26 Nov 2020
Arriving at Exeter Central station you are greeted with the sight of beautiful Georgian townhouses and the buzz of the city. Exeter is a city with a rich heritage and it greets you at every turn; whether it’s the fascinating story of the House that Moved (yes, we moved a whole house!), the exceptional Cathedral or the bustle of glorious Gandy Street. But that’s not all it has to offer, dig a little deeper and you’ll find a city overflowing with delights for the visitor.
The River Exe: What makes Exeter unique is that its history and heritage are so entwined with modern daily life. Its quayside, which was first used as a port in Roman times, is today used by residents and visitors alike for walks and bike rides, water sports and the infamous dustbin lid sized pizzas in one of the many restaurants and cafes. And linked to this historic area is the Customs House – the increase in trade to and from Exeter led to it being built in 1680. It now stands proudly on the edge of the quayside and offers a vital glimpse into the history of this area.
The House that Moved: In 1961, in a bold move to retain some of the character buildings in the city after the devastation of the Second World War’s air raids, number 16 Edmund Street was moved instead of being demolished to make way for a new road.
A timber frame was built around it and the whole structure was raised onto a low loader using hydraulic jacks. It was then cautiously moved up hill to its present site at the corner of West Street. It was slow work, taking 4 days. The story made national and international news. The house originally belonged to a merchant, but has been used by many businesses since then. Today it is a bridal shop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpXswQMv3M4 Fore Street:
Pinces Gardens: Hop under the River and enjoy some of Exeter’s finest street art and find yourself in Saint Thomas to take a stroll around one of the city’s beautiful Victorian gardens. Pinces Gardens stands on the site of William Lucombe's nursery founded in 1720, most famous for his development of the Lucombe Oak. The nusery became Lucombe, Pince & Co. in the 1820s. By the 1880s the nurserymen had established the 45 yard long wisteria arch as the center piece of the garden, and a position that it retains today. The beautiful annual blossom of the wisteria arch attracts visitors every spring. The rose garden, planted in 2008, continues the Victorian theme of the garden.
London may have it’s bright lights and Liverpool will always have the Beetles, but Exeter is a city truly like no other.