The Topsham Ten

In the early fourteenth century, Exeter’s needed a new port, due to the construction of Countess Wear on the River Exe by the Earls of Devon. As a result, Topsham flourished, with Hugh de Courtney building the small town’s first Quay in 1316. Pubs, inns and hotels prospered even after the later versions of Exeter canal were completed and prevailed into Victorian times.

Only a handful exist in modern Topsham, due to the decline of Exeter’s trade and economic viability. Until as recent as the mid 90s, however, there was still at least ten pubs, which formed the canonical ‘Topsham Ten’ pub crawl:

Sadly, a number of these are no more or have changed so much they can no longer be called part of the crawl.

Modern crawls usually take in an Exeter pub or two on the way to make up for this, or include a stop at one of the town’s fine wine merchants. By far the most common of these excursions is the famous Imperial hotel next to Exeter St David’s train station – one of the finest pub buildings in the country and the jewel in the Wetherspoon crown.