Z Zeebrugge plaque

Z Zeebrugge plaque - credit Clare Bryden

We struggled to find a Z. But while the Zeebrugge plaque is a bit of a stretch, it is fixed to the old Chancellor’s House and provides an opportunity to introduce the buildings of the Cathedral Close. The Close is the open area by the Cathedral that was the main burial ground for medieval Exeter. … Read more

Y Yaroslavl Bridge

Y Yaroslavl Bridge - credit Clare Bryden

Yaroslavl is Exeter’s twin city in Russia, and the Yaroslavl footbridge spans the inner bypass road. So what does it have to with Heavitree Stone? Well, we needed a Y, and the City Walls are part of the bridge’s footings. The walls date from the Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods. They are a roughly rectangular … Read more

X Exminster Parish Church

X Exminster Parish Church - credit Chris Spinks

The Church of St Martin of Tours, Exminster, was chosen to highlight the role the Exminster quarry played in the building of Exeter. A chapel is alleged to have been founded on the site before 909. The current church is mostly from the late 14th century, with nave and chancel and a west tower. The … Read more

W Wynard's Hospital

W Wynards - credit Clare Bryden

God’s House, also known as Wynard’s Hospital, was founded in 1436. The plan comprises twelve two-storeyed almshouses for twelve poor men; the chapel of the Holy Trinity along the street frontage; and accommodation for the chaplain. It was built of Heavitree Stone throughout, during the medieval period when the Heavitree quarries were at maximum production. … Read more

V Victoria Park Road

V Victoria Park Road - credit Clare Bryden

Heavitree Stone is not just used in the historic buildings of Exeter, but in many boundary walls around the city. Along Wonford Road, between the Nuffield Hospital and Lyndhurst Road, there is about a third of a mile of walling with some good examples of different stone, dressing, and building techniques. Much of it is … Read more

U Underground Passages

U Underground Passages - courtesy of Exeter City Council

The Underground Passages are access tunnels to Exeter’s medieval water supply system. These were large arched stone conduits, through which water was carried in lead pipes from springs to the north east of the city. They have been altered and extended many times over the centuries, but it is extremely rare to find such a … Read more

T Trews Weir Mill

T Trews Weir Mill - credit Clare Bryden

Take a leisurely walk along the left bank of the Exe, and you will reach Trews Weir and the striking building that used to house a paper mill. Trews Weir Mill was probably originally built as a cotton spinning mill. There is a stone dating it to 1780 on the front of the building, which … Read more

S Stepcote Hill

S Stepcote Hill - credit Clare Bryden

The ancient cobbled slope of Stepcote Hill and the buildings in West Street at its base have as much historic interest as any part of Exeter. Nos. 5 and 7 West Street, including No.15 Stepcote Hill, are a pair of characterful late-medieval houses. No.5 has a Heavitree Stone back wall and basement storey, with two … Read more

R Rougemont Castle

R Rougemont Castle - credit Clare Bryden

Rougemont is a natural rock knoll of volcanic trap, and the source of the second most important building material in Exeter! Trap and Heavitree Stone can easily be told apart. Trap is purple rather than red; it often contains small round holes where air bubbles were trapped as the rock cooled; and it is easier … Read more

Q Quarries

Q Quarries - credit Clare Bryden

The Heavitree quarries are where our stories begin, in the Permian geological time period. Between 250 and 300 million years ago, Devon was a tropical desert. Occasional storms caused flash floods, which dumped large amounts of loose rock, sand and mud. Over time this gravelly sediment built up and was compacted together. Over the next … Read more