O Old Deanery wall

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 Stone.

The first block probably dates from the 13th century and is variously described as built of volcanic trap and Salcombe sandstone, or red brick and Heavitree Stone. Have a look and see what you think. The second block was largely rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries, but may contain older fabric. These blocks are now the offices of the Diocese of Exeter.

The third and fourth blocks are now part of the Cathedral School. They contain medieval remnants but were largely rebuilt in the 16th century. The Deanery has been rehoused at No.10 Cathedral Close.

The Old Deanery wall leads down to Nos. 1 and 2 Deanery Place. No.2 appears to be late 18th century, but renovations revealed it was built within the shell of a late-medieval building of Heavitree Stone. This possibly also includes No.1.

Opposite is Church House, built on the site of the Cathedral Cloisters which were demolished in the 17th century. The front facing Deanery Place is late 18th century, and built mostly of Heavitree Stone rubble with brick window surrounds and bricks and other stone patchwork.

There is plenty more Heavitree Stone in the area. Keep going down Bear Street into Palace Gate, and you will see more walling on your left. Then there is the Gatehouse to the Bishop’s Palace and the Palace behind, both of which include Heavitree Stone. Even the Cathedral has a fragment in the north tower, which was rebuilt in 1393-95.


  1. Historic England Listed Building, wall of Deanery – https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1333354
  2. Exeter City Historic Environment Record, Deanery 1068-1300 – http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1816728&resourceID=1054
  3. Exeter City Historic Environment Record, Deanery, 1300-1540 – http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1816802&resourceID=1054
  4. Historic England Listed Building, Deanery – https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1104026
  5. Historic England Pastscape, Deanery – https://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=448308
  6. Exeter City Historic Environment Record, Nos. 1 and 2 Deanery Place – http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1816803&resourceID=1054
  7. Archaeological Data Service, Church House – http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/record?titleId=1102315
  8. Exeter City Historic Environment Record, ref Cathedral –http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1816906&resourceID=1054

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