The Western Route Timelines: All, Georgian (1714 - 1837)


The road from Bideford to Great Torrington had historically run to the east of the Torridge, departing up the steep hill through East-the-Water then running southward through Weare Giffard. In 1824 that was the route followed by the toll road, but, in that year, an act was passed to enable the construction of a new road between the towns. This was the New Road, which is now the main road to Torrington and follows the west bank of the Torridge. It was finally constructed in 1827.

Meanwhile, Bideford’s Congregation of Protestant Dissenters of the Independent Denomination were concerned about a very different sort of traffic. Petitioning the House of Lords “to take the Subject of Colonial Slavery into their early and serious Consideration, with a view to its entire and speedy Abolition.” Slavery was abolished in 1833, but penal transportation from Britain and Ireland would not officially end until 1868.