Exeter

Exeter

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Exeter'
Start a new discussion about 'Exeter'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Exeter is a historic city in Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 as well as the home of Devon County Council
Devon County Council
Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon. Based in the city of Exeter, the council covers the non-metropolitan county area of Devon...

. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

, and is therefore under the administration of the County Council. The city is on the River Exe
River Exe
The River Exe in England rises near the village of Simonsbath, on Exmoor in Somerset, near the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south coast of Devon...

, about 37 miles (59.5 km) northeast of Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, and 70 miles (112.7 km) southwest of Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

. According to the 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

, its population in that year was 111,076, while the mid-2009 estimate was 118,800.

Exeter was the most south-westerly Roman fortified settlement in Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

. Its Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, is an Anglican cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the city of Exeter, Devon in South West England....

, founded in the early 12th century, became Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 at the time of the 16th century Reformation
Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

.

Exeter has been identified as one of the top ten most profitable locations for a business to be based. The city has good transport links, with Exeter St David's railway station, Exeter Central railway station
Exeter Central railway station
Exeter Central railway station is the most centrally located of the railway stations in Exeter, Devon, England. It is smaller than St Davids which is on the west side of the city but it is served by trains on the London Waterloo to Exeter main line, and is also by local services to , and . From...

, the M5 motorway
M5 motorway
The M5 is a motorway in England. It runs from a junction with the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon. Heading south-west, the M5 runs east of West Bromwich and west of Birmingham through Sandwell Valley...

 and Exeter International Airport
Exeter International Airport
Exeter International Airport is an airport located at Clyst Honiton in the District of East Devon close to the city of Exeter and within the county of Devon, South West England....

 connecting the city both nationally and internationally. Although a popular tourist destination, the city is not dominated by tourism.

Prehistoric and Roman times


The favourable location of Exeter, on a dry ridge of land ending in a spur that overlooks a navigable river that was teeming with fish, and with fertile land nearby, suggests that it would have been a site that was occupied early. The discovery of coins dating from the Hellenistic period
Hellenistic period
The Hellenistic period or Hellenistic era describes the time which followed the conquests of Alexander the Great. It was so named by the historian J. G. Droysen. During this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its zenith in Europe and Asia...

 in the city indicates the existence of a settlement that was trading with the Mediterranean region as early as 250 BC.

The Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 name for Exeter, Isca Dumnoniorum ("Isca of the Dumnones or Devonians"), suggests that the city was of Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic origin. This oppidum
Oppidum
Oppidum is a Latin word meaning the main settlement in any administrative area of ancient Rome. The word is derived from the earlier Latin ob-pedum, "enclosed space," possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *pedóm-, "occupied space" or "footprint."Julius Caesar described the larger Celtic Iron Age...

, (a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 term meaning an important town), on the banks of the River Exe
River Exe
The River Exe in England rises near the village of Simonsbath, on Exmoor in Somerset, near the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south coast of Devon...

 certainly existed prior to the foundation of the Roman city
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 in about AD 50, however the name may have been suggested by a Celtic adviser to the Romans, rather than by the original inhabitants of the place.


Such early towns, or proto-cities, had been a feature of pre-Roman Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 as described by Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentarii de Bello Gallico is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting local armies in Gaul that opposed Roman domination.The "Gaul" that Caesar...

("Commentaries on the Gallic Wars"), and it is possible that they existed in neighbouring Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

 as well. Isca is derived from a Brythonic Celtic
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

 word for flowing water, which was given to the Exe and, elsewhere, to the River Usk
River Usk
The River Usk rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain of mid-Wales, in the easternmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Initially it flows north into Usk Reservoir, then east by Sennybridge to Brecon before turning southeast to flow by Talybont-on-Usk, Crickhowell and...

 on which Caerleon
Caerleon
Caerleon is a suburban village and community, situated on the River Usk in the northern outskirts of the city of Newport, South Wales. Caerleon is a site of archaeological importance, being the site of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, and an Iron Age hill fort...

 in Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire (historic)
Monmouthshire , also known as the County of Monmouth , is one of thirteen ancient counties of Wales and a former administrative county....

 stands. This element is clearly present in the Modern Welsh names for Exeter (Caer-wysg) and the River Exe (Afon Wysg). The Romans gave the city the name Isca Dumnoniorum in order to distinguish it from Isca Augusta
Isca Augusta
Isca Augusta was a Roman legionary fortress and settlement, the remains of which lie beneath parts of the present-day village of Caerleon on the northern outskirts of the city of Newport in South Wales.-Name:...

, modern Caerleon. in 2010 two separate legionary camps dated at about the time of Vespasian were excavated at Saint Loyes on the Roman Road between Isca and Topsham adding evidence of military activity at the time of Vespasian before the Exeter site was consolidated.

Significant parts of the Roman wall remain, though most of the visible structure is later. Most of its route can be traced on foot. A substantial Roman baths
Roman Baths
The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing....

 complex was excavated in the 1970s, but because of its proximity to the cathedral, it was not practicable to retain the excavation for public view. Exeter was also the southern starting point for the Fosse Way
Fosse Way
The Fosse Way was a Roman road in England that linked Exeter in South West England to Lincoln in Lincolnshire, via Ilchester , Bath , Cirencester and Leicester .It joined Akeman Street and Ermin Way at Cirencester, crossed Watling Street at Venonis south...

 Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

.

More than 1,000 Roman coins have been found in the city indicating its importance as a trading centre. The dates of these coins suggest that the city was at its most prosperous in the first half of the fourth century. However, virtually no coins dated after AD 380 have been found, suggesting a rapid decline.

After the Romans left Britain in the early 5th century nothing is known of Exeter for about 270 years, until around 680 when a document about St Boniface reports that he was educated at the Abbey in Exeter.

Celtic & Saxon times



The Saxons arrived in Exeter after defeating the Britons
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

 at the Battle of Peonnum
Battle of Peonnum
The Battle of Peonnum was fought approximately AD 660 between the West Saxons under Cenwalh and the Britons of what is now Somerset. It was a decisive victory for the Saxons, who gained control of Somerset as far west as the River Parrett...

 in Somerset in 658. It is likely that amongst the ruins of the Roman city there was plenty of room for both peoples, and the Saxons allowed the Britons to continue to live in their own quarter of the city under their own laws. This was almost certainly in the same area as the ancient British settlement—in the locality of the present-day Bartholomew Street. Until 1637 this street was known as Britayne in memory of the fact that it was once the British quarter.

In 876 Exeter (then known as Escanceaster) was attacked and briefly captured by the Danes. Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 drove them out the next summer, and in the following years made Exeter one of the four burh
Burh
A Burh is an Old English name for a fortified town or other defended site, sometimes centred upon a hill fort though always intended as a place of permanent settlement, its origin was in military defence; "it represented only a stage, though a vitally important one, in the evolution of the...

s in Devon, repairing the Roman city walls in the process. In 893 the city held off another siege by the Danes.

In about 928 King Athelstan
Athelstan of England
Athelstan , called the Glorious, was the King of England from 924 or 925 to 939. He was the son of King Edward the Elder, grandson of Alfred the Great and nephew of Æthelflæd of Mercia...

 caused the walls to be thoroughly repaired and at the same time drove out the Britons
Britons (historical)
The Britons were the Celtic people culturally dominating Great Britain from the Iron Age through the Early Middle Ages. They spoke the Insular Celtic language known as British or Brythonic...

 from the city. It is not known whether or not these Britons had lived in the city continuously since Roman times—they may have been immigrants from the countryside when Alfred made the city a burh. According to William of Malmesbury
William of Malmesbury
William of Malmesbury was the foremost English historian of the 12th century. C. Warren Hollister so ranks him among the most talented generation of writers of history since Bede, "a gifted historical scholar and an omnivorous reader, impressively well versed in the literature of classical,...

, they were sent beyond the River Tamar
River Tamar
The Tamar is a river in South West England, that forms most of the border between Devon and Cornwall . It is one of several British rivers whose ancient name is assumed to be derived from a prehistoric river word apparently meaning "dark flowing" and which it shares with the River Thames.The...

, thereby fixing that river as the boundary of Devonshire, though Athelstan may have been restoring an old Dumnonia
Dumnonia
Dumnonia is the Latinised name for the Brythonic kingdom in sub-Roman Britain between the late 4th and late 8th centuries, located in the farther parts of the south-west peninsula of Great Britain...

n boundary. The quarter vacated by the Britons was then apparently adapted as "the earl's burh", and was still named Irlesberi in the 12th century.

In 1001 the Danes again failed to get into the city, but they were able to plunder it in 1003 because they were let in, for unknown reasons, by the French reeve
Reeve (England)
Originally in Anglo-Saxon England the reeve was a senior official with local responsibilities under the Crown e.g. as the chief magistrate of a town or district...

 of Emma of Normandy
Emma of Normandy
Emma , was a daughter of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy, by his second wife Gunnora. She was Queen consort of England twice, by successive marriages: first as second wife to Æthelred the Unready of England ; and then second wife to Cnut the Great of Denmark...

, who had been given the city as part of her dowry on her marriage to Æthelred the Unready the previous year.

Medieval times


In 1067, possibly because Gytha Thorkelsdóttir
Gytha Thorkelsdóttir
Gytha Thorkelsdottir , also called Githa, was the daughter of Thorgil Sprakling . She married the Anglo-Saxon nobleman Godwin of Wessex....

