Countess Wear Turnpike Trust                             (updated 24th Sept 2013)

This trust was established as a Division of the Exeter Turnpike Trust and was administered separately. Its sole responsibility was for the new bridge built over the Exe at Countess Wear and for the approach roads from Rydon Lane to Exminster Road.

List of Acts

Countess Wear Bridge


 9 Geo3



Countess Wear Bridge


7 Geo4 c23



Countess Wear Bridge


1&2 Wil4 c62



Countess Wear Bridge





Countess Wear Bridge






Select Committee on State of Roads 1840

Hugh Middleton Ellicombe of Exeter (clerk to the trust) reported

There are 2 and a quarter miles of road thru 2 parishes – all repaired by the trustees

1 toll gate

The roads are stated to be in “very good” condition – no part under indictment for want of repair.


Report to Secretary of State 1852

BPP Vol. 44 (1852) - No. 35.—EXETER ROADS.

Main report is under Exeter Roads.

3.—The Countess Wear Bridge Road.

The length of this road is about two and a quarter miles, including a bridge over the River Exe. There is only one toll-gate, at which the full tolls allowed by the Act are levied. There is also a side bar at a few yards distance from the gate.


The debt upon this road is £3,512., of which sum £2,750 was advanced in the year 1775, and £762 10s. in the year 1804, bearing interest at 4 per cent. Mortgages have been granted for the whole of tile debt,  payable to the parties advancing the money, or bearer. There are 77 securities in all, in sums varying from £12 10s. to £50. The amount of unpaid interest has been mis-stated in the annual returns for many years ; the following account, transmitted in November last, being correct:—

£       s.   d.

75 years interest on £2,750 advanced in  1775, at 4 per cent.    --    8,250    0    0

46 years interest on £462 10s. advanced in 1804, at 4 per cent.   -                -    1,403    0    0

Total                                                                                                    9,653    0    0


Deduct interest paid on the deed poll debt                                                    £   s.    d.
previous to the year 1820 -                                                                                         898 15    0
Interest on £1.350 deed poll produced at the Treasurer's office in 1850       -  -         -     54    0   0

———————                                                                                                   952 15    0

Unpaid interest due 3lst December 1850   -        -                                          £ 8,700   3    0


The above account was accompanied by the following explanation :—

" At the general annual meeting,, held 13th  March 1850, the Trustees ordered the treasurer to pay a year's interest on the debt.  This resolution was advertised in-the local newspapers, when holders of deeds poll to the' amount of £1,350. only presented their deeds, and received their interest, viz £54.


" On referring to such deeds poll, and also to the old account books, it was discovered that interest had from time to time been paid on account previous  to the year 1820 amounting to £898 15s, and that from that time to the year 1849 the Trust was unable to pay any interest whatever."


The accounts show that the annual toll income between 1833 and 1848 varied from £212 10s. to £112, and since 1848 has been less than £100 per annum: The funds have been applied in payment of repairs of road, salaries (£10 5s- since 1848), law charges, occasional improvements (about £860 since 1838), and a portion of interest in the year 1850. The arrears of interest, on the 3lst of December 1850 amounted to£8,700 5s.

The clerk states that the Trustees have not considered the expediency of extending the term and altering the powers of the Local Act for this bridge and road; neither have the Trustees made any proposals to the creditors to reduce the rate of interest or extinguish the arrears, in consequence of the insufficiency of funds-


List of Roads

Countess Wear Bridge Road; The A379 from the Red Post at the Topsham Road roundabout to the Powderham road roundabout.


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Known Tollhouses (extracts from Tollhouse National database) 1 identified of the 1 reported by the trust

Road Classification Number



OS Grid Ref- Prefi




Civil Parish

Location (Name or Number)

Road or Street (see across)



Revised 23rd Sept 2013

erected by (Turnpike Trust or Authority)

Bibliographic refs


Countess Weir to Alphington

Countess Wear Bridge






Countess Wear Bridge Toll House

red brick cottage, NE corner of bridge

demolished 1973

; ; Turnpike Trust Returns 1824;

Countess Wear Bridge

Jenkinson T. & Taylor P. (2009), "The Toll-houses of South Devon", p116


Known Milestones

In the Milestone Society Database, no milestones are identified. Based on Trust mileage, would expect 2.


Mentions in Exeter Flying Post

 (excluding notices of meetings and letting of tolls)