Sandra Cooper's report on the 3 guided walks which CAHMS ran and led as part of Crediton Festival.
The weather was good for the first of our three guided walks which formed part of the Crediton Festival 2015. Led by John Heal, it took 5 participants around the East end of the town. The walk started in the Church Car Park which had been the site of two archaeological digs in the last century. Pieces of pottery dating back to Roman times were found, but the main finds were remains of the foundations of Mediaeval religious buildings dating from the time when Crediton was a Collegiate Church of 18 canons. After looking at the Buller Family vault and a little history of the Parish Church we made our way to Tolleys, the believed birthplace of St. Boniface. Then after walking along Mill Street and looking at some of the buildings there, we stopped at the entrance to Lord's Meadow where both King Charles and Oliver Cromwell reviewed their troops during the Civil War. The next important stop was in Newcombes Meadow where with the help of photographs we were able to show how much the Newcombes Estate had changed in the last 60 years. The tour finished in the Town Square when, again with the help of photographs, we were able to show how much that area of the town had changed since the new market was constructed in 1839.
The weather was also good for the walk round the station area, also led by John Heal and attended by 8. A couple of the "Friends of Crediton Station" joined this tour. It was a little disappointing to find that the historic bridge had been removed for renovation. We watched the exchange of tokens at the signal box and later talked about why it took four years from completion of the line to its opening in 1851. As well as talking about the station the group took a short detour and heard about the flooding at Fordton and the fire at Four Mills.
Sandra Cooper led the third walk, which explored the West of the town. 16 walkers met in the Town Square with ominous dark clouds overhead, and heard about the Crediton Improvement Act and creation of the new market square and Market Street. The old market stalls in the High Street were removed and a new Market building was erected. Dodging the showers we made our way up the High Street learning about the devastation of the Great Fire in 1743 and the buildings we passed along the way. We sheltered in a covered entrance just before the heavens opened and a torrential downpour ensued. The walk then continued speedily up to St Lawrence Chapel where we could go inside and discover its long history.