, mother of King Harold
Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.It could be argued that Edgar the Atheling, who was proclaimed as king by the witan but never crowned, was really the last Anglo-Saxon king...

, was living in the city, Exeter rebelled against William the Conqueror who promptly marched west and laid siege. After 18 days William accepted the city's honourable surrender in which he swore an oath not to harm the city or increase its ancient tribute. However, William quickly arranged for the building of Rougemont Castle
Rougemont Castle
Rougemont Castle is the historic castle of Exeter.The castle was first built in 1068 to help William the Conqueror maintain control over the city. It is perched on an ancient volcanic plug, overlaying remains of the Roman city of Isca Dumnoniorum...

 to ensure the city's compliance in future. Properties owned by Saxon landlords were transferred into Norman hands, and on the death of Bishop Leofric in 1072, the Norman Osbern FitzOsbern
Osbern FitzOsbern
- Life :FitzOsbern was a relative of King Edward the Confessor as well as being a royal chaplain. During Edward's reign he received the church at Bosham, near Chichester. He was one of those present at the consecration of Westminster Abbey at Christmas 1065. He was a steward for King William I of...

 was appointed his successor.

In 1136, early in the Anarchy
The Anarchy
The Anarchy or The Nineteen-Year Winter was a period of English history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterised by civil war and unsettled government...

, Rougemont Castle was held against King Stephen
Stephen of England
Stephen , often referred to as Stephen of Blois , was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne by right of his wife. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda...

 by Baldwin de Redvers. Redvers submitted only after a three month siege, not when the three wells in the castle ran dry, but only once the large supplies of wine in the garrison that they were using for drinking, baking, cooking and for putting out the fires started by the besiegers, were exhausted.

The city held a weekly market for the benefit of its citizens from at least 1213, and by 1281 Exeter was the only town in the south west to have three market days per week. There are also records of seven annual fairs, the earliest of which dates from 1130, and all of which continued until at least the early 16th century.

Tudor and Stuart times



In 1537, the city was made a county corporate
County corporate
A county corporate or corporate county was a type of subnational division used for local government in England, Ireland and Wales.Counties corporate were created during the Middle Ages, and were effectively small self-governing counties...

. In 1549 the city successfully withstood a month-long siege by the Prayer Book rebels
Prayer Book Rebellion
The Prayer Book Rebellion, Prayer Book Revolt, Prayer Book Rising, Western Rising or Western Rebellion was a popular revolt in Cornwall and Devon, in 1549. In 1549 the Book of Common Prayer, presenting the theology of the English Reformation, was introduced...

. The Livery Dole Almshouse
Almshouse
Almshouses are charitable housing provided to enable people to live in a particular community...

s and Chapel at Heavitree
Heavitree
Heavitree is a district of Exeter, Devon, England. Part of the historic district is currently one of the wards for elections to the City Council. Formerly an independent Urban District, it became a part of Exeter in 1913...

 were founded in March 1591 and finished in 1594. They can still be seen today in the street which bears the name Livery Dole.

The city's motto, Semper fidelis
Semper fidelis
Semper Fidelis is Latin for "Always Faithful" or "Always Loyal". Well known in the United States as the motto of the United States Marine Corps , Semper Fidelis has served as a slogan for many families and entities, in many countries, dated to have been started no later than the 16th century...

, is traditionally held to have been suggested by Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, in acknowledgement of the city's contribution of ships to help defeat the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 in 1588; however its first documented use is in 1660.

Exeter was at first a Parliamentary town in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 in the largely Royalist South West, but it was captured by the Royalists
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 on 4 September 1643, and it remained in their control until near the end of the war, being one of the final Royalist cities to fall into Parliamentary hands. During this period, Exeter was an economically powerful city, with a strong trade of wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

. This was partly due to the surrounding area which was "more fertile and better inhabited than that passed over the preceding day" according to Count Lorenzo Magalotti who visited the city when he was 26 years old. Magalotti writes of over thirty thousand people being employed in the county of Devon as part of the wool and cloth industries, merchandise that was sold to "the West Indies, Spain, France and Italy". Celia Fiennes also visited Exeter during this period, in the early 1700s. She remarked on the "vast trade" and "incredible quantity" in Exeter, recording that "it turns the most money in a week of anything in England", between £10,000—£15,000.

Georgian and Victorian times



Early in the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, Exeter's industry developed on the basis of locally available agricultural products and, since the city's location on a fast-flowing river gave it ready access to water power, an early industrial site developed on drained marshland to the west of the city, at Exe Island
Exe Island
Exe Island was the early industrial area of Exeter, England, and was an area of marshland between the city walls and the river Exe, reclaimed by the construction of a series of leats, or water courses, possibly from as early as the 10th century. Of these, the Higher Leat still exists...

. However when steam power replaced water in the 19th century, Exeter was too far from sources of coal (or iron) to develop further. As a result the city declined in relative importance, and was spared the rapid 19th century development that changed many historic European cities. Extensive canal redevelopments during this period further expanded Exeter's economy, with "vessels of 15 to 16 tons burthen [bringing] up goods and merchandise from Topsham
Topsham, Devon
Topsham is a suburb of Exeter in the county of Devon, England, on the east side of the River Exe, immediately north of its confluence with the River Clyst and the former's estuary, between Exeter and Exmouth. Although village-sized, with a current population of around 5,023, it was designated a...

 to the City Quay".

The first railway to arrive in Exeter was the Bristol and Exeter Railway
Bristol and Exeter Railway
The Bristol & Exeter Railway was a railway company formed to connect Bristol and Exeter.The company's head office was situated outside their Bristol station...

 that opened a station at St Davids
Exeter St Davids railway station
Exeter St Davids station is the most important of seven National Rail stations in the city of Exeter in southwest England. Today the station is owned by Network Rail and operated by First Great Western.-History:...

 on the western edge in 1844. The South Devon Railway Company
South Devon Railway Company
The South Devon Railway Company built and operated the railway from Exeter to Plymouth and Torquay in Devon, England. It was a broad gauge railway built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel-Chronology:* 1844 South Devon Railway Act passed by parliament...

 extended the line westwards to Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, opening their own smaller station at St Thomas
Exeter St Thomas railway station
Exeter St Thomas railway station is a suburban railway station in Exeter, United Kingdom, serving the suburb of St Thomas and the riverside area. The station is elevated on a low viaduct with entrances on Cowick Street. The station is unstaffed with the former station building now used for offices...

, near the lower end of Fore Street. A more central railway station, that at Queen Street
Exeter Central railway station
Exeter Central railway station is the most centrally located of the railway stations in Exeter, Devon, England. It is smaller than St Davids which is on the west side of the city but it is served by trains on the London Waterloo to Exeter main line, and is also by local services to , and . From...

, was opened by the London and South Western Railway
London and South Western Railway
The London and South Western Railway was a railway company in England from 1838 to 1922. Its network extended from London to Plymouth via Salisbury and Exeter, with branches to Ilfracombe and Padstow and via Southampton to Bournemouth and Weymouth. It also had many routes connecting towns in...

 in 1860 when it opened its alternative route to London.

In 1832, the pestilence cholera, which had been erupting all across Europe had reached Exeter. The only known documentation of this event was written by Dr Thomas Shapter, one of the medical doctors present during the epidemic. Butchers Lloyd Maunder
Lloyd Maunder
Lloyd Maunder are an Exeter, Devon based group of West Country retail butchers, a major producer of locally reared beef, pork and chicken products.-History:...

 moved to their present base in 1915, to gain better access to the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

 for transportation of meat products to London

Wartime and post-war times


Exeter was bombed by the German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 in the Second World War, when a total of 18 raids between 1940 and 1942 flattened much of the city centre. In 1942, as part of the Baedeker Blitz
Baedeker Blitz
The Baedeker Blitz or Baedeker raids were a series of Vergeltungsangriffe by the German air force on English cities in response to the bombing of the erstwhile Hanseatic League city of Lübeck during the night from 28 to 29 March 1942 during World War II.-Background:Lübeck was bombed on the night...

 and specifically in response to the RAF bombing of Lübeck
Lübeck
The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

, forty acres (160,000 m2) of the city, particularly adjacent to its central High Street and Sidwell Street, were levelled by incendiary bombing. Many historic buildings were destroyed, and others, including the grand Cathedral of St Peter
Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, is an Anglican cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the city of Exeter, Devon in South West England....

 in the heart of the city, were damaged.

Large areas of the city centre were rebuilt in the 1950s, when little attempt was made to preserve Exeter's ancient heritage. Damaged buildings were generally demolished rather than restored, and even the street plan was altered in an attempt to improve traffic circulation. The post-war buildings are generally perceived as being of little architectural merit, unlike many of those that they replaced, such as Bedford Circus and a section of the ancient city wall.

Despite some local opposition, the Princesshay
Princesshay
Princesshay is a shopping mall in the city of Exeter, Devon, England. It was built in the early 1950s to replace buildings that had been destroyed in the World War II Baedeker Blitz...

 shopping centre has been redeveloped between the Cathedral Close and the High Street. The development was completed and opened on time on 20 September 2007. There are 123 varied residential units incorporated into the new Princesshay.

