177. James Jervis / S Chick & Co. 1897


There had been plans for an extension to the Torrington line almost before the line was completed from Bideford (1872) but nothing happened. Indeed, many early maps showed a projected line from Torrington. Philips' Atlas of the Counties shows a projected route from Torrington, via Hatherleigh and passing north of Jacobstow to meet the L&SWR route at Sampford Courteney.  The same route is found on Bartholomew’s map printed by W H Smith in c.1875 (150). However, although the completion of the north Dartmoor loop meant that there was no compelling reason to connect Torrington with either Okehampton or with Halwill, certain groups still envisaged a more direct connection with the south west of the county.

Various attempts to get the line built were made and one suggested route was printed and published about 1897. The map probably drawn, but not engraved, by J Jervis a civil engineer covers all but the extreme eastern portion of the county, without rivers or roads. A railway map, it shows all the then current lines with the exception of the Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton (1897) routes. The emphasis is on a proposed line from Torrington directly to Okehampton. The line of the suggested route is basically the same as on Philips’ map but passes south of Jacobstow to meet the main line at Okehampton. This line was never built. Torrington can, however, claim to have had one of the last railways built in Britain with a line completed in 1925. However, that line ran from Torrington to Halwell Junction via Hatherleigh and not directly to Okehampton.

The four ‘authorised’ lines included in Jervis’ map are: Barnstaple to Lynmouth (completed 1898); Bideford to Westward Ho! (1901); Holsworthy to Bude (1898); Doddiscomsleigh (Ashton) to Exeter (1903).

The map was clearly copied by a local printer very soon after publication (see next entry).

Size: 245 x 202 mm.                                                                                                                                                                             No Scale.

No title but the key (Ae) reads TORRINGTON & OKEHAMPTON RAILWAY and there are two further legends: OTHER RAILWAYS and AUTHORIZED ... Do. ... . Signature: Jams. T. Jervis, M. Inst C.E. Engineer, 9, Victoria Street. Westminster (Ee). Note: C 4.5e (Ae). Printer’s signature: S CHICK & Co., PRINTERS, 10 MORTIMER STREET, LONDON, W. (CeOS).

1.  1897 No Title but Torrington & Okehampton Railway  
    Loose sheet. Publication uncertain. (1897).          (E).

Illustration courtesy of Devon Archives & Local Studies, Exeter - LM DEV/1895/JER.