The old ways

There are several old routes through Digby. What are now Quarry Lane and Digby Drive both appear on the 1801 drawing for the first edition Ordnance Survey map of Exeter, and are probably much older.

The route of Quarry Lane still exists, from the bottom of East Wonford Hill, past the Heavitree Stone quarries, and east along the Sidmouth Road.

The other old way zigzagged from Salter’s Road to Clyst Road. Woodwater Lane, Digby Drive, the footpath to Baxter Close, and Clyst Halt Avenue to Old Rydon Close still follow the route, although much of it has been erased by Exe Vale Retail Park, the railway, and fields around Sandy Park.

Bypass Camp

The area from Rydon Park to Toby Carvery used to be occupied by a military camp. It is recorded on Luftwaffe aerial photographs of 1st July 1940. It is possible that this is ‘Bypass Camp’ which was the base for the 4th United States Army Quartermaster Company and 704th Ordnance Company of the 4th Infantry Division by 1944. The name is probably related to its location alongside Rydon Lane, which was built in 1935. There was also a Bypass Airfield on what is now St Peter’s School.

What on earth is the Kyrangle?

Thank you for asking! When I named the “Star Spangled Kyrangle”, I thought it was common knowledge, as it is marked on Google Maps. But it managed to bemuse some local residents who hadn’t heard the name before.

It’s the area of green next to Clyst Heath School, west of the railway line. In times past, the area used to be a quarry and source of red sand. I wonder whether ‘Kyrangle’ is a corruption of ‘quarry’.

Here is what the area looks like on the old OS map from 1873-88 compared with today.