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Historic England Research Records

Exeter

Hob Uid: 448309
Location :
Devon
Exeter
Exeter
Grid Ref : SX9192709259
Summary : The city walls of Exeter are Roman in origin and continued in use through the Dark Ages into Medieval and later times. The Roman ditch became the town ditch and survived into the 18th or 19th century. The four main city gates were demolished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Turrets and bastions of various periods have been recorded. Scheduled.
More information : (Centred SX 919925) City Walls (NR) (Several places) (1)

The city walls of Exeter have been proved to originate in Roman times
(see SX 99 SW 12). The medieval and later walls (as shown on OS maps
for the full circuit of the city) were essentially the Roman walls
extensively rebuilt and repaired at various times (and there were many occasions of threat when it would have been prudent for Exeter to look to its defences, from sub-Roman times right up to the Civil War, when the city was twice besieged, and even later - see Authorities 5 and 6).
The Roman ditch, becoming the Town ditch, seems to have been
similarly maintained, and survived up to the 18th or 19th century
(though its extent does not seem to have been fully ascertained, and
it may never have existed on the SW and NW sides of the city, where
there were respectively the Exe and the slopes of the Longbrook
valley). The four main city gates, which were demolished in the 18th
and 19th centuries, almost certainly occupied the sites of the Roman
gates, although this has only been proved at the South Gate. The
origin of the various wall turrets and bastions is uncertain. The
only one excavated (SX 99 SW 15.4) proved to be 17th century on a 13thcentury base, but others were possibly roman or Dark Ages in the firstplace. The tradition that the walls, with turrets, were built by Athelstan derives from William of Malmesbury, but can only mean that the walls were of remote antiquity (and therefore Roman) when he wrote in about 1130. There could, however, have been extensive Saxon repairwork which came to be regarded as the original construction.
(See Map Diagram and subordinate cards). (2-6)

Similar information. (7)

Exeter is mentioned in c1018 when a reference is made to the borough court. In 1050 Exeter was a cathedral city and in 1086 it was a city with 285 houses belonging to the king.(8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : OS 1:2500 1966
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings
Source details : (C A Ralegh Radford)
Page(s) : 57-62,181-90, 238-40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2 1933-6
Source Number : 3
Source : Roman Exeter : excavations in the war-damaged areas, 1945-1947
Source details :
Page(s) : 20
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : No. 8 - 1952
Source Number : 4
Source : Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings
Source details : (A Fox)
Page(s) : Jan-21
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 26 - 1968
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Two Thousand Years in Exeter 1969 passim (W G Hoskins)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Magna Britannia 6 Devon pt 2 1822 177-234 (D and S Lysons)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Roman Exeter : fortress and town
Source details : (P T Bidwell)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1980
Source Number : 8
Source : English medieval boroughs : a hand-list
Source details :
Page(s) : 91
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : CBA research reports
Source details : Medieval Towns in England and Wales (ed) Barley
Page(s) : 58-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1975

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Town Defences
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Town Defences, Town
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Town Defences
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Town Defences
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DV 136
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 99 SW 15
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : ST JOHN'S SCHOOL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1932-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : THE CONVENT GARDEN, PALACE GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1933-01-01
End Date : 1933-12-31
Associated Activities : ST JOHN'S SCHOOL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1934-01-01
End Date : 1935-12-31
Associated Activities : 11-13 TRINITY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1936-01-01
End Date : 1936-12-31
Associated Activities : THE PALACE GARDENS, EXETER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1939-01-01
End Date : 1939-12-31
Associated Activities : ST JOHN'S HOSPITAL (TRENCH 14)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1945-01-01
End Date : 1947-12-31
Associated Activities : 39 SOUTHERNHAY WEST (TRENCH 15)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1945-01-01
End Date : 1947-12-31
Associated Activities : POST OFFICE STREET (AREA 9)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1950-01-01
End Date : 1950-12-31
Associated Activities : JAMES STREET/WESTERN WAY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1962-12-31
Associated Activities : SOUTH STREET/SOUTH GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1964-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : QUEEN STREET (OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE)
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : WEST STREET/CRICKLEPIT STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1974-12-31
Associated Activities : HOLLOWAY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : NORTH GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1978-01-01
End Date : 1978-12-31
Associated Activities : BARTHOLOMEW TERRACE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1989-12-31
Associated Activities : BRADNINCH PLACE/GANDY STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1985-01-01
End Date : 1985-12-31
Associated Activities : MAGDALEN STREET/SOUTHERNHAY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1987-12-31
Associated Activities : EXETER CITY DEFENCES (PRINCESSHAY MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : SOUTH GATE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : THE CLOSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : HIGH STREET/FORE STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : EXETER CITY WALLS
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : PRINCESSHAY REDEVELOPMENT SCHEME
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT CRICKLEPIT STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : 52 NORTHERNHAY STREET
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT ROUGEMONT GARDENS
Activity type : BOREHOLE SURVEY
Start Date : 2016-01-01
End Date : 2017-12-31