K St Katherine's Priory

K St Katharine's Priory - credit Clare Bryden

St Katherine’s Priory in Polsloe was founded as a Benedictine nunnery before 1159 and was dissolved in 1539. It lies about 2km outside Exeter’s medieval City Walls, and is now an oasis of green surrounded by suburbia. A nunnery was a settlement built to sustain a community of religious women, and St Katherine’s is significant … Read more

L St Loye's Chapel

L St Loyes Chapel - credit Clare Bryden

St Loye (Eloy in French or Eligius in Latin) lived in 6-7th century in what is now France. He is the patron saint of goldsmiths, other metal workers, horses, farriers and vets, and most importantly miners! St Loye’s is the only known chapel dedicated to him in Devon or Cornwall. The first documentary evidence for … Read more

M St Margaret's Church Topsham

M St Margaret's Church Topsham - credit Chris Spinks

Topsham Parish Church is in an amazing location, overlooking the Exe estuary. The views are fantastic, especially at sunset at the end of a sunny summer day when everything is calm and still. Only the tower survives from the medieval building. Most of the church was rebuilt in 1874-76 after being destroyed by fire. This … Read more

N St Nicholas Priory

N St Nicholas Priory - credit Clare Bryden

The Benedictine Priory of St Nicholas was founded in 1080-87, and its standing remains are among the oldest surviving medieval buildings in Exeter. Originally it followed the standard layout of a medieval monastery: a church on the south side and three ranges of two-storeyed buildings grouped around a square cloister. The west and north ranges … Read more

O Old Deanery wall

O Old Deanery - credit Clare Bryden

The Old Deanery wall is a nice stretch of dressed but uncoursed Heavitree Stone, with stone capping. There is a gateway facing the Cathedral with an arch in limestone. The Old Deanery itself was four blocks and adjoining chapel. The chapel existed by 1200, but what we have now is 15th century, built of Heavitree … Read more

P St Petrock's Church

P St Petrock's Church - credit Clare Bryden

St Petrock’s has been described as “among the most confusing of any church in the whole of England.” The first record of the church is in about 1200, and the site may well be older, but everything visible now is late medieval or later. The core plan of the church was a simple nave and … Read more

Q Quarries

Q Quarries - credit Clare Bryden

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

R Rougemont Castle

R Rougemont Castle - credit Clare Bryden

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

S Stepcote Hill

S Stepcote Hill - credit Clare Bryden

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

T Trews Weir Mill

T Trews Weir Mill - credit Clare Bryden

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