Wrangaton is situated 1.5 miles to the north-east of Ugborough village. It skirts the southern edge of Dartmoor and lies mostly in the Dartmoor National Park. There are industrial units next to the railway and previously served by a siding, which were built as a Royal Navy Supply Depot and used until 1996. There are a couple of B & B establishments and an 18-hole golf course, established in 1895; comprising 9 holes of moorland and 9 nine holes of parkland.
Wrangaton in the parish of Ugborough, was part of the Domesday manor of Langafords
(Langford Lestre) but was separated from that manor and granted by the King Henry ll in
1160 to the Prior and Convent of Plympton. The Priory was dissolved in 1538 and in 1543
the Grant of the Manor of Wrangaton was made under the great seal of Henry VIII to John Swyngson. There is a disagreement as to whether the name of the hamlet derives from OE wrang 'crooked,twisted' or from a personal name.
Wrangaton as it was depicted on the 1842 Tithe Map of Ugborough
Wrangaton (along with Bittaford) has long been the part of the parish dissected by main
communication routes. The main road from Exeter to Plymouth is now on it’s third alignment.
The original route was past Wrangaton Manor, although it was hardly a main thoroughfare as we
know it, the route west of Ashburton being described by Celia Fiennes in 1698 as barely wide
enough for two packhorses to pass. ‘During the 18/19th Century era of turnpike building , the Plymouth Eastern Turnpike was constructed further south in 1757 and this road was later designated the A38. In 1974 the main route to Plymouth again moved even further south with the opening of the A38 Devon Expressway and the old road was renumbered as the B3213. There are access roads to and from the dual carriageway in the direction of Exeter in the vicinity of the Post Office.
On 5th April 1848 Wrangaton Station was opened on the Great Western Railway adjacent to
the new main route to Plymouth. The name was changed the following year to Kingsbridge
Road Station, to reflect the fact that travellers to the Kingsbridge area alighted here to catch
the stagecoach for their onward journey. New dwellings were built near the station area to
house railway workers and also an inn for travellers.
The inn was known by various names: Kingsbridge Road Hotel, Wounded Soldier, Coach
House Inn. In 1895 following the opening of a branch line from South Brent to Kingsbridge
through the Avon Valley, the station reverted to it’s original name. Wrangaton Station closed
to passenger traffic in March 1959 but continued serving goods traffic until September 1963.
The inn closed in 2005 and has since been converted into flats.
In 1928 a Police House was built near the station and the constable was moved there from
Ugborough as it was felt that this was where he was more needed. It closed in 1969. During WWII, fields in the Wrangaton area were used as a US Army supply depot for troops training for the D-Day landings. A legacy from this period is three Nissan huts, one used in farming and two in commerce
RAF Air Photography 1946
Inspection of these air photos revealed the full extent of the WWII depot at Wrangaton,
consisting of well-dispersed dumps, for fuel and/or ammunition, connected by a network of tracks. This photography may well be the only remaining evidence of its layout (unless some wartime Luftwaffe cover has survived!).
A Area of dumps and tracks, and including the two large Nissen huts at E which
still survive. A third hut lies on the road immediately to the right of 'A' on the map.
B Small triangular area of buildings constructed during WWII and almost certainly
as part of the depot A. There is also a service siding not present before 1939. After the War these buildings were replaced by much larger ones to form an Admiralty Victualling Depot, now itself converted to a business park. The orientation of the western buildings follows that of the wartime siding.
C The position of the original short broad-gauge ‘Kingsbridge Road Siding’ is
clearly visible, but it is now obliterated by the A38 (see map].
D Wrangaton Station, which closed to passengers in 1959.
E. WWII Nissen huts (see A above).
I am anxious to learn anything about the history of this depot that anyone can tell me.
It is very interesting to compare this 1946 photography with the Google 2004 satellite cover.