X Exminster Parish Church

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 aisle was probably added in the late 15th century. Refurbishment and restoration was undertaken in 1631, 1841-42 including rebuilding of the south porch, and 1856.

The tower has battlements, a turret, and diagonal buttresses at three corners. It is built of breccia ashlar, i.e. very well-worked ‘Heavitree’ Stone. The nave is coursed breccia, in horizontal layers. The south aisle is breccia and other stone rubble, i.e. it is unworked and uncoursed, except its west wall which was rebuilt in coursed stone.

The Exminster quarry is beside the A379 bypass, immediately west of the M5. It is classed as a large quarry, with a single face 30-35m high. Lower layers are Permian breccia – ‘Heavitree’ Stone – overlaid with Dawlish Sandstone. It has been designated a Regionally Important Geological / Geomorphological Site.


  1. Devon & Dartmoor Historic Environment Record – http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MDV9995&resourceID=104
  2. Historic England Listed Building – https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1334270
  3. Devon County Geological Site – http://www.seddepseq.co.uk/devon_geology/RIGS_Website/PDF/GSX98NW2.pdf [no longer available]

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