Across the river from the city centre and along the bank to the right is the Old Malthouse, now the Harvester pub. This was built in 1789 as a brewery – at one time there were no less than 25 breweries in Exeter! But by 1850 it had specialised as a malthouse, preparing the malt … Read more

St Thomas the Apostle Church

T St Thomas the Apostle Church - credit tbc

St Thomas the Apostle Church is just off Cowick Street. Have a look inside, walk around the building, and find the memorial to Grace Darling, who, as far as we know, had no connection whatsoever to Exeter! In 1549, after the Prayer Book Rebellion was put down, Robert Welshe, the vicar, was gruesomely executed, hauled … Read more

The Quay

Q The Quay - credit tbc

Exeter has been a port since Roman times. On the corner at the bottom of Quay Hill is the old Quay House, where you can see the original dock wall, weathered by the constant action of the water. There is a good if rather defaced information board about the old Woollen Trade here. The rendered … Read more

The Butts

Surveying the Butts - credit tbc

Along the west side of the Pleasure Grounds, backing onto the gardens of Roseland Avenue, is a wall of Heavitree Stone. It marks the boundary of three old fields: Lower, Middle and Higher Butts. One of the meanings of the word ‘Butts’ was a place where boys and men had to practise their archery in … Read more

Great House Wonford

G Birch Court, Great House - credit tbc

Down where Birch Court now stands, and where the Gardeners’ Arms stood until 1998, was an intriguing building called the Great House. This shows on old maps made before the mid 1800s but it was only in 2000/01 that an archaeological excavation revealed that it was a moated medieval house, going back to at least … Read more

St Catherine's Almshouses

Coming from the High Street, duck under the arch of St Stephen’s Bow, and facing you are the evocative ruins of St Catherine’s Almshouses. They were built in medieval times on the corner of the old Roman fortress, were bombed in 1942, and now stand as a memorial to those who died in Exeter during … Read more

St Stephen's Church

S St Stephen's Bow - credit tbc

Set right on the High Street, but somehow hidden in full view, there is a Heavitree Stone built church, St Stephen’s. Next to it is a low archway called St Stephen’s Bow. The story is that when King Henry VI visited Exeter in the mid 1400s and the Royal procession left the High Street to … Read more

St Pancras' Church

Weave your way through Rougemont Gardens past the moat, across Gandy Street and through the old covered market into the Guildhall Shopping Centre. Here, set at an angle, incongruous in the midst of modern shops and restaurants, is St Pancras Church. A noticeboard tells of a cycle of neglect and restoration since it was built … Read more

Heavitree House

H Heavitree House - credit tbc

There is nothing to see of this now apart from the Heavitree Stone walls of the old stable and a blue plaque on the wall, yet it was one of the grandest houses in Heavitree. A writer and traveller called Richard Ford decided to settle here in 1833, bought an old Elizabethan house and rebuilt … Read more