Alphington's Brooks and Streams
Records show the Alphin Brook was once known as Afon.
The Alphin Brook rises at Holcombe Burnell in a combe called Alphin.
The Alphin Brook meets up with the Nadder Brook at Pocombe Bridge and with the Fordland Brook at Ide originally, the brook joined the River Exe opposite the Countess Weir Mills just upstream from Lampreyford Weir. In 1563 when John Trews of New Haven House, Haven Banks Road, Alphington was engaged to build the Exeter Canal the Alphin Brook caused an obstruction so it was diverted into the Matford Brook. Water was taken from the Alphin Brook to power Alphington Mills. The mill race started at a weir close to Balls Farm Road and Crabb Lane.
The alphin Brook formed a pond next to Crabb Lane that was locally known as Clark's Pond.
Memories of the Alphin Brook
Wildlife was abundant around the brook with Kingfishers and Sand Martins nesting in the higher banks above Mill Lane. Water Voles could be seen and Mayflies, Dragonflies and Damselflies were common. Shoals of Minnows could be found in the shallow waters when dry areas appeared under the Alphington Bridge.
The Nadder Brook
Studying maps the Nadder Brook appears to rise at Heath Cross not too from Whitestone. According to the Alphington Tithe Map the brook follows part of the edge of the Parish before meeting up with the Alphin Brook.
To date not found marked on maps but it is thought that the small trickle of water that runs between the edge of Grimes Field and the old school towards Chapel Road is the remains of the Lucerne Stream. The modern building called Lucerne House fronting the Chudleigh Road suggests the stream could have flowed behind it at one time.
Villager's thought the stream rose at Shillingford Hill and flowed onto the Alphin Brook where it entered a pipe to cross the brook. It seems to have gone underground and finished the other side of Church Road.
There are no memories as to why it was called the Lucerne Stream but there is a forage Legume named Alfalfa or Lucerne. Perhaps a nearby field was used for growing this crop. Lucerne is not suitable for grazing but it is suitable for silage to feed cows and sheep.
The Matford Brook
According to maps rises from a 'seemingly muddy puddle' by Shillingford St George. Enters the Parish at Matford and at one time powered the Matford Mills.
Other Alphington Brooks and Streams
Several small streams/waterways and a pond are marked on the Alphington Tithe Map. When the Priory of St Mary's de Marisco occupied Marsh Barton a ditch and a pond were recorded in the mid 1500s. One of the Marsh Barton streams flowed towards the Exeter Canal and then followed it towards the Double Locks. The stream flowed under a bridge at Clapperbrook Lane and onwards until it joined the Alphin Brook.
Clay/Water Lane once branched off Clapperbrook Lane just behind the present-day allotments. On some maps a ford is marked indicating the presence of a stream at one time.
Other parts of the Parish
At the far end of the Parish several small streams are marked on some older maps but are not named. One ran just above Mark's Farm and the second one between Westwood and Webby's Farms.
An old map records a spring just off Ide Lane where Myrtle Close is situated today.
A constant flow of water at the side of this lane indicates the possible presence of a spring.
Other parts of the Parish
Several old maps record springs situated close to Webby's Farm, Westwood and Eastwood.
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick