Newton Poppleford was a deliberately planned new town in the medieval period, hence the first part of its name. The right to hold a market here was first granted in 1226 to William Brewer, Lord of the Manor of Aylesbeare, and from this arose the planned settlement on the road leading to the Otter.
Further along the Otter, between two gates, you’ll cross a private track. This marks the line of the former branch railway to Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth. This scenic line through the idyllic pastoral landscape followed the Otter Valley for some distance. It was closed as part of the Beeching cuts in 1967.
Looking to the right from the riverside path in the Otterton area can be seen a distinctive needle. This was built in 1730 a ‘point de vue’, or visual point of interest, as seen from Bicton House, the seat of the rolles, the local major family.
Continuing down the riverside path you’ll notice an aqueduct. The aqueduct now leads water from Budleigh Brook, on the western side of the valley, into the river. Its original purpose was to help drain the water meadows so as to reclaim the valley bottom for agriculture. It dates to the early years of the 19th century.