In order to enable people with limited mobility to enjoy the city, Exeter Community Transport Association provides shopmobility for use by anyone suffering from short or long-term mobility impairment to access to the city centre and shopping facilities, events and meetings with friends and company.

Previously regarded as second only to Bath as an architectural site in southern England, since the 1942 bombing and subsequent reconstruction Exeter has been a city with some beautiful buildings rather than a beautiful city. As a result, although there is a significant tourist trade, Exeter is not dominated by tourism. In May 2008 there was an attempted terrorist attack
22 May 2008 Exeter bombing
The Exeter bombing was a failed attack which happened on 22 May 2008, at the Giraffe cafe and restaurant in Princesshay, Exeter, United Kingdom. Nicky Reilly, 22, a Muslim convert from Plymouth, pleaded guilty to launching a failed suicide attack on 15 October...

 on the Giraffe cafe in Princesshay
Princesshay
Princesshay is a shopping mall in the city of Exeter, Devon, England. It was built in the early 1950s to replace buildings that had been destroyed in the World War II Baedeker Blitz...

.

Governance


Exeter is in two parliamentary constituencies, the majority of the city is in the Exeter constituency
Exeter (UK Parliament constituency)
Exeter is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election....

 but two wards (St Loyes and Topsham) are in East Devon
East Devon (UK Parliament constituency)
East Devon is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.- Boundaries :...

. Exeter itself is relatively marginal, and since World War II its Member of Parliament has usually been drawn from the governing party. The Exeter MP is Ben Bradshaw
Ben Bradshaw
Benjamin Peter James Bradshaw is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Exeter since 1997, and served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport....

 and Hugo Swire
Hugo Swire
Hugo George William Swire is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for East Devon since 2001. He is currently a Minister of State for Northern Ireland in the current Government....

 represents East Devon. Exeter is part of the South West England European constituency
South West England (European Parliament constituency)
South West England is a constituency of the European Parliament. For 2009 it elects 6 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation, reduced from 7 in 2004.-Boundaries:...

, which elects 6 MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

s.

Exeter's city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 is a district
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

 authority, and shares responsibility for local government with the Devon County Council
Devon County Council
Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon. Based in the city of Exeter, the council covers the non-metropolitan county area of Devon...

. Since 2003, no party has had a majority on the council. Exeter City Council
Exeter City Council
Exeter City Council is the council and local government of the city of Exeter, Devon.The City Council provides a range of services within the city including housing, refuse collections and recycling, planning, economic development, tourism, leisure and arts facilities and activities...

's bid for the city to become a Unitary Authority
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

 was initially approved by ministers in February 2010. A judicial review was called by Devon County Council and the Court held that the Minister had acted unlawfully in granting Unitary status to Exeter at the same time, however, following the 2010 general election the new government announced in May 2010 that the reorganisation would be blocked.

From Saxon times, it was in the hundred of Wonford
Wonford (hundred)
The hundred of Wonford was the name of one of thirty two ancient administrative shires of Devon, England.The parishes in the hundred were:Alphington;Brampford Speke;Bridford;Chagford;Cheriton Bishop;Christow;Combeinteignhead;Drewsteignton;Dunsford;...

. Exeter has had a mayor since at least 1207 and until 2002, the city was the oldest 'Right Worshipful' Mayoralty in England. As part of the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

's 2002 Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee
A Golden Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 50th anniversary.- In Thailand :King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, celebrated his Golden Jubilee on 9 June 1996.- In the Commonwealth Realms :...

 celebrations Exeter was chosen to receive the title of Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor is the title of the Mayor of a major city, with special recognition.-Commonwealth of Nations:* In Australia it is a political position. Australian cities with Lord Mayors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong...

. Councillor Granville Baldwin became the first Lord Mayor of Exeter on 1 May 2002 when Letters Patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 were awarded to the city during a visit by the Queen.
The Lord Mayor is elected each year from amongst the 40 Exeter city councillor
Councillor
A councillor or councilor is a member of a local government council, such as a city council.Often in the United States, the title is councilman or councilwoman.-United Kingdom:...

s and is non-political for the term of office.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
Devon and Cornwall Police, formerly Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, is the territorial police force responsible for policing the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England and the unitary authorities of Plymouth, Torbay and the Isles of Scilly....

 have their headquarters based at Middlemoor in the east of the city.

Public services


Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 policing in Exeter is provided by the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary
Devon and Cornwall Police, formerly Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, is the territorial police force responsible for policing the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England and the unitary authorities of Plymouth, Torbay and the Isles of Scilly....

.

The fire service is provided by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the counties of Devon and Somerset, including the unitary authorities of Plymouth and Torbay, in South West England...

, which is headquartered at Clyst St. George near Exeter. It has two fire stations located at Danes Castle and Middlemoor.

The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has a large hospital located to the south east of the city centre. Ambulance services in Exeter are provided by South Western Ambulance Service
South Western Ambulance Service
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is the authority responsible for providing ambulance services for the National Health Service in the English counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset...

 NHS Trust. The West Trust Divisional HQ and 999 control is in Exeter which provides cover for Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

, Cornwall, Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 and the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

.

Geography



The city of Exeter was established on the eastern bank of the River Exe
River Exe
The River Exe in England rises near the village of Simonsbath, on Exmoor in Somerset, near the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south coast of Devon...

 on a ridge of land backed by a steep hill. It is at this point that the Exe, having just been joined by the River Creedy
River Creedy
The River Creedy is a small river in Devon, England. It gives its name to the local town or ton of Crediton, which is on its west bank. Just below the town, the river merges with the River Yeo and it ends where it meets the River Exe at Cowley Bridge....

, opens onto a wide flood plain and estuary which results in quite common flooding. Historically this was the lowest bridging point of the River Exe which was tidal and navigable up to the city until the construction of weirs later in its history. This combined with the easily defensible higher ground of the ridge made the current location of the city a natural choice for settlement and trade. In George Oliver
George Oliver (historian)
George Oliver was an English Roman Catholic priest and historian of the Exeter area.-Life:He was born at Newington, Surrey, on 9 February 1781, and was educated, first at Sedgley Park School, Staffordshire, and afterwards at Stonyhurst College...

's The History of the City of Exeter, it is noted that the most likely reasons for the original settling of what would become modern Exeter was the "fertility of the surrounding countryside" and the area's "beautiful and commanding elevation [and] its rapid and navigable river".
Its woodland would also have been ideal for natural resources and hunting.

Exeter sits predominantly on sandstone and conglomerate geology, although the structure of the surrounding areas is varied.
The topography of the ridge which forms the backbone of the city includes a volcanic plug
Volcanic plug
A volcanic plug, also called a volcanic neck or lava neck, is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When forming, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of pressure if volatile-charged magma is trapped beneath it, and this can sometimes lead to an...

, on which the Rougemont Castle
Rougemont Castle
Rougemont Castle is the historic castle of Exeter.The castle was first built in 1068 to help William the Conqueror maintain control over the city. It is perched on an ancient volcanic plug, overlaying remains of the Roman city of Isca Dumnoniorum...

 is situated. The Cathedral is located on the edge of this ridge and is therefore visible for a considerable distance.

Climate


Exeter has cool wet winters and warm changeable summers with hot and cooler rainy spells. Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year. The hottest month is July with an average high of 21 C (70 F), and the coldest month is January with an average high of 8 C (46 F). January is the rainiest month with 93 mm of rain.


Demographics


The city has been expanding in size quite considerably in recent years, with a population estimate of 119,600 in 2006, up over 8,000 from the census in 2001. The racial makeup of the city is as follows (2005 Estimates):
  • White – 97.5%
  • Asian
    British Asian
    British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

     – 1.4% (0.7% Indian, 0.4% Other, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.2% Bangladeshi)
  • Mixed Race – 1.1% (0.4% Asian and White, 0.3% Black and White, 0.3% Other Mixed)
  • Chinese
    British Chinese
    British Chinese , including British-born Chinese are people of Chinese ancestry who were born in, or have migrated to, the United Kingdom. They are part of the Chinese diaspora, or overseas Chinese...

     – 0.6%
  • Black
    Black British
    Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

     – 0.4% (0.2% African,0.1% Caribbean,0.1% Other)
  • Other – 0.5%

In the 2004–05 period the population of "White Other" increased by 24% from 2.9% to 3.6% – higher than any other town or city in the United Kingdom.

The Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 estimated that Exeter's population in mid-2009 was 118,800.

Economy



The city provides strong industries and services to a sizeable area. The Met Office
Met Office
The Met Office , is the United Kingdom's national weather service, and a trading fund of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills...

, the main weather forecasting organisation for the United Kingdom and one of the most significant in the world, relocated from Bracknell
Bracknell
Bracknell is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Bracknell Forest in Berkshire, England. It lies to the south-east of Reading, southwest of Windsor and west of central London...

 in Berkshire to Exeter in early 2004. It is one of the three largest employers in the area (together with the University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

 and Devon County Council
County council
A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county. This term has slightly different meanings in different countries.-United Kingdom:...

).

The city centre provides substantial shopping facilities. The High Street is mainly devoted to branches of national chains: A NEF
New Economics Foundation
The New Economics Foundation is a British think-tank.NEF was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit with the aim of working for a "new model of wealth creation, based on equality, diversity and economic stability"....

 survey in 2005 rated Exeter as the worst example of a clone town
Clone town
Clone town is a global term for a town where the High Street or other major shopping areas are significantly dominated by Chain stores. The term was coined by the New Economics Foundation , a British think tank, in their 2004 report on "Clone Town Britain".A survey conducted by NEF in 2005...

 in the UK, with only a single independent store in the city's High Street, and less diversity (in terms of different categories of shop) than any other town surveyed. Three significant shopping areas that connect to the High Street provide a somewhat more varied menu. Princesshay
Princesshay
Princesshay is a shopping mall in the city of Exeter, Devon, England. It was built in the early 1950s to replace buildings that had been destroyed in the World War II Baedeker Blitz...

, a post-war
Post-war
A post-war period or postwar period is the interval immediately following the ending of a war and enduring as long as war does not resume. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date...

 retail area connecting to the south side of the High Street was home to a number of independent stores prior to redevelopment in 2007, but is now also largely occupied by national chains. It is an innovative, varied development, and it is still intended that a number of the new units will be let to local independent stores. On the other side of the High Street, the partly undercover Guildhall shopping centre (a 1970s reconstruction following the second world war bombing) houses a mixture of national and more regional shops, and connects to the wholly enclosed Harlequins centre where smaller businesses predominate. Smaller streets off the High Street such as Gandy Street also offer a range of independent shops.

On 26 June 2004, Exeter was granted Fairtrade City status.

Although a popular tourist destination, the city is not dominated by tourism, with only 7% of employment dependent on tourism compared with 13% for Devon as a whole (2005 figures).

Main sights



Among the notable buildings in Exeter are:

Religious buildings

  • See also below, Religion
  • The cathedral
    Exeter Cathedral
    Exeter Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, is an Anglican cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the city of Exeter, Devon in South West England....

    , founded in 1050 when the bishop's seat was moved from the nearby town of Crediton
    Crediton
    Crediton is a town and civil parish in the Mid Devon district of Devon in England. It stands on the A377 Exeter to Barnstaple road at the junction with the A3072 road to Tiverton, about north west of Exeter. It has a population of 6,837...

     (birthplace of Saint Boniface
    Saint Boniface
    Saint Boniface , the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton , was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz...

    ) because Exeter's Roman walls offered better protection against "pirates", presumably Viking
    Viking
    The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

    s. A statue of Richard Hooker, the 16th century Anglican theologian
    Theology
    Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

    , who was born in Exeter, has a prominent place in the Cathedral Close
    Cathedral Close
    A cathedral close is an architectural term referring to the series of buildings that serve as appendages to a cathedral. These may include buildings housing diocesan offices, schools, free-standing chapels associated with the cathedral, and the houses of the bishop and other clergy associated with...

    .
  • St Nicholas Priory
    St Nicholas Priory
    The Benedictine Priory of St Nicholas or just St Nicholas Priory was a Benedictine monastery founded in Exeter, England in 1087. At the dissolution of the monasteries the church and chapter house range were pulled down but the domestic buildings were left intact...

     in Mint Lane, the remains of a monastery
    Monastery
    Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

    , later used as a private house and now a museum owned by the city council.
  • A number of medieval churches including St Mary Steps which has an elaborate clock.
  • The Exeter Synagogue
    Exeter synagogue
    Exeter Synagogue is located in Synagogue Place, in Mary Arches within the old city of Exeter, Devon,and is the third oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom. Originally built as a Sephardi synagogue for Dutch Jews trading in Exeter, it is now a synagogue of the Ashkenazi rite...

     is the third oldest Synagogue in Britain, completed in 1763.

Secular buildings


  • The ruins
    Ruins
    Ruins are the remains of human-made architecture: structures that were once complete, as time went by, have fallen into a state of partial or complete disrepair, due to lack of maintenance or deliberate acts of destruction...

     of Rougemont Castle
    Rougemont Castle
    Rougemont Castle is the historic castle of Exeter.The castle was first built in 1068 to help William the Conqueror maintain control over the city. It is perched on an ancient volcanic plug, overlaying remains of the Roman city of Isca Dumnoniorum...

    , built soon after the Norman Conquest; later parts of the castle were still in use as an Assize court until early 2006 when a new Crown Court
    Crown Court
    The Crown Court of England and Wales is, together with the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal, one of the constituent parts of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

    s building opened. A plaque near the ruined Norman gatehouse recalls that in 1685 Alice Molland, the last person executed for witchcraft
    Witchcraft
    Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

     in England, was imprisoned in Exeter. The future of the castle is at the moment uncertain, but moves are afoot to alter its use, possibly to a restaurant and housing.
  • The Guildhall
    Exeter Guildhall
    Exeter Guildhall in High Street, Exeter, Devon, England has been the centre of civic government for the city for at least 600 years. Much of the fabric of the building is medieval, though the elaborate frontage was added in the 1590s and the interior was extensively restored in the 19th century...

    , which has medieval foundations and has been claimed to be the oldest municipal building in England still in use.
  • Mols Coffee House, a historic building in the Cathedral Close.
  • The Guild
    Guild
    A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

     of Tuckers
    Fulling
    Fulling or tucking or walking is a step in woolen clothmaking which involves the cleansing of cloth to eliminate oils, dirt, and other impurities, and making it thicker. The worker who does the job is a fuller, tucker, or walker...

     and Weavers, a fine old building that is still used for smart functions.
  • The Custom House
    Custom House
    A custom house or customs house was a building housing the offices for the government officials who processed the paperwork for the import and export of goods into and out of a country. Customs officials also collected customs duty on imported goods....

     in the attractive Quay area, which is the oldest brick building surviving in the city.
  • "The House That Moved", a 14th-century Tudor
    Tudor style architecture
    The Tudor architectural style is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period and even beyond, for conservative college patrons...

     building, earned its name in 1961 when it was moved from its original location on the corner of Edmund Street in order for a new road to be built in its place. Weighing more than twenty-one tonnes, it was strapped together and slowly moved a few inches at a time to its present day position.
  • Parliament Street
    Parliament Street, Exeter
    Parliament Street is a long street in the city of Exeter, Devon, England. It links the High Street to Waterbeer Street and dates from the 14th century...

     in the city centre is one of the narrowest streets in the World (see photograph).
  • The Butts Ferry
    Butts Ferry
    The Butts Ferry is a hand operated pedestrian cable ferry that crosses the River Exe in the city of Exeter in the English county of Devon. The crossing has been in use since at least 1641, but the name is more recent...

    , an ancient cable ferry
    Cable ferry
    A cable ferry is guided and in many cases propelled across a river or other larger body of water by cables connected to both shores. They are also called chain ferries, floating bridges, or punts....

     across the River Exe.


Many of these are built in the local dark red sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

, which gives its name to the castle and the park that now surrounds it (Rougemont means red hill). The pavements on Queen Street are composed of the rock Diorite
Diorite
Diorite is a grey to dark grey intermediate intrusive igneous rock composed principally of plagioclase feldspar , biotite, hornblende, and/or pyroxene. It may contain small amounts of quartz, microcline and olivine. Zircon, apatite, sphene, magnetite, ilmenite and sulfides occur as accessory...

 and exhibit some fine feldspar
Feldspar
Feldspars are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust....

 crystals, while those around Princesshay are composed of Granodiorite
Granodiorite
Granodiorite is an intrusive igneous rock similar to granite, but containing more plagioclase than orthoclase-type feldspar. Officially, it is defined as a phaneritic igneous rock with greater than 20% quartz by volume where at least 65% of the feldspar is plagioclase. It usually contains abundant...


Northernhay Gardens


Northernhay Gardens
Northernhay Gardens
Northernhay Gardens are located in Exeter, Devon, England, on the northern side of Rougemont Castle. They are the oldest public open space in England, being originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for Exeter residents...

 located just outside the castle, is the oldest public open space in the whole of England, being originally laid out in 1612 as a pleasure walk for Exeter residents. Much of Northernhay Gardens now represent Victorian
Victorian architecture
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...

 design, with a beautiful display of trees, mature shrubs and bushes and plenty of flower beds. There are also many statues here, most importantly the war memorial
War memorial
A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in war.-Historic usage:...

 by John Angel and the Deerstalker
Deerstalker
A deerstalker is a type of hat that is typically worn in rural areas, often for hunting, especially deer stalking. Because of the hat's popular association with Sherlock Holmes, it is also a stereotypical hat of a detective.-Construction:...

 by E. B. Stephens. The Volunteer Memorial from 1895, also in the gardens, commemorates the formation of the 1st Rifle Volunteers
Military volunteer
A military volunteer is a person who enlists in military service by free will, and is not a mercenary or a foreign legionaire. Volunteers often enlist to fight in the armed forces of a foreign country. Military volunteers are essential for the operation of volunteer militaries.Many armies,...

 in 1852. Other statues include John Dinham, Thomas Dyke Acland
Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 11th Baronet
Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, 11th Baronet FRS was a British educational reformer and a politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1837 to 1886 initially as a Tory and later, after an eighteen year gap, as a Liberal....

 and Stafford Northcote (a local landowner who was a Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

).

