Crediton (Station code CDI)

Though the line between Exeter and Crediton was completed early in 1847, legal arguments delayed the actual opening of the railway for more than four years. Crediton was a town of importance, having been a recognised centre since Saxon times. Indeed, its first church built in the early 10th Century served for 150 years as a cathedral, before the bishop’s throne was moved to Exeter. The fine sandstone church “of the Holy Cross and the Mother of Him who hung thereon” dates from the 15th Century and was built close to the site of the old cathedral.

 

The town’s most famous son remains Winfrith, later St. Boniface, who in the early 8th century converted much of Europe to Christianity. From the mid-13th to the mid-17th Century the town was a noted wool centre.  With the gradual decline of the serge industry, the town diversified into other agricultural products.  It was for many years famed for its cider, the old cider mills being located between the railway line and the main road just beyond the Exeter end of the up-platform. The town was twice devastated by fire. A Sunday morning blaze in August 1743 destroyed much of the West town and High Street. Sixteen lives were lost along with some 450 houses. With more than 2,000 people made homeless, rebuilding was a priority, but many of the replacement structures succumbed to the flames in a second devastating fire 26 years later.




Today all trains stop at the station, which has benefitted in recent years from an active “Friends of the Station” group. The old station house located on the “up” Exeter-bound platform has been converted into a tearoom. Open six days a week, the tearoom serves light meals and an array of home-made cakes. Traditional Devonshire junket (with clotted cream) is sometimes available. There is a lavatory for customer use. Free parking is available across the tracks alongside the “down” Barnstaple-bound platform. For further information see www.crediton.co.uk
© Copyright Roger Cornfoot and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
Crediton signal box resplendent in L&SWR colours thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Crediton Station and Network Rail.     Photo © Michael Hodge
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