Exeter Local History Society members are hooked on history.  If you share our fascination, why not join us?  We have six lecture meetings a year (details below).  These alternate with six guided walks, plus we occasionally have long distance outings, and we cover an incredibly diverse range of subjects from Roman remains to post-WW2 redevelopment.


However, the pandemic means that we cannot arrange guided walks just at present and our talks are transmitted via Zoom. 


When life is back to normal, our regular bi-monthly meetings at Jurys Inn are usually held on the second Wednesday of the month in February, April, June, August, October and December. Our walks/visits are also bi-monthly, usually on the second Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September and November. Full details of future walks and talks are given below.


The charge for each meeting is normally £3 (free to members) and the annual membership fee is £12 (£16 for joint membership). If you sample a meeting and decide to join, the £3 cost will be deducted from your first annual fee.  Walks and visits normally cost £3 p.p. for members and visitors alike.


We also produce six newsletters a year - how about we email you the most recent as a free taster?  To request a copy just email us at:




And do check out this website  and see for yourself the great selection of subjects with which we entertain our members.  Just click on "Recent Events" or "Visits & Walks" on the banner at the top of this page to explore our programme history!  Click on "How To Join Us" for an application form.


We hope we will see you soon at one of our many events which we are planning for 2021.  Our talks are held at Jurys and for anyone concerned about infection we have been  assured that, as far as ventilation and maintaining social distancing are concerned, all directives are followed.


Jury's airconditioning provides clean outside air at regular intervals and the numbers permitted in the room (which normally takes 60) are reduced to 25.  We therefore recommend that if any member wishes to attend any event it is booked well in advance with Eventbrite. There is no charge for members to attend any of these gatherings but for non-members the charge is £3.


Talk by Richard Holladay

Thursday, 18 November 2021


Many society members will remember the wonderful Elands, the book store located in Cathedral Close until its demise in 2016.  It had existed for 107 years, dating from 1909 when HENRY SEPTIMUS ELAND bought an existing bookselling business and renamed it “Henry S Eland”.


 In the following years he would extend and rebuild the premises with an internal gallery above the shop, and an exhibition art gallery, where original paintings would be exhibited, at the rear.  He also introduced a lending library and continued to be a principal agent for religious books.  He was known to “maintain cordial relationships with Roman Catholics, the Cathedral and others"!


Sadly the premises were destroyed in the bombing of Exeter but after a while the business relocated to the Temporary Shops in Southernhay and then, in 1961, to premises opposite the Post Office in Bedford Street.   In 1997 they moved to Cathedral Close but closed for business around late 2006.


Richard  Holladay, the great grandson of Henry Septimus, will tell us all sorts of tales about Elands on 17 November.  It promises to be a fascinating evening.  Richard is well known to the Society particularly through his talks about Dr Lovely (10 August 2018) and Industrial Life in Pre-War Exeter (10 December 2015).  Full details of those talks are on www.exeterlocalhistorysociety.co.uk.


To reserve your place on 18 November, click on the green My Button below:

If you are not a member, you are most welcome to attend the talk.  There is, however, a small charge of £3.  If you wish to reserve a place, may we suggest you click on the grey "MyButton" below.



Talk by Todd Gray on Tuesday, 14 December 2021


at Jurys Inn, Exeter

The celebration of Christmas has altered in Devon as it has elsewhere but there have been particularly Devonian features of the holiday. Mummers, the Ashen Faggot and A'Thomasing were once particular features of the holiday in Devon. Outdoor festive lights have become a feature of modern Christmas as have seasonal cards and indoor trees but these too were innovations. In the midst of the Commonwealth, when Christmas was cancelled, it was claimed that it was in Devon that the old traditions continued.  In this illustrated lecture Dr Gray looks at how Christmas has evolved since the early 1500s. 
Tickets through Eventbrite are now available.  To reserve a place, members should press the green MyButton below:

The talk is free to members but we do have to charge a small fee (£3) to non-members.  To obtain a non-member ticket, please press the gray MyButton below:

Exeter's Roman History


Talk by Dr John Salvatore on Thursday, 13 January 2022

at Jurys Inn, Exeter



The story of Roman military Exeter has grown enormously since John gave us a fascinating talk back in 2004.  Excavations at Princesshay, the Bus Station and numerous sites along Topsham Road have added to the story.  It will certainly be a fascinating evening. 

All talks are now on the second Thursday of alternate months (February, April, June, August, October & December).                                          All meetings start at 7 pm and are held at JURYS INN, Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB.                                                                  Free parking is available from 6pm in the Triangle Car Park at the rear of Jurys.                                                                                Walks/visits are usually on the second Wednesday of alternate months (January, March, May, July, September November). 

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