10 secrets about Barnstaple you might not know
- Credit: Archant
How much do you know about Barnstaple’s history? Find out 10 of its secrets here...
Secret Barnstaple is latest editions in the ‘Secret’ local series which follows on from the ‘Through time’ collection of 2013.
Denise Holton, ex-manager of Barnstaple Heritage centre, and local historian and volunteer at the Heritage centre, Elizabeth Hammett, partnered up to go behind the façade of the familiar to deliver the untold secrets of the town.
Test your knowledge with these 10 facts about Barnstaple…
Bridge Trust representations
You may also want to watch:
Hidden in plain sight on the bridge is a representation of the Bridge Trust seal. It shows six arches of a bridge, and a chapel that refers to that of St Thomas.
The Long Bridge
- 1 Volunteers come together to spruce up Barnstaple Train Station
- 2 New home grown manager for South Molton Swimming Pool
- 3 Homeless man jailed after attacking Barnstaple soldier in McDonald's
- 4 New council led leisure company Active Torridge appoints director
- 5 Murder investigation launched in Bideford after woman found dead
- 6 Appeal launched to raise £100,000 for new play equipment in Bideford
- 7 More than 530 nights in a tent - Max Woosey wins Young Hero Award
- 8 7 top tips to help you find the perfect wedding venue
- 9 North Devon's Amy Riley takes her motorsports dream to next level
- 10 Selaine Saxby's Henry to compete for Westminster Dog of the Year
In 1556 a licence was obtained from the Bishop of Exeter to employ collectors to solicit donations not only for the maintenance of the long bridge but also the causeways, which ran for a quarter of a mile from each end of the bridge.
The population of Barnstaple at the time The Castle, on what is now Castle Mound, was built may have been no more than 350.
Post boy attack
In June 1743 the Post Office offered a reward of £200 to any person who caused to be convicted the thief who knocked the post boy down with the Barnstaple mail off his horse and ‘carried both horse and mail and several letters for Exeter, London. Bristol and other places’
Barnstaple Town Station
Built in the 1890s when the Barnstaple-Lynton line opened, the original quay station on the site where the old bus station building is, was too small to take an extra line so was moved to Castle Street and renamed Barnstaple Town station.
Various spellings of Tuly Street have been recorded in the past including; ‘Tulys’, Tuly and ‘Tooley’ which all reference St Tooley’s well, believed to be the street’s name origin.
St Peter’s stain glass window
In 1872 Queen Victoria paid for all parishes in the country to install commemorative windows in fear of her eldest son, Edward VII , would die from typhoid - the same as his father. One of these stain glass windows in St Peter’s Church and still remains there.
Port Royal pottery
In 1665 the Jeremiah of Barnstaple took 20 dozen earthenware direct to Jamaica for John Christmas, North Devon pottery was reaching there before that date by one route or another, as fragments have been found by archaeologists investigating the site when investigating Port Royal.
Albert Clock Tower
The infamous Albert Clock Tower in The Square as built in 1862 by public subscription as the town’s memorial to Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria.
In 1803 Barnstaple had just one postman who had to deliver the post to the whole town, however by 1902 there was thirteen postmen who delivered to the area. You could only be a postman in the area that you lived in.
Secret Barnstaple is available in local bookshops and Kindle and iBook formats for £14.99.