East Wonford Hill and Heavitree Fore Street are the final stretch of the Roman road leading into Exeter.
There is plentiful Heavitree Stone to be found here in the old walling along the road. Starting just after the junction with Rifford Road, there are long stretches on the right and left up to St Loyes Road, and another long stretch on the left up to Butts Road. The stone is generally undressed and uncoursed, that is rough-hewn and not set in horizontal layers.
There is little mention of walling in the historical records, except for a short section further up Fore Street. The archaeological watching brief during the ‘public realm enhancement scheme’ near the Royal Oak pub in 2009 recorded “walling of undressed Heavitree Stone bonded with orange-pink mortar”. It “appears to represent the corner of a room probably associated with one of the buildings shown on successive plans of the area from the 19th to 20th century, possibly the mid 19th century Stafford Villas”. There are two buildings shown next to the ‘PH’ on the 1887-89 Ordnance Survey map which could have been these.
As regards the walling along the road, the old maps are inconclusive. The 1801 drawing for the first Ordnance Survey map of Exeter shows some residences and orchards or gardens which may have been enclosed. The 1898 map shows some slightly heavier lines along the road in places, but this possibly just indicates it was a main road.
- Exeter City Historic Environment Record – http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MDV80855&resourceID=104
- Ordnance Survey drawing, 1801 – http://british-library.georeferencer.com/map/jO41Jg8nkq03K1FYgn9sGH/201202131810-1t5mQA/visualize
- Ordnance Survey map, 1887-89 – https://maps.nls.uk/view/106003481
- Ordnance Survey map, 1898 – https://maps.nls.uk/view/101169074