Transport



Car


The M5 motorway
M5 motorway
The M5 is a motorway in England. It runs from a junction with the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon. Heading south-west, the M5 runs east of West Bromwich and west of Birmingham through Sandwell Valley...

 to Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

 and Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

 starts at Exeter, and connects at Bristol with the M4
M4 motorway
The M4 motorway links London with South Wales. It is part of the unsigned European route E30. Other major places directly accessible from M4 junctions are Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea...

 to London and South Wales
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...

. The older A30 road
A30 road
The 284 miles A30 road from London to Land's End, historically known as the Great South West Road used to provide the most direct route from London to the south west; more recently the M3 motorway and A303 road performs this function for much of the route and only parts of A30 now retain trunk...

 provides a more direct route to London via the A303
A303 road
The A303 is a 92-mile long trunk road in England. It is the main road between Basingstoke in Hampshire and Honiton in Devon. The M3, the A303 and the A30 together make up one of the main routes from London to South West England, running from London to Land's End in Cornwall...

 and M3
M3 motorway
The M3 motorway runs in England for approximately from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, to Southampton, Hampshire and forms an unsigned section European route E05. It is dual three lanes as far as Junction 8 near Basingstoke and then dual two lane until Junction 9 near Winchester and then dual three...

. The M5 is the modern lowest bridging point of the River Exe
River Exe
The River Exe in England rises near the village of Simonsbath, on Exmoor in Somerset, near the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south coast of Devon...

. Going westwards, the A38
A38 road
The A38, part of which is also known as the Devon Expressway, is a major A-class trunk road in England.The road runs from Bodmin in Cornwall to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. It is long, making it one of the longest A-roads in England. It was formerly known as the Leeds — Exeter Trunk Road,...

 connects Exeter to Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

 and south east Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, whilst the A30 continues via Okehampton
Okehampton
Okehampton is a town and civil parish in West Devon in the English county of Devon. It is situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor, and has an estimated population of 7,155.-History:...

 to north and west Cornwall. Travel by car in the city is often difficult with regular jams centred on the Exe Bridges area. To address the problem, Devon County Council
Devon County Council
Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon. Based in the city of Exeter, the council covers the non-metropolitan county area of Devon...

 is considering the introduction of congestion charges.

Bus


Exeter's main operator of local buses is Stagecoach South West, which operates most of the services in the city. Dartline is a minor operator in the City. Former Cooks Coaches were taken over by Stagecoach
Stagecoach Devon
Stagecoach Devon Ltd, part of the Stagecoach Group, is a bus operator serving the East Devon, Exeter and Torbay, and more recently Tiverton and Barnstaple, areas of South West England. It was formed in 1995 with the purchase of Devon General and Bayline. Its headquarters is in Exeter...

 forming Stagecoach South West. Western Greyhound
Western Greyhound
Western Greyhound is a bus operator based in Newquay, Cornwall, United Kingdom. It operates many services throughout the county and also into Devon...

 is also a main operator connecting Exeter to Cornwall, Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

 and many different places in South West England
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

. The
High Street, pedestrianised except for bus and bicycle traffic, serves as the main hub for local buses. Country and express services operate from the city's bus station, in Paris Street, which intersects the High Street at its eastern end; some also call at Exeter St Davids railway station
Exeter St Davids railway station
Exeter St Davids station is the most important of seven National Rail stations in the city of Exeter in southwest England. Today the station is owned by Network Rail and operated by First Great Western.-History:...

 for direct connection to train services.

Country bus services, mostly operated by Stagecoach, run from Exeter to most places in East and North Devon
North Devon
North Devon is the northern part of the English county of Devon. It is also the name of a local government district in Devon. Its council is based in Barnstaple. Other towns and villages in the North Devon District include Braunton, Fremington, Ilfracombe, Instow, South Molton, Lynton and Lynmouth...

, but some are very infrequent. Regional express services run to Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, Torbay
Torbay
Torbay is an east-facing bay and natural harbour, at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the south-west of England, situated roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. Part of the ceremonial county of Devon, Torbay was made a unitary authority on 1 April 1998...

, Bude
Bude
Bude is a small seaside resort town in North Cornwall, England, at the mouth of the River Neet . It lies just south of Flexbury, north of Widemouth Bay and west of Stratton and is located along the A3073 road off the A39. Bude is twinned with Ergué-Gabéric in Brittany, France...

, and along the Jurassic Coast
Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England. The site stretches from Orcombe Point near Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in East Dorset, a distance of ....

 to Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis is a coastal town in West Dorset, England, situated 25 miles west of Dorchester and east of Exeter. The town lies in Lyme Bay, on the English Channel coast at the Dorset-Devon border...

 and Weymouth, some operated by Stagecoach and others by First Bus. National Express
National Express
National Express Coaches, more commonly known as National Express, is a brand and company, owned by the National Express Group, under which the majority of long distance bus and coach services in Great Britain are operated,...

 operates long distance routes, for example to Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

 and London.

Train


There are two main line railway routes from Exeter to London, the faster route via Taunton to London Paddington
Reading to Taunton line
The Reading to Taunton line also known as the Berks and Hants is a major branch of the Great Western Main Line that diverges at Reading, running to Cogload Junction near Taunton, where it joins the Bristol to Exeter line....

 and the slower West of England Main Line
West of England Main Line
The West of England Main Line is a British railway line that runs from , Hampshire to Exeter St Davids in Devon, England. Passenger services run between London Waterloo station and Exeter...

 via Salisbury to London Waterloo
Waterloo station
Waterloo station, also known as London Waterloo, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex. The station is owned and operated by Network Rail and is close to the South Bank of the River Thames, and in Travelcard Zone 1....

. Another main line, the Cross-Country Route, links Exeter with Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, Birmingham, the Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

, Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

, Northern England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

, and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. Many trains on all three lines continue westwards from Exeter, variously serving Torbay
Torbay
Torbay is an east-facing bay and natural harbour, at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the south-west of England, situated roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. Part of the ceremonial county of Devon, Torbay was made a unitary authority on 1 April 1998...

, Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

 and Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

. Local branch lines run to Paignton
Paignton
Paignton is a coastal town in Devon in England. Together with Torquay and Brixham it forms the unitary authority of Torbay which was created in 1998. The Torbay area is a holiday destination known as the English Riviera. Paignton's population in the United Kingdom Census of 2001 was 48,251. It has...

 (see Riviera Line
Riviera Line
The Riviera Line is a local railway line that connects the city of Exeter to the "English Riviera" resorts of Torbay in Devon, England. It is closely linked with the Exeter to Plymouth Line with which it shares the route along the South Devon sea wall...

), Exmouth
Exmouth, Devon
Exmouth is a port town, civil parish and seaside resort in East Devon, England, sited on the east bank of the mouth of the River Exe. In 2001, it had a population of 32,972.-History:...

 (see Avocet Line
Avocet Line
The Avocet Line is the railway line in England connecting Exeter with Exmouth. It was originally built by the London and South Western Railway. The line follows the Exe Estuary for most of its route, giving views of the estuary...

) and Barnstaple
Barnstaple
Barnstaple is a town and civil parish in the local government district of North Devon in the county of Devon, England, UK. It lies west southwest of Bristol, north of Plymouth and northwest of the county town of Exeter. The old spelling Barnstable is now obsolete.It is the main town of the...

 (see Tarka Line
Tarka Line
The Tarka Line is a railway line from Exeter to Barnstaple in Devon, England. The line follows the River Creedy, River Yeo and River Taw for some of its route...

). There is also a summer weekend service to Okehampton
Okehampton
Okehampton is a town and civil parish in West Devon in the English county of Devon. It is situated at the northern edge of Dartmoor, and has an estimated population of 7,155.-History:...

 for access to Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

.

Exeter is served by two main railway stations. Exeter St Davids
Exeter St Davids railway station
Exeter St Davids station is the most important of seven National Rail stations in the city of Exeter in southwest England. Today the station is owned by Network Rail and operated by First Great Western.-History:...

 is served by all services, whilst Exeter Central
Exeter Central railway station
Exeter Central railway station is the most centrally located of the railway stations in Exeter, Devon, England. It is smaller than St Davids which is on the west side of the city but it is served by trains on the London Waterloo to Exeter main line, and is also by local services to , and . From...

 is more convenient for the city centre but served only by local services and the main line route to London Waterloo. There are also six suburban stations, Topsham
Topsham, Devon
Topsham is a suburb of Exeter in the county of Devon, England, on the east side of the River Exe, immediately north of its confluence with the River Clyst and the former's estuary, between Exeter and Exmouth. Although village-sized, with a current population of around 5,023, it was designated a...

, St James Park
St James Park railway station
St James Park railway station is a suburban railway station in Exeter, Devon, England. It is operated by First Great Western. It is adjacent to the Exeter City F.C. football ground.-History:...

, Exeter St Thomas
Exeter St Thomas railway station
Exeter St Thomas railway station is a suburban railway station in Exeter, United Kingdom, serving the suburb of St Thomas and the riverside area. The station is elevated on a low viaduct with entrances on Cowick Street. The station is unstaffed with the former station building now used for offices...

, Polsloe Bridge
Polsloe Bridge railway station
Polsloe Bridge railway station is a suburban railway station in Exeter, Devon, England.-History:The station was opened in 1907 to serve the eastern suburbs of Exeter...

, Pinhoe
Pinhoe railway station
Pinhoe railway station is a railway station on the eastern edge the city of Exeter, Devon, England, that serves the village of Pinhoe. It was opened by the London and South Western Railway in 1871 but is now operated by South West Trains which provides services on the London Waterloo to Exeter...

 and Digby & Sowton
Digby and Sowton railway station
Digby and Sowton railway station is the most recently opened railway station on the Avocet Line in Devon, opening 23 May 1995. The station is unstaffed, however a computer ticket machine is installed selling tickets for immediate travel...

, served only by local services.

Air


Exeter International Airport
Exeter International Airport
Exeter International Airport is an airport located at Clyst Honiton in the District of East Devon close to the city of Exeter and within the county of Devon, South West England....

 lies east of the city, and the local airline, previously called Jersey European and British European but now known as Flybe
Flybe
Flybe Group PLC is a British low-cost regional airline headquartered at the Jack Walker House at Exeter International Airport in Devon, England...

, is a significant local employer. The airport offers a range of scheduled flights to British and Irish regional airports and charter flights, including a seasonal service to Toronto, Canada. Connections to international hubs began with Paris Charles de Gaulle in 2005 and later a daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol ) is the Netherlands' main international airport, located 20 minutes southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. The airport's official English name, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, reflects the original Dutch word order...

.

Canal


The Exeter Canal
Exeter Canal
The Exeter Ship Canal, sometimes just called the Exeter Canal, downstream of Exeter, Devon, England was built in the 1560s which means it pre-dates the "canal mania" period and is one of the oldest artificial waterways in the UK.-History:...

 was completed in about 1566, making it one of the oldest artificial waterways in Britain. It was cut to bypass weir
Weir
A weir is a small overflow dam used to alter the flow characteristics of a river or stream. In most cases weirs take the form of a barrier across the river that causes water to pool behind the structure , but allows water to flow over the top...

s that had been built across the River Exe
River Exe
The River Exe in England rises near the village of Simonsbath, on Exmoor in Somerset, near the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south coast of Devon...

 to prevent trade in the city and to force boats to unload at Topsham
Topsham, Devon
Topsham is a suburb of Exeter in the county of Devon, England, on the east side of the River Exe, immediately north of its confluence with the River Clyst and the former's estuary, between Exeter and Exmouth. Although village-sized, with a current population of around 5,023, it was designated a...

 from where the Earls of Devon
Earl of Devon
The title of Earl of Devon was created several times in the Peerage of England, and was possessed first by the de Redvers family, and later by the Courtenays...

 were able to exact large tolls to transport goods to Exeter. Originally 3 feet deep and 16 feet wide (0.9 m by 5 m), it ran 1.75 miles (2.8 km) from just below the Countess Weir
Countess Wear
Countess Wear, alternatively called Countess Weir, is a residential district within the city of Exeter, in the English county of Devon. The name derives from the weir constructed in 1286 on the instruction of Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon....

 to the centre of Exeter. It was later extended to Topsham, deepened and widened, and was successful until the middle of the 19th century since when its use gradually declined – the last commercial use was in 1972. However it is now widely used for leisure purposes, and the city basin is being included as part of a £24 million redevelopment scheme.

Education



  • The University of Exeter
    University of Exeter
    The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

     has two campuses in the city, both notable for their attractive parkland. It is one of the largest employers in the city.
  • Exeter is one of the four main sites of the University of Plymouth
    University of Plymouth
    Plymouth University is the largest university in the South West of England, with over 30,000 students and is 9th largest in the United Kingdom by total number of students . It has almost 3,000 staff...

  • The Peninsula Medical School, a joint operation of the two universities, has one of its main sites in Exeter
  • St Loye's School of Health Studies, well known for training in occupational therapy
    Occupational therapy
    Occupational therapy is a discipline that aims to promote health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities. Occupational therapists work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, and/or emotionally disabling condition by utilizing treatments...

     has now been incorporated into the University of Plymouth.
  • Exeter College
    Exeter College, Exeter
    Exeter College is a tertiary college in the city of Exeter, Devon, England, providing further education for 16-18 year old students, including apprenticeships, A levels and the International Baccalaureate, as well as a range of courses for 14-16 year-olds, higher education and adult courses,...

     is a major further education
    Further education
    Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

     college. It operates as a sixth form
    Sixth form
    In the education systems of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and of Commonwealth West Indian countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Jamaica and Malta, the sixth form is the final two years of secondary education, where students, usually sixteen to eighteen years of age,...

     for the entire maintained school sector in the city.
  • For about 30 years the city of Exeter operated a maintained school system in which the divisions between phases came at different ages from most of the United Kingdom, with first, middle and high rather than infant, junior and secondary schools, so that children transferred between schools at the age of about 8 and 12 rather than 7 and 11. From 2005, however, it has adopted the more usual pattern, because of the pressures of the UK National Curriculum. The changeover back to the more typical structure led to a city-wide, PFI
    Private Finance Initiative
    The private finance initiative is a way of creating "public–private partnerships" by funding public infrastructure projects with private capital...

     funded, rebuilding programme for the high schools and led to the changing of names for some schools. Following the reorganisation there are 25 primary schools, 4 referral schools, 3 special schools and 5 secondary schools within Exeter. The secondary schools are:
  • Isca College of Media Arts (formerly Priory High School)
  • St James' School (formerly St James' High School)
  • St Luke's (Church of England) Science & Sports College (formerly Vincent Thompson High School)
  • St Peter's Church of England Aided School – A Language College
    Language College
    Language Colleges were introduced in 1995 as part of the Specialist Schools Programme in the United Kingdom. The system enables secondary schools to specialise in certain fields, in this case, modern foreign languages...

  • West Exe Technology College
    West Exe Technology College
    West Exe Technology College is one of the five secondary schools in Exeter, Devon, England. West Exe was previously known as St Thomas High. The catchment area for the school is the St Thomas area, Alphington, and some parts of Exwick...

     (formerly St Thomas High School.

West Exe Technology College is the largest school in Exeter, and is achieving the second highest exam results in the county of Devon
Devon
Devon is a large county in southwestern England. The county is sometimes referred to as Devonshire, although the term is rarely used inside the county itself as the county has never been officially "shired", it often indicates a traditional or historical context.The county shares borders with...

.

In addition:
  • Exeter School
    Exeter School
    Exeter School is a selective independent co-educational day school for pupils between the ages of 7 and 18 located in Exeter, Devon, England. In 2010 there were around 180 pupils in the Junior School and 670 in the Senior School...

     is the oldest of several independent schools in the city.
  • Exeter tutorial college
    Exeter Tutorial College
    Exeter Tutorial College is a small independent college in Exeter. The College was founded in 1984 and now offers any combination of AS and A level subjects over one or two years, GCSEs and English for overseas students....

    , a small independent college on Magdalen Road.
  • Exeter is home to several substantial language school
    Language school
    A language school is a school where one studies a foreign language. Classes at a language school are usually geared towards, but not limited to, communicative competence in a foreign language...

    s
  • Exeter is also home to the Royal West of England School for the Deaf & the West of England School for the Partially Sighted.
  • The Atkinson Unit is a secure specialist residential and educational complex for children in care or remand
    Detention of suspects
    The detention of suspects is the process of keeping a person who has been arrested in a police-cell, remand prison or other detention centre before trial or sentencing. One criticism of pretrial detention is that eventual acquittal can be a somewhat hollow victory, in that there is no way to...

    ed by the courts.

Religion


There are many churches in Exeter belonging to different Christian denominations and an Anglican cathedral. It is the seat of the Bishop of Exeter
Bishop of Exeter
The Bishop of Exeter is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Exeter in the Province of Canterbury. The incumbent usually signs his name as Exon or incorporates this in his signature....

. The present building was complete by about 1400, and has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England, and other notable features. The Anglican churches form the Exeter Deanery
Deanery of Christianity (Exeter)
The Deanery of Christianity is a deanery in the Archdeaconry of Exeter, Diocese of Exeter. This deanery covers most of the city of Exeter. It takes the name "Christianity" because there is a tradition that a diocese and a deanery should not share the same name.-Benefice of Alphington :Parishes...

.

Exeter Synagogue
Exeter synagogue
Exeter Synagogue is located in Synagogue Place, in Mary Arches within the old city of Exeter, Devon,and is the third oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom. Originally built as a Sephardi synagogue for Dutch Jews trading in Exeter, it is now a synagogue of the Ashkenazi rite...

, located off Mary Arches Street, is the third oldest synagogue in Britain, completed in 1763. Exeter's mosque & Islamic Centre is on York Road, and serves the Southwest region
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

 as well as the city. A purpose-built mosque is currently being constructed on the same site.

According to the last census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

, in 2001 69.12% of the population stated their religion as Christian, which is lower than the regional average of 73.99% and the national average of 71.74%. All other religions were under 1%, which was slighter higher than regional averages, although much lower than national averages, except for Buddhism, which was slightly higher than the average. 20.45% stated as having no religion, which was higher than the regional average of 16.75% and the national average of 14.59 and the percentage of people not stating their religion was also slightly higher.

Individual Anglican churches


John Betjeman
John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman, CBE was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack".He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture...

