Known before the Great War simply as “St. Cyres,” the station suffered the disadvantage
of being located almost a mile from the village it served. Until the mid-20th century,
Newton St. Cyres was among the prettiest of Devon villages, with two rows of 16th
and 17th century thatched cottages tightly bordering the main road. The post-World
War II increase in traffic led to severe congestion along the narrow main street
and, after a prolonged public battle, the entire row of cottages along the south
side of the street was demolished -- in the opinion of many, an act of public vandalism.
Hints of the village’s ancient charm are still to be found at the little ford and
along the quiet lane that lies beyond.
Newton St. Cyres’s proximity to Exeter, in the gentler days before mass vehicle ownership, ensured a healthy number of railway ticket sales: 10,385 in 1928 -- a figure only surpassed by those of Barnstaple, Crediton and Yeoford. Today the situation is reversed. Few trains stop at the isolated station. The drop from train to platform was until recently very steep, but the introduction of a ‘Harrington Hump’ has been a major improvement for passengers boarding and alighting. There is only limited parking space at the station itself. The main attraction is the local pub, The Beer Engine (www.thebeerengine.co.uk ), which not only brews its own beer but produces excellent meals. The Sunday lunch (booking essential) features that hard-to-find commodity: rare roast beef. Cold cuts from the Sunday joints are available all week. In summer, it is possible to sit outdoors, your tranquillity disturbed only by trains hurtling to or from Exeter. From the start of the new timetable in December 2011, new journey opportunities became available due to the reorganisation of the calls at the station, these are detailed here.