Turnpike Roads in and around Alphington

An Exeter-centred trust was established in 1753 to manage the very large network of roads leading out from the City. From reports information can be gathered about these roads.

Little John's Cross
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick

9th February 1753

This comes from a 'Petition of the gents, clergy and freeholders and principal inhabitants residing in and near the City of Exeter'. 'A highway running from Alphington Church to Crablake was said to be ruinous in the Winter season and cannot by ordinary means be repaired'. A preceding petition added the 'road from Little John's Cross in the Parish of Alphington (being the road from St Thomas's to Dunsford) to the Smiths shop near Hall-Down House in the Parish of Kenn should also be repaired. There was a report by Mr William Young which was in support of allegations from Edward Collins Esq. and George Ewings who said that 'the roads are in a very ruinous condition and in several places are very narrow and incommodious' (causing inconvenience or discomfort).

26th February 1769

A report stated: 'A road leading from the turnpike road from Exeter to Chudley Bridge, called Alphington Cross in the Parish of Alphington, St Thomas and Brampford Speke by St Thomas Pound and Exwick to the Smith's shop near Cowley Bridge in the Parish of Bramford Speke on the present road from Exeter to Crediton is so narrow and bad that cannot be repaired', this was amended.


In this year there was an act for repairing, widening and improving roads. New roads were also constructed.

Improvements were scheduled for the present turnpike road from The Plymouth Inn in the Parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle through the Village of Alphington; also for making a new road or diverting the present road at Waybrook in the road leading from Alphington towards Kenn Ford. Also the present turnpike road from the head of Alphington Village by way of Shillingford towards Haldon House, to Clapton Brook near the five mile stone on the same road called The Shillingford Road; also the present turnpike road from Alphington Church leading through the Village of Exminster to Crab Lake called The Powderham Road. Also the present Turnpike road from Little John's Cross in the Parish of Alphington to the Smiths shop near Halden House in the Parish of Kenn called The Dunchideock Road.



Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick