An early morning drop off at Exeter Airport gave us the chance to go for an early morning walk at Topsham, the weather was all things bright and beautiful. The moon was still up when we started. Our only previous visits to Topsham were related to delivering or collecting students doing the Topsham 10. No mention ever, from them, of the amazing architecture.
Topsham is beautiful. The architecture is stunning. We accidentally walked the Topsham Goatwalk. At 7:30 we pretty much had it to ourselves.
A bit of googling on our return home and we discovered that in the 17 th century Topsham was the second busiest British port after London. Which explains the architecture.
Topsham took precedence over Exeter as a port because an assertive woman, Isabella de Fortibus built a partial weir in 1290, on the River Exe to run her mills and cut off Exeter as a navigable port direct from the sea. In 1300 a local landowner Hugh De Courtney added to the effect of the weir by felling trees and chaining them together to further block the navigable river to Exeter.
We were pretty surprised to see a Thames Barge resting up on a slipway. Even more surprised to discover that the barge, Vigilant had spent some time in the same relatively unknown area of North East Essex where half of theoldmortuary grew up.
The sun was rising as we approached the actual Goat walk, a raised path alongside the water. Loads of benches there for future memorial bench blogs.
We carried on walking into the sunrise and then followed footpaths and lanes back into the centre of town for a brew at Route 2 cafe.
Topsham is so worth a visit. If you can’t get there visit the links on this page.