 (writing in 1958) selects St David's ("Caroë's best church"), St Martin's
St Martin's Church, Exeter
St Martin's Church in Cathedral Close, Exeter, Devon, England was built in the 15th century. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and is now a redundant church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It was vested in the Trust on 1 August 1995.It is...

 ("characteristic little city church, 15th century"), St Mary Steps ("medieval city church; font"), St Michael's ("Victorian, on a fine site"), and St. Thomas's
St Thomas, Exeter
St Thomas is a large civil parish in Devon, England, on the western side of the river Exe, connected to Exeter by Exe Bridge. It has a number of pubs, places of worship, a couple of schools and a large shopping precinct...

 ("fittings"). His coverage of St Mary Arches is more detailed: "worth seeing ... as the completest Norman church in Devon: beautifully light and airy after its restoration from the bombing in 1942. 18th-century altar arrangements. Memorials to Exeter worthies, 16th to 18th centuries."

The churches include St David's, near Exeter St David's Station. It is a fine building by W. D. Caroe and was built between 1897 and 1900. The tower stands on the northeast side, and the whole design is, according to Nikolaus Pevsner, "highly picturesque". Many of the windows are by Kempe
Charles Eamer Kempe
Charles Eamer Kempe was a well-known Victorian stained glass designer. After attending Twyford School, he studied for the priesthood at Pembroke College, Oxford, but it became clear that his severe stammer would be an impediment to preaching...

 & Tower. St Edmund-on-the-Bridge was built on the Exe Bridge ca. 1230–40. Two arches of the bridge remain under the undercroft though the church was rebuilt in the Perpendicular style in 1835, using the old materials.

St Martin's is in the Cathedral Close
Cathedral Close
A cathedral close is an architectural term referring to the series of buildings that serve as appendages to a cathedral. These may include buildings housing diocesan offices, schools, free-standing chapels associated with the cathedral, and the houses of the bishop and other clergy associated with...

; the plan is odd, and there are numerous items of church furniture, though these are not of high aesthetic value. St Mary Arches is a Norman church with aisles. St Mary Steps was originally by the West Gate of the city; the font is Norman, and there is a remarkable early clock. St Michael, Heavitree was built in 1844–46 and extended later in the century. St Pancras is of the 13th century and has a nave and chancel only; the font is Norman. The plan of St Petroc's church is highly unusual: a second chancel has been added facing north while the original chancel has another use and faces east. There are two aisles on the south, one of 1413 and another of the 16th century.

St Sidwell's church is by W. Burgess, 1812, in the Perpendicular style. St Stephen's church is partly of the 13th century but most of the structure is as rebuilt in 1826. St Michael and All Angels Church
St Michael and All Angels Church, Exeter
St Michael & All Angels Church on Mount Dinham in Exeter is an Anglican church in Exeter, England, UK. The tradition of the church is Anglo-Catholic. The church building is in the Early English style and was built to the designs of Rhode Hawkins, 1867-68...

 on Mount Dinham has a spire which exceeds the height of the towers of Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, is an Anglican cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Exeter, in the city of Exeter, Devon in South West England....

.

Sport


The city's leading football club, and only professional side, is Exeter City
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club is an English football club, based in Exeter, which is owned by its fans through the Exeter City Supporters Trust.The club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003...

. The club became founder members of the Football League's new Third Division
Football League Third Division
The Football League Third Division was the 3 tier of English Football from 1920 until 1992 when after the formation of the Football Association Premier League saw the league renamed The Football League Division Two...

 (south) in 1920, but have never progressed beyond the third tier of the English football league system and in 2003 were relegated to the Conference
Football Conference
The Football Conference is a football league in England which consists of three divisions called Conference National, Conference North, and Conference South. Some Football Conference clubs are fully professional, such as Luton Town, but most of them are semi-professional...

, reclaiming their place in 2008, before completing successive promotions to League One
Football League One
Football League One is the second-highest division of The Football League and third-highest division overall in the English football league system....

 in 2009.
Rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 is popular in the South West
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

: Exeter's clubs are the Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Rugby Club are a rugby union club based in Exeter, Devon.The Exeter club was formed around 1871 and played its first match in 1873. The first team has been rebranded as the Exeter Chiefs and play in a strip of Black , White ....

 (who currently play in the Premiership
Guinness Premiership
The English Premiership, also currently known as the Aviva Premiership because of the league's sponsorship by Aviva, is a professional league competition for rugby union football clubs in the top division of the English rugby system. There are twelve clubs in the Premiership...

 having been promoted on 26 May 2010), Wessex and Exeter Saracens.
Exeter Cricket Club play in the Premier Division of the Devon Cricket League at both First and Second XI level.
The University of Exeter
University of Exeter
The University of Exeter is a public university in South West England. It belongs to the 1994 Group, an association of 19 of the United Kingdom's smaller research-intensive universities....

 has a strong reputation in sport and regularly wins or comes close to winning national trophies in inter-university sports.
Exeter rowing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

 Club enjoys much success both locally and nationally, and has a recorded history stretching back to the early 19th century.
The City of Exeter Rowing Regatta is run annually in July, and is the oldest and biggest regatta in the South West, with racing first recorded on the river in the 1860s.
The Devon & Exeter Squash
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

 club is one of the most active squash clubs in the region, annually hosting the Exeter Diamonds which is a professional team of world class players. The club also has a strong membership, high standards and a notable junior team.
The Great West Run
Great West Run
The Great West Run is an annual road running event held through the streets of Exeter, usually in late April. It was first run in 1985. Originally run as a marathon, in recent years it has always been run as a half marathon. It attracts mainly regional entrants; winning times in 2004 and 2005...

 half marathon
Half marathon
A half marathon is a road running event of . It is half the distance of a marathon and usually run on roads. Participation in half marathons has grown steadily recently. One of the main reasons for this is that it is a challenging distance, but does not require the same level of training that a...

 is run through the streets of Exeter in late April or early May each year
Exeter's speedway
Motorcycle speedway
Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. Speedway motorcycles use only one gear and have no brakes and racing takes place on a flat oval track usually...

 team, Exeter Falcons
Exeter Falcons
The Exeter Falcons were a speedway team which operated from 1947 until their closure in 2005 at the County Ground Stadium in Exeter. The track first operated in 1929.-Track:...

, was founded in 1929 and were located at the County Ground until its closure in 2005. In a fixture during the 2004 season, they beat Rye House
Rye House Cobras
The Rye House Cobras, formerly the Raiders, are a speedway team established in 2002. Based in Hoddesdon, England. The team compete in the British National League. The senior team - the Rye House Rockets - are in the Premier League. The Raiders won the Conference League Four-Team Championship in...

 by the maximum score of 75–18 scoring 5-1s in every heat. Exeter Falcons are hoping to ride again in a proposed new location, possibly at Exeter Racecourse
Exeter Racecourse
Exeter Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located near the city of Exeter, Devon, England. Locally it is known as Haldon racecourse because of its location on top of the Haldon Hills...

 in 2008. The site was where Exeter Falcons legend Australian Jack Geran trained youngsters in the art of the shale sport on a speedway training track in the late 1970s and early-1980s. Speedway was also staged briefly at tracks in Alphington
Alphington, Devon
Alphington is a suburb of the City of Exeter in southwest England. The ward of Alphington has a population of 8250 according to the 2001 census, making it the third largest in Exeter, with the village itself accounting for about a quarter of this figure...

 and Peamore after the Second World War. The history of Speedway
Motorcycle speedway
Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. Speedway motorcycles use only one gear and have no brakes and racing takes place on a flat oval track usually...

 in Exeter up to the mid-1950s has been recorded in three books by Tony Lethbridge.
Rugby league team Exeter Centurions
Exeter Centurions
Exeter Centurions are a rugby league team based in Exeter, Devon. They play in the South West Division of the Rugby League Conference.-History:Exeter Centurions were formed by Basingstoke Beasts founder Joe Catcheside....

 play in the South West Division of the Rugby League Conference
Rugby League Conference
The Rugby League Conference , was a series of regionally based divisions of amateur rugby league teams spread throughout England, Scotland and Wales.The RLC was founded as the 10-team Southern Conference League in 1997, with teams from the southern midlands and the...

.
Exeter also has an archery club, Exeter Company of Archers, based at Exeter School
Exeter School
Exeter School is a selective independent co-educational day school for pupils between the ages of 7 and 18 located in Exeter, Devon, England. In 2010 there were around 180 pupils in the Junior School and 670 in the Senior School...

.

Notable people from Exeter

See List of people from Exeter and :Category:People from Exeter

Literature



The Exeter Book
Exeter Book
The Exeter Book, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501, also known as the Codex Exoniensis, is a tenth-century book or codex which is an anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry. It is one of the four major Anglo-Saxon literature codices. The book was donated to the library of Exeter Cathedral by Leofric, the...

, an original manuscript and one of the most important documents in Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 literature, is kept in the vaults of the cathedral. The Exeter Book dates back to the 10th century and is one of four manuscripts that between them contain virtually all the surviving poetry in Old English
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

. It includes most of the more highly regarded shorter poems, some religious pieces, and a series of riddle
Riddle
A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and...

s, a handful of which are famously lewd. Some of the riddles are inscribed on a highly polished steel obelisk in the High Street, placed there on 30 March 2005.

