You might easily miss Hope Road. Its entrance at the corner of Butts Road and Wonford Street is very narrow, and at its exit into Hoker Road it looks like a service road. But it’s full of character and quirks such as Hope Hall, the former Baptist church, near the bottom; a lovely row of terraces facing a monstrously high wall; and a great variety of walling and plant life in the top section round the corner.
Hope Road appears on the 1801 drawing for the first Ordnance Survey map of Exeter, and is labelled on the 1887-89 Ordnance Survey map as Muddy Lane. It was renamed Hope Road on the building of the Baptist church in 1905.
There is a short section of dressed Heavitree Stone at the entrance and more higher up forming a retaining wall. This is topped by a high and decorative brick boundary wall for a property behind. There is a large house marked on the 1887-89 map, but the care home now on the site looks more recent. There is more Heavitree Stone at the top end of the road. Some forms the base for a lovely short section of vibrant red cob.
Further down Wonford Street on the 1887-89 map is the Gardeners’ Arms. The 1801 drawing shows the previous building on the site: the Great House, a moated medieval house. It is possible that the Hope Road remains are some of the boundary walls from the Great House estate.
- 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
- Discovering Exeter 3/Heavitree – https://www.exetercivicsociety.org.uk/shop/discovering-exeter/