Polsloe Bridge to Whipton

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Further down the road on the right is the Lych Gate, the entrance to All Saints Church. The gate has been restored using a donation by V.I. Bird. The houses 'Pebbles' and 'Iona' stand on the site of the old Whipton School of 1871. The school was closed when Whipton First School was opened in 1938. The old school was used for sunday schools and meetings but was finally demolished in 1969. Whipton Barton Middle School was opened in 1956, Beacon Heath First School in 1957 and Summerway Middle School in 1950 to cater for Whipton's ever increasing population.

On your left is the Village Inn, pop in here for a swift pint. This building has not changed externally for years, although internally things have fairly recently changed with the addition of a restaurant and the re-naming of the pub (2005) from The Whipton Inn. During the 1920's, the licencees were the Crews family, the grandparents of R. Cowley, a local builder. Cowley and Jack Packer were responsible for most of the building in Whipton from the 1920's. 

Village Inn History

All Saints Church

All Saints Church opposite the Pub was built in 1861 as a chapelry to Heavitree and was consecrated in 1862. The walls are of Heavitree stone with Killerton and Bath Stone dressings. 

The Whipton Inn Micawbers


Whipton was a hamlet of Heavitree and in the hundred of Wonford, and originally got its name from a Saxon landowner called Wippa who owned Wippa's Farm. Following Exeter's conquest by the Norman's in 1068, 'Wipletona', went to William Capra who also held 40 other manors in Devon plus others in Somerset. The tax or geld due on Wipletona was one hide. A hide represented an amount of land that could be dealt with using one plough.
Exit the Whipton Inn and head off for your final Pub which is Micawbers, further down the road on the left. This pub is in the centre of Whipton Village so from here you could pop out and see the rest of the village or you could just get shitfaced. Micawber decorates the bar and the Pub sign. As you know he was the likeable fraud out of Dicken's David Copperfield who was 'always expecting something to turn up'.

Micawbers History

It never did, and he was eventually arrested and sent to debtors prison. He always gave financial advice to his friends and said that if he took his advice himself, 'you would not see this wreck before you'. Does this remind you of someone?

Micawbers was once an old coaching house called the Star, serving the Bristol to Exeter run, it was also known as the Half Moon Inn prior to 1995. The Half Moon Inn was thatched until 1895 when a fire destroyed most of the outbuildings and the Inn itself. This very same fire also put paid to three cottages over the road. The Wesleyan Methodists were using the outbuildings for meetings at around about this time.
September 1964 saw major demolition work on Half Moon corner with numbers 70 and 72 Whipton Village Road Removed. This space is now taken up by a larger corner and the pubs beer garden.

Village Pinhoe Road Shops Rennes House Whipton Methodist Church, Brookway

Around and About

Rennes House is the mini-tower block over Pinhoe Road in Hill Lane. It is named after Exeter's French Twin City and was built in 1967 on the site of Whipton Barton which incorporated a farm house and farm. The farmhouse was demolished in 1963. The Bankes family were occupants around 1700 and their coat of arms can now be found on the badge of the nearby Whipton Barton Middle School, my old Junior school.

The shops in Pinhoe Road date from 1955 and the more modern shops in Whipton Village Road from 1974. Situated in Brookway is Whipton Methodist Church inaugurated on 27th June 1956 with the foundation stone being laid in June 1955. Further down Brookway, stands St Boniface Parish Church which was built to replace All Saints Church. The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Exeter in 1956 and the church consecrated two years later in 1958. The Roman Catholic Church in Whipton was in Summerway at St Bernadettes. This was built in 1960 and services were held until the 1ate 1980's. The building was pulled down in 1994 to make way for housing.

Whipton Isolation Hospital or Whipton Sanitorium was built in 1878 and as far as I know is still being used by the NHS.

The Whipton Exhibition Site, the Whipton Showground was once farmed by the Alford family who sold the land to Exeter City Council just after WW2, however in 1909 it was used to stage the Bath & West Show. It became Whipton Playing Fields and was later used annually for the Devon County Show until May 1988. The show was moved to Westpoint at Clyst St Mary in 1989.

The site has since been redeveloped by the council to provide sporting facilities for Exeter and is now Exeter Arena. The Arena was opened on 24th May 1992, the Isca Centre was also opened on 1st October 1994 and provides facilities for indoor bowls and rooms for other activities.

Stuart Callon Copyright ©2002, 2005

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