Wharf Corner, form part, is thought to date from the beginning of the 19th century. Little is known about its earliest days. It is identified on the Ashprington 1844 Tithe Map "as Quay Offices, owned and occupied by William Manning and John Earle". In 1982 it was sold by a descendant of William Manning and over the course of the next five years, converted into flats.
During the intermediate ~140 years, it is thought to have served as an office and warehouse for the goods traded by William Manning and his descendants. At various times that may have included coal, corn, barley meal, "patent manure", road stone and lime. Most recently Quay Place probably stored apples for the Manning's cider business, which was conducted in the Cider Press — on the site of the four flats immediately downstream.
The single storey part of the building — what now houses the lounge, dining room and kitchens — had a lean-to upper storey at one time.
The bathrooms and bedrooms now occupy the bottom of what has always been a two storey building — although the ground floor was originally much taller: the floor was probably a couple of feet lower and the ceiling a couple of feet higher. At some time large doors or gates must have existed where there are now windows. Large hinge pins can be found (at the same height) on both creek-facing windows, and also on opposing corners of Quay Place and what was the malt house, then became Pepe's winery, and is now the Maltsters' Accommodation block.
For a brief period, which ended ~December 1995, the Maltsters Arms was known as Floyd's Inn, after Keith Floyd, the TV Cook, who ran it as a restaurant. It reverted to its original name when the enterprise went bankrupt.
Whilst it was in commercial use, Bow Creek was dredged and the Harbourne river channel was diverted towards the Tuckenhay quayside. Since dredging ceased, the creek has silted up so it's hard to imagine now, but vessels of 300+ tons used these quays right up to the outbreak of World War II.
Quay Place's own quay has been reclaimed from the creek. Old maps show that the bit of quayside on which the summer house rests and from which steps run down to the mud, together with the roadway immediately inland, used to be a boathouse with its adjacent launching area.
Lime burning has been important to Bow Creek since Norman times, but most stone kilns were built in the early 19th when the Napoleonic Wars caused the price of wheat to rise. Quicklime was used to neutralize the local acid soils and thus to increase their fertility. It was also used in lime mortar, as lime wash for whitening and waterproofing walls, and for bleaching, cleaning and disinfecting.
Fifteen lime kilns can be found in the immediate vicinity of Bow Creek. Some are obvious, some are so overgrown as to be almost invisible and at least one has been converted into a kitchen.
Numerous local quarries provided stone for housing, for road building and for onward dispatch from the Tuckenhay Quays. The nearest one is just upstream from the Perchwood lime kilns, but the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps shows many others.