Page updated 20 June 2009
The unfortunate inhabitants of Chute Street live in a street whose name is a corruption of the Saxon word, Shyte. A brook ran down the street which was used, from the Saxon times, to carry away sewage. It became known as Shytebrook or later on Shitbrook, and ran past the bottom of Paris Street, which was once called Shytebrook Street. It emerged at the river in Larkbeare, near Colleton Hill. The brook was covered over in 1843 and carries only drain water, leaving its previous contents to be carried away in modern sewers.
The earliest reference to Chute Street in the Flying Post appears in an advert May 1857, when Nos. 1 and 3 Chute Street are offered for sale at auction. It was noted that No. 1 was presently used as a chapel. By 1861, the newly erected Nos. 13 and 14 were for sale. The housing in the area seems to follow the pattern in many towns at the time, speculatively built, over a period of years, in small batches of two or so dwellings, until there were enough to warrant building on a larger scale.
The roadway of Chute Street and Parr Street were privately owned, because the housing was newly built and the Council had not yet adopted it. By 1865, complaints were being made at the state of the surface, but the Council would only consider maintenance if the roads were brought up to standard first. An application for a licence for a beer house named the Victoria Inn mentioned that 230 houses had been constructed in the street and surrounds during the previous two years. Another application for a licence for a beer house named the Blue Ball that opened in 1863 was considered in 1864.
Much of the housing in Newtown was built for artisans, and a growing army of clerks and shop assistants. And yet, in 1875, an advert appeared that seems out of place for Chute Street:
"Wanted, as Butler, by a tall, elderly, active man, or as experienced attendant on invalids. R.S.T., No.2, Chute-street, Clifton-road, Exeter." It would be interesting to find out the back story on that.
In 1893, at an auction at the Windsor Castle Inn, Summerland Street, no. 9 Chute Street sold for £107 10s.
Private, F J E Reynolds,
5 November 1918. Age 31. Clifton Cottages, Chute St., Labour Corps
Private, James Tottle, 28 July 1918. Age 37. Clifton Cottages, Chute St., Royal Army Medical Corps
Chute Street. A hidden mural at Chute Street.
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