J St James' Church roundabout

It was difficult to find a J for the trail, so bear with us! Please let us know if you can think of any alternatives.

There is a small amount of Heavitree Stone at the corner of Union Road and Stoke Hill. It appears as rubble in a low wall on the street and a high boundary wall or buttress to the house there.

The parish of St James’ was carved out from St Sidwell’s in 1838. The first church was replaced in the 1880s. According to its Historic Environment Record, the new building was “constructed of local red sandstone”. This could have been Poltimore sandstone rather than Heavitree Stone, which is usually identified in records as “breccia”. However, although sandstone is not the same as breccia, the two are sometimes confused. So there is a small chance that this church was built of Heavitree Stone.

The church was destroyed in the Blitz, and the current building of brick was dedicated in 1956. Again we are guessing, but given that there are many examples of Heavitree Stone being reused in Exeter, it is possible that the section of wall on the roundabout corner is built from the remains of Victorian era St James’. Keep your eyes peeled for other fragments around the city.


  1. Devon & Dartmoor Historic Environment Record – http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MDV18322&resourceID=104
  2. Deryck Laming & David Roche “Permian Breccias, Sandstones and Volcanics” – https://new.devon.gov.uk/geology/devons-rocks-a-geological-guide/
  3. St James’ Church website – http://www.stjamesexeter.org/about/the-church-building

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