The Project Strands

Way of the Wharves started life in 2016 as a community volunteer project researching the history of East the Water and its wharves. In 2020 Way of the Wharves became a charity with the objective to “To advance the education of the public in the maritime and industrial heritage of the Wharves at East the Water and the Torridge Estuary.”

  • Published ‘A history of East-the-Water, Bideford’ December 2021. Despite the long history of the wharves and their commercial importance to the local area, this is the first book to focus on their history. Order your copy here
  • Adopted the phone box by The Bethel Chapel, Torrington Street. This will be turned into a heritage and horticulture hub. See www.phoneeastthewater.co.uk
  • Re-published the popular ‘Walk the Wharves’ self-guided heritage map – available free at Tourist Information and other outlets
  • Organised regular guided walks and made group presentations in person and on zoom
  • Organised the 2021community event Bideford BIG DRAW – a celebration of drawing looking across the water. See www.bidefordbigdraw.org


In 2021 work started on re-development of the Barnstaple Street wharves site. Way of the Wharves publish regular progress updates. Working with the developer, Red Earth, Way of the Wharves will design interpretation panels to be sited on the new development and describing the heritage of the site,. The charity hopes to create a permanent Maritime Heritage Centre in the new development.

Torridge Maritime Day

Way of the Wharves future objective is to work with local partners to organise 'Torridge Maritime Day', celebrating the rich industrial and maritime heritage of the Torridge Estuary.

We hope you enjoy the wealth of information, images, maps and oral histories contained in this website.

Way of the Wharves CIO

Way of the Wharves is a charity based in Bideford North Devon whose aim is to advance the education and information about the maritime and industrial heritage of the Wharves at East the Water and the Torridge Estuary. Way of the Wharves CIO is a registered charity (Number 1188912)

The Team

The project is run by a group of trustees and volunteers. Click here for more information about our team.


If you would like to get involved in Way of the Wharves, either by volunteering at meetings or helping at a specific event, please do get in touch.

You can email us on wotw.wharves@gmail.com.


In the first year, the project was funded by the Health Lottery. From November 2017, it was funded for a further 12 months by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We are grateful for grants in 2021 from Torridge DC, Devon CC, Bideford TC, Bideford Bridge Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund and also to the many individual donations that have allowed us to continue our work.

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