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The Barnstaple Fire Station and Eleven Police Houses in Pilton

The Barnstaple Fire Station and Eleven Police Houses in Pilton /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=854

In 1953 the Borough of Barnstaple sold 1.7 acres (0.7 hectares) of land now occupied by Barnstaple Fire Station and the houses immediately surrounding it to Devon County Council close to ‘the Pilton By-pass’ (now variously known as North Road, New Road or the A39), for the sum of £425. A simple inflation calculation suggests a value today of about £13,000 although, given it is a prime location, it would probably be worth many times that figure if developed today.
The land (shaded red in the top half of the image) had been occupied by the American Red Cross Centre. It was reported that the huts shown 'could have been left over from World War 2 when they housed the American Red Cross'. They were described as 'all very modern and sleek for that time, bright and airy too'. When the Red Cross left, the huts were used by the North Devon Technical College which remained there until 1962 and then moved to Sticklepath.
The new Barnstaple Fire Station opened in 1965. In addition to the Fire Station, eleven police houses were also built on the land.
The map (top section) showing the area of land and the American Red Cross Centre is taken from the 1953 conveyance. The map (bottom section) showing the police houses is taken from a wayleave for electricity cables granted to the South Western Electricity Board in 1966.
This link will take you to an archive item on the Fire Station.

Many thanks to Julia and John Brett for passing over these documents to tell some more of the story of Pilton Lawn and the Fire Station.

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