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Description:Two dated builds of the period have individual monument descriptions (see Monument No’s 11436 and 11437). Maintenance and repair work continued on the city wall after the Civil War, and quite large amounts of work are seen in the later 17th and 18th centuries (see the extracts from documents in Blaylock 1995, 15-20); some of this may have been the continuation of repairs following the Civil War, more was simply the routine repair of decaying fabric. There does seem to have been a concerted effort to set the walls in good repair in the 1660s (Juddery and Stoyle 1988, v-vi; Blaylock 1995, 15-16), and the Chamber Act Books show that the maintenance of the fabric remained a priority for the city throughout the 18th century. Nevertheless it is clear that the defences were increasingly disregarded, and encroachments increasingly tolerated. The final demise of the circuit came in the late 18th century when the wall was breached for the construction of New Cut (1750), New Bridge Street (1770), Bedford Circus and Southernhay (1770s/1787), and the gates were dismantled (beginning with the north gate in 1769, followed by the east gate in 1785; the west, water and south gates followed in the early 19th century). Other than the two well-dated builds with separate descriptions (mentioned above), and one other dated build of 1772 in Maddocks Row/Northernhay Street (which is out of the period), other probable work of this period can be seen in: Other candidates for work of the PM2 period are found in the Southernhay area (numbers according to the gazetteer in Blaylock 1995, chapter 3): Build Ext.23.3 contains a weathered block of Purbeck stone, without a frame, built into rather rough facework (ibid., Pl. 94). An area of blocking above the scar of a buttress in section Ext.24.8 may represent the position of a former datestone on a parallel with section Ext.24.12 where a datestone of Purbeck stone (with weathered surface) is set in an elaborate aedicule above a buttress (ibid., Pls 77 and 96). Any of these examples might be remnants of those datestones for which there is evidence in the Civil War accounts (above) or may belong to later activity in this section of wall. The stones in sections Ext.24.8 and 24.12 are both let into well-built walling, predominantly of breccia, but that in section Ext.23.3 is different in character. The walling is hastily constructed with re-used stone, perhaps the Purbeck stone itself was re-used, or could the habit of inserting datestones in the Civil War have extended even to areas where rough repairs were necessary? A similar style of breccia masonry to the dated section in the vicinity of Maddocks Row, Northernhay Street (sections Ext.8.4, 9.1) is also seen at the rear of the Castle also of the 1770s (sections Ext.5.1, 5.2); other structures associated with the reorganisation of the castle enclosure, such as the crenellated archway forming the entrance to the inner ward (whose facade is of Portland stone; the breccia appears in the rear face), also contain similar work.

Extant: Yes
Grid reference:SX915924
Map reference: [ EPSG:27700] 291578, 92466
Periods:1650 - 1750
Subjects:TOWN WALL
Identifiers:[ ADS] Depositor ID - 11480.02

People Involved:

  • [ Publisher] Exeter City Council

Bibliographic References:

  • Salvatore, J.P. (1993) Observations and Excavations at North Gate, Exeter, 1978, Part 1: Roman Military in EMAFU Report No. 93.28. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit.
  • Loe, L. (1998) A preliminary analysis of five inhumations from Princesshay, Exeter, 1998 in EA Report No. 98.32. Exeter Archaeology.
  • Henderson, C.G., et al. (1997) Archaeological assessment of Princesshay/Bedford Street, Exeter, Redevelopment Scheme in EA Report No. 97.56. Exeter Archaeology.
  • Goodburn, R., Hassall, M.W.C., & Tomlin, R.S.O. (1978) 'Devon, Exeter: (ii) North Gate', p. 459 in 'Roman Britain in 1977' in Britannia 9, pg(s)403-85. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
  • Henderson, C.G., et al. (1998) Archaeological assessment and field evaluation of Princesshay redevelopment Scheme, Exeter in EA Report No. 98.30. Exeter Archaeology.
  • Goodburn, R., Hassall, M.W.C., & Tomlin, R.S.O. (1979) 'Devon, Exeter: (iv) North Gate', pp. 324-6 in 'Roman Britain in 1978' in Britannia 10, pg(s)267-356. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.