The Exon Domesday (so called from the preservation of the volume at Exeter), is a volume of Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 that contains the full details which the original returns supplied, but only for part of south-west England, i.e. Cornwall, Devon, part of Somerset, part of Dorset and one manor of Wiltshire; it also contains a record of the geld of 1084 for the whole of these counties.

One of Rosemary Sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff CBE was a British novelist, and writer for children, best known as a writer of historical fiction and children's literature. Although she was primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults; Sutcliff herself once commented that she wrote...

's best-known children's books, The Eagle of the Ninth
The Eagle of the Ninth
The Eagle of the Ninth is a historical adventure novel for children written by Rosemary Sutcliff and published in 1954. The story is set in Roman Britain in the 2nd century AD, after the building of Hadrian's Wall....

, begins in Roman Isca Dumnoniorum. The Crowner John Mysteries
Crowner John Mysteries
The Crowner John Mysteries are a series of novels by Bernard Knight following the fictional life of one Sir John de Wolfe, a former Crusading Knight appointed to the office of Keeper of the Pleas of the King's Crown i.e...

by Bernard Knight
Bernard Knight
Professor Bernard Knight, CBE, became a Home Office pathologist in 1965 and was appointed Professor of Forensic Pathology, University of Wales College of Medicine, in 1980. He was awarded the CBE in 1993 for services to forensic medicine....

 are a series of books set in 12th century Exeter.

Theatre


The Northcott Theatre
Northcott Theatre
The Northcott Theatre is a theatre situated on the Streatham Campus of the University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, England.-History:The Northcott is the seventh building in Exeter to be used as a theatre....

 is located on the campus of the university and is one of relatively few provincial English theatres to maintain its own repertory company
Repertory
Repertory or rep, also called stock in the United States, is a term used in Western theatre and opera.A repertory theatre can be a theatre in which a resident company presents works from a specified repertoire, usually in alternation or rotation...

. Its annual open air Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 performance in the grounds of Rougemont Castle is well regarded nationally. This theatre is the successor to the former Theatre Royal, Exeter
Theatre Royal, Exeter
The Theatre Royal, Exeter was the name of several theatres situated in the city centre of Exeter, Devon, England in the United Kingdom.-Early theatres and fires:...

.


There are also two other theatre buildings. The Barnfield Theatre
Barnfield Theatre
The Barnfield Theatre in Exeter, England was originally built as The Barnfield Hall near the end of the 19th century by Exeter Literary Society and converted to a theatre in 1972, and is located near the centre of the city on Barnfield Road, Southernhay....

 was converted in 1972 from the Barnfield Hall which was built towards the end of the 19th century by Exeter Literary Society. The theatre is a charity and is used as a venue for both amateur and professional theatrical companies. In January 2007 it received £200,000, about the same as the original cost to build it, to refurbish its interior. The New Theatre is the home of the Cygnet Training Theatre
Cygnet Training Theatre
Cygnet Training Theatre is a British drama school based in Exeter, Devon. It is one of the 22 accredited drama schools in the United Kingdom.Founded in 1980, the Company grew out of an association between Monica Shallis , Mary G. Evans and the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, then under the direction of...

, a member of the Conference of Drama Schools
Conference of Drama Schools
The Conference of Drama Schools comprises 22 accredited drama schools in Britain. Founded in 1969, the 22 member schools offer courses in Acting, Musical Theatre, Directing and Technical Theatre training.-Members:...

. In addition, more innovative and contemporary performances, theatrical productions and dance pieces are programmed by Exeter Phoenix off Gandy Street in the City centre.

Music



There are two festivals each year, of all the arts but with a particular concentration of musical events: the annual "Vibraphonic" festival held in March provides a fortnight of soul, blues, jazz, funk, reggae and electronic music.
The largest orchestra based in Exeter is the EMG Symphony Orchestra which presents regular concerts at the University of Exeter and in Exeter Cathedral.

Museums and galleries

  • The city museum is the Royal Albert Memorial Museum
    Royal Albert Memorial Museum
    Royal Albert Memorial Museum on Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, England is the largest museum in the city.-History:Initially proposed by Sir Stafford Northcote as a practical memorial to Prince Albert, an appeal fund was launched in 1861 and the first phases of the building were completed by 1868...

     in Queen Street. The museum is currently closed whilst undergoing extensive refurbishment. It is due to reopen in December 2011 The Museum also runs St Nicholas Priory which is just off Fore Street.
  • Exeter Phoenix and the adjacent digital Media Centre occupies the former university site in Gandy Street and programmes international, national and outstanding regional artists.
  • Spacex is a long established modern art gallery.

Newspapers

  • Express and Echo, daily until 2 Sept 2011 when it became a weekly.
  • The Exeter Times, formerly known as the Exeter Leader, weekly, free.
  • Flying Post, weekly (discontinued 1917, but title revived in 1975 as an alternative (polemical) community magazine).
  • The Western Morning News
    Western Morning News
    The Western Morning News is a politically independent daily regional newspaper founded in 1860 and covering Devon and Cornwall and parts of Somerset and Dorset.-Organisation:...

    , a Plymouth
    Plymouth
    Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

    -printed daily regional paper, is also popular.

Radio


BBC Radio Devon
BBC Radio Devon
BBC Radio Devon is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Devon. It began transmissions on 17 January 1983, replacing a previous breakfast show for Devon and Cornwall broadcast on the local frequencies of Radio 4....

 broadcasts to Exeter locally on FM (95.8) and AM (990 AM/MW), although the majority of programming comes from Plymouth. In the evenings, BBC Radio Devon joins the South West Regional service. Heart Exeter and Heart Torbay
Heart Exeter and Heart Torbay
Heart Exeter and Heart Torbay were part of the Heart Network of commercial local radio stations operated by Global Radio in the United Kingdom. The stations were launched on 23 March 2009, and replaced Gemini FM, which was the previous commercial radio station for the Exeter and Torbay areas in...

, formerly Gemini FM and Devonair
DevonAir
DevonAir Radio was the independent local radio station serving East Devon, Exeter and Torbay.-History:On 27th March 1978, the Independent Broadcasting Authority invited applicants for the Exeter/Torbay local radio licenece...

, covers the city on 97.2 FM, with East Devon
East Devon
East Devon is a local government district in Devon, England. Its council is based in Sidmouth, and the largest town is Exmouth.The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Honiton with the urban districts of Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Ottery St. Mary, Seaton, Sidmouth...

 and Torbay
Torbay
Torbay is an east-facing bay and natural harbour, at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the south-west of England, situated roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. Part of the ceremonial county of Devon, Torbay was made a unitary authority on 1 April 1998...

 using their own frequencies. Both Heart and BBC Devon broadcast from the St. Thomas transmitter, which also provides the city with television coverage; AM radio is broadcast from Pearce's Hill next to J31 of the M5. Other radio stations include Exeter FM
Exeter FM
-About:Exeter FM is a locally focused radio station for Exeter and the surrounding area that is designed to appeal to a broad range of adult listeners, particularly those aged 35–54, with a full service of comprehensive news and local information, engaging speech features and conversation and a...

, an easy listening station broadcasting on 107.3 FM, and VI, a station broadcasting from the West of England School and College on 1386 AM/MW. The University has a well established student station, Xpression FM
Xpression FM
Xpression FM is an award winning campus radio station for the University of Exeter, England. Formerly known as URE , the station has been broadcasting since 1976 and is entirely run by students from the university.-History:...

, which broadcasts on 87.7 FM using two low-powered transmitters, although it can be heard over much of the north of the city.

Television


BBC Spotlight and ITV Westcountry provide Exeter with regional news outputs. The majority of the local BBC output originates in Plymouth, and ITV Westcountry is broadcast from Bristol. Both services have newsrooms is Exeter. The St Thomas and Stockland Hill Transmitter Station cover the city, with both transmitters now having completed the digital switchover.

Twinnings


Exeter is twinned with Rennes
Rennes
Rennes is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern France. Rennes is the capital of the region of Brittany, as well as the Ille-et-Vilaine department.-History:...

 in France, Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg
Bad Homburg vor der Höhe is the district town of the Hochtaunuskreis, Hesse, Germany, on the southern slope of the Taunus, bordering among others Frankfurt am Main and Oberursel...

 in Germany, Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl is a city and the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow. The historical part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. It is one of the Golden Ring cities, a group of historic cities...

 in Russia, and Terracina
Terracina
Terracina is a town and comune of the province of Latina - , Italy, 76 km SE of Rome by rail .-Ancient times:...

 in Italy.
The city also seeks to maintain a relationship with HMS Exeter
HMS Exeter (D89)
HMS Exeter was a Type 42 destroyer, the fifth ship of the Royal Navy to be named Exeter, after the city of Exeter in Devon.Exeter was the first of the slightly modified 'Batch 2' Type 42 destroyers. This was a mid-build consideration with her later sister ship, HMS Southampton sporting a similar...

.

While not formally twinned, the town of Exeter, California
Exeter, California
Exeter is a city in Tulare County, California, United States. It is situated near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The population was 10,334 at the 2010 census....

, USA, was named by a former resident of Exeter working on behalf of the Southern Pacific Railroad
Southern Pacific Railroad
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company , earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually simply called the Southern Pacific or Espee, was an American railroad....

.

External links