This film is part of Free

View from an Engine Front - Barnstaple

A 'phantom ride' along a fondly remembered Devon railway, crossing the distinctive Taw Bridge into Barnstaple on the way to Ilfracombe

Non-Fiction 1898 2 mins Silent


Take a lost railway journey into Victorian Devon. As the cameraman clung to the front of a train in 1898, cranking the film by hand, things were looking up for Devon railways. In May the new Barnstaple Town station had opened to share a home with the narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple Railway. In the film you can see the older, empty Barnstaple Quay station after crossing the distinctive iron bridge over the River Taw.

To retrace the Ilfracombe Line from Barnstaple today you would have to be on foot or cycle as the line was closed in 1970. The bridge was demolished in 1977, but both stations still stand, repurposed as a café and a sixth form out-building for the nearby Pathfield School.