Fishchowter’s Lane

Fishchowter’s Lane is an ancient footpath not far from our house. The Lane has a rich history, dating from at least the 12th century when it was part of the main road from Totnes to Dartmouth. There are various permutations of the name (Fishchowter’s, Fishcheater’s) and as many theories as to what the name means.

I have tried to catalogue how the Lane changes during different seasons in the photographs shown below.

Photos from March 26th 2018

Beginning of Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Near the beginning of Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes with wild garlic and traffic preventer.
Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes with wild garlic and traffic preventer.

 

Opposite leaved golden saxifrage on Fishchowter's Lane
Opposite leaved golden saxifrage on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Pussy Willow on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Pussy Willow on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Totnes Castle viewed from Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Totnes Castle viewed from Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Wall Pennywort on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Wall Pennywort on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Wild Garlic along Fishchowter's Lane
Wild Garlic along Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Photos from April 22nd 2018

Fiddlehead Ferns on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Fiddlehead Ferns on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Wood Sorrel on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Wood Sorrel on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Yellow Archangel on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Yellow Archangel on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Photos from May 9th 2018

Spring growth on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Spring growth on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Wild Garlic on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Wild Garlic in flower on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Bumblebee feeding from Yellow Archangel on Fishchowter's Lane, Totnes
Bumblebee feeding from Yellow Archangel on Fishchowter’s Lane, Totnes

 

Photos from June 6th 2018

Femal solitary bee collecting pollen from flowers on Fishchowter's Lane
Female solitary bee collecting pollen from flowers on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Foxgloves wiht bumblebee on Fishchowter's Lane
Foxgloves with bumblebee on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

How the leaves create a green tunnel on Fishchowter's Lane
How the leaves create a green tunnel on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Insect seen on Fishchowter's Lane
Black slip wasp seen on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Male early bumblebee
Male early bumblebee

 

Speckled Wood butterfly on Fishchowter's Lane
Speckled Wood butterfly on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Wall Pennywort on Fishchowter's Lane
Wall Pennywort on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Photos from July 14th 2018

Solitary bee on bramble on Fishchowter's Lane
Solitary bee on bramble on Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Ferns growing along Fishchowter's Lane
Ferns growing along Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Cows grazing the meadow
Cows grazing the meadow

 

Comma butterfly on bramble along Fishchowter's Lane
Comma butterfly on bramble along Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Burdock growing along the side of Fishchowter's Lane
Burdock growing along the side of Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Local reaction to a planning application
Local reaction to a planning application that would have irreversibly changed Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Photos from August 1st 2018

Blackberries along Fishchowter's Lane
Blackberries along Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Common carder bee and red-tailed bumblebee on thistle
Common carder bee and red-tailed bumblebee on thistle

 

Cuckoo Pint (Arum maculatum) growing alongside Fishchowter's Lane
Cuckoo Pint (Arum maculatum) growing alongside Fishchowter’s Lane

 

Elderberries
Elderberries

 

Hazel nuts
Hazelnuts

 

Hoverfly on thistle
Hoverfly on thistle

 

Speckled wood butterfly
Speckled wood butterfly

 

Sunlight and hashers' codes near the watery juction
Sunlight and hashers’ codes near the watery juction

 

Sycamore seeds
Sycamore keys

 

Photos from September 5th 2018

The lane on a sunny September morning
The lane on a sunny September morning

 

Herb robert
Herb robert

 

Fungi on Fishchowter's Lane
fungi

 

Hemp nettle
hemp nettle

 

Self heal
self heal

 

Blackberries
blackberries

 

Dark bush cricket
dark bush cricket

 

Thistle down
thistledown

 

Photos from September 25th 2018

horse chestnut
horse chestnut

 

fungi
fungi

 

hoverfly on bindweed
hoverfly on bindweed

 

wasps on ivy flowers
wasps on ivy flowers

 

Common carder bee on hedge woundwort
common carder bee on hedge woundwort

 

Speckled wood butterfly
speckled wood butterfly

 

spider with prey
spider with prey

 

Photos from October 13th 2018

apples
apples

 

fruit
fruit

 

cow parsley
cow parsley

 

autumn tints
autumn tints

 

5 thoughts on “Fishchowter’s Lane”

  1. Having walked from the centre of Totnes last Sunday during lockdown to the top of the hill south of us and then back down Fishchowters Lane, I was intrigued to find out anything about the origin of the name and came across your website with wonderful pictures. Congratulations !

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    1. Thanks for your comment, MIchael. There is some information about the name in Valerie Belsey’s book “Green Lanes in the South Hams”. Here is part of a piece I wrote for an exhibition which included some of the photos: “Fishchowter’s Lane has the look of a very old track, a sunken green lane enclosed by trees, used for centuries and worn down by the passage of people, animals and wheels. It is sometimes referred to as Fishcheater’s Lane as it was thought to have been used as an alternative route into Totnes by those wishing to avoid paying taxes on fish. The approach to the Lane lies in a very old part of the town, littered with remnants of past lives. There used to be a leper hospital not far away on Maudlin Road and nearby are the remains of an old Linhay, a particular Devon building used for keeping animals in winter, now used for car parking. Among the buildings of Lake Garden is a tall chimney, once part of a tannery. Sometimes we joke that Fishchowter’s Lane is a portal into a bygone age, and occasionally we meet people along the Lane who have the look of another era, adding to the illusion. “

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    1. Thanks Helen, glad you liked the photos, it is a lovely peaceful place. I believe the old leper hospital was further up Maudlin Road and the front wall of Albert Place is supposed to have been part of it.

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