Pinhoe’s history shared from Australia

Our warmest thanks to Susan Heywood Downard for sharing her family photos from Australia. We look forward to meeting Susan when she travels to Pinhoe during the summer

“My great grandfather, Augustus Ford worked for Miss Took at Petersfield in the late 1800’s. He was a very keen photographer and took a number of photographs around Pinhoe, including of the village and the house. I found Miss Took in the census of 1881. She left my great grandfather a pension in her will sufficient to enable him to buy a house in Exeter”

Harrington Cottage

Grant Harrison was able to locate the will in the local press >

Susan also shared a rare photo of Redhayes House (since destroyed by fire) which Marian Orton Cowling identifed: “Major Hext was brought up at Redhayes, his father owning the house. The Waldron’s had it built in Dutch Brick in the late 19th century.”

History & Heritage

In 1086, the Domesday Book noted Pinhoe’s 20 acres of meadows, 100 acres of pasture and 100 acres of woodland.

The network of hedgerows and hollow ways mark well travelled walking routes through the village. Oak trees in the tall Devon hedges lining these routes are likely descendants of the original oaks from Saxon times. According to renowned historical ecologist Oliver Rackham, some hedgerows are ‘older than almost any structure in England, apart from Stonehenge, and perhaps a 5th of hedgerows in the South of England have been undisturbed since Saxon times’.

Working with the team from East Devon District Council, we commissioned local illustrator Lucy Phillips to create drawings for our map connecting some of the important parts of Pinhoe’s history in a 3 mile walk from the centre to the top of the village.

The Poltimore Arms – in pictures

Built in 1886, the Poltimore Arms was an imposing building in the centre of Pinhoe Village.

Thanks to Chris Beer at Exeter Memories: the Poltimore Arms, likely in the 1950s
Updated to the 1990s, the Polti alongside Pearsons Supermarket
Before its demolition, at the centre of Pinhoe Village
The Poltimore Arms being demolished, 2018

BMX TRACK for Pinhoe

UPDATE: costs are likely to have increased since these first estimates. Which design do YOU prefer?

In August 2019, local families approached Pinhoe Forum to find out what was happening with the bike bump area in Station Road Playing Fields. It was overgrown and unsafe, but still used by families who were keen to renovate it.

Exeter City Council were concerned to ensure safety and the bike bumps were fenced off and levelled as part of the pitch renovations. The park is having drainage installed to remedy the boggy area – it’s a substantial investment using money from local housing development.

The Forum found out that £45k has been allocated to develop a bike track and Exeter City Council Parks Dept mentioned that we have an award-winning track designer who not only lives in Pinhoe, but Tim Ruck designed one of their most successful facilities in the city: an opportunity not to be missed! The £45k will become available from S106 money which will be released when houses on the Taylor Wimpey development are ready for occupation.

In September 2019, Tim took a look at the site. Fencing for the football pitch drainage usefully showed the size / space available at the end of the field. Because it would be overlooked and have several safe exits, it looks to have real potential. We discussed options to pursue further grant funding to enable an integrated, holistic approach to the site, which would secure access and amenity for the whole community as well as ensuring any bike facility was ambitious, accessible for a range of ages and abilities, and had a sustainable future.

Wider community consultation is the next step and we want to hear from young people who would use this facility, to ensure we bring a vision for the whole community – dog walkers use this part of the field too and could play their part in the safety of the site!

Meanwhile, Tim has suggested a range of designs with rough ideas for budgets so we can gauge the opportunity to apply for funding. We are looking forward to the feedback.

Small basic tarmac track, approx £20-25K
Larger track, compacted aggregate with tarmac turns, approx £35-50K
Hybrid layout, pump track features combined with skatepark obstacles (grind rail, grind block, manny pad and wall-ride) in tarmac, approx £45K +

To join the new People’s Panel please email:

Pinhoe Library’s new wildflower garden

The brilliant Jess Liebig has been busy organising a wildflower garden, with Lee from Libraries Unlimited, our community builder Ebbie and a fantastic bunch of volunteers from Wild Pinhoe. There’s space for scouts and guides to do some planting now the borders have been dug out and you’ll never spot the hedgehog box from Robin Hoad because it’s been so well camouflaged! Look out for plants being grown on by The Little House which are destined to flourish here #LovePinhoe