Perhaps the defining feature of Cranbrook is that is has always been a place for incomers and travellers. Built along a Roman road, the Fosse Way which connects Exeter to Honiton, Ilchester, Bath, Leicester and Lincoln 182 miles away. Even before the Roman road many travellers would passed this way and would camp in this area before entering the town.


Near the new bridge over the M5 and near the appropriately named Gypsy Hill Lane evidence has been found of a gypsy camp dating to around 250 BC. From then right up until the present day Cranbrook has been passed through by travellers from all periods. In the fields around Cranbrook metal detectorists sometimes find Medieval stirrup mounts which the fashionable medieval horse rider would have used these to decorate his/her stirrups (unfortunately, judging from how often they are found, they don’t seem to have been well attached).

Images: Medieval stirrup mounts © Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery. Map of Roman Britain © Copyright Gpedro. Creative Commons Licence. Ordnance Survey Map 1809 from Devon History Centre.