25 Eggesford to Lapford

On Wednesday, the scout thought that he may have caught the train after loading in Crediton, but being just too late after parking at the station he rode off through town towards Eggesford, calling in at “his” bookshop on the way. A stiff northerly weakened him and he turned into Copplestone just in time for the next one, which got him to Eggesford for lunch in the cafe, where there is splendid grub on offer.

Then he rode up the hill and followed the drive to Eggesford Barton.

Seen from Thorn Park above Eggesford Church, the scout’s train returns as the 13.43 Barum to Exmouth. Eggesford parish has a church but no village. Even the things that might be associated with Eggesford – the station, the hunt and the hotel – lie outside the parish. All Saints Church has some imposing memorials to the Chichesters. The lady doing the flowers told the scout that it sees the biggest congregation at the Christmas Eve candlelit service.
As well as the church, the scout had spied a ruined bridge from the train many times and thought that he should go and have a closer look. Not many years ago, the track down from the church crossed the railway and the river but the residual pedestrian right has now been extinguished and the path diverted. 

The London & South Western Railway, having obtained parliamentary powers, had let the contract to double the remaining single line section of the North Devon between Copplestone and Umberleigh. Many bridges were built and some earthworks done before the railway agreed to share traffic with the Great Western, bringing the new work to an end.

​Those who may think that a pleasant couple of hours can’t be spent at Eggesford should try going for a bite of lunch at the excellent little goods shed cafe before taking a short circular walk past the church and the river bridges, returning to the station along the not too busy turnpike.

On the way back to Lapford, this nationally significant memorial was passed as well as the milestone marking the half way point on the turnpike between Exeter and Barnstaple: Exeter 20; Barnstaple 20.

At Lapford, the scout went up into the village and over the hills via Morchard Bishop back to Crediton.

The isolated “island” Down platform at Lapford lay between the river bridge and the station bridge beyond. Note the foliage about to meet in the middle.
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