The Ride

As the principal route off the Billacombe Road to Chelson Meadow Landfill Facility (the Corporation refuse tip) it’s a far cry from being the genteel carriage drive it formerly was from the eastern end of Lord Morley’s new Laira Bridge to his family seat at Saltram.

It was in July 1805 that John Parker, Lord Boringdon, managed (for a payment of £200) to get George III to relinquish his rights to the tidal land that formed Chelson Creek and it was in 1806 that Parker began building an embankment that, eleven years later, would see him add another 175 acres of land to his Saltram estate. Having first approached an engineer about bridging the Laira here in 1807, Parker, now the Earl of Morley, finally got his wish when James Meadows Rendel’s magnificent iron bridge was completed here twenty years later. Opened by the Duchess of Clarence (the future Queen Adelaide) in July 1827 it was less than a year later that horse racing began on Morley’s newly reclaimed land at Chelson Meadow. For the next hundred years or so, the Ride would have accommodated many riders as racing here continued, and who knows, maybe one day it will come back again.