Visits and Walks

Exeter Local History Society usually organises six visits or walks every year to a wide variety of destinations within Exeter.  They are listed on the left; just click on whichever title you wish for full information.


(There are also regular bi-monthly talks.  Just double click on

"Recent Talks" on the header bar for full information).





Thursday, 9 November 2017

We experienced a wonderful and interesting guided tour of Poltimore House, parts of which date back to Tudor times.  Poltimore's guides are passionate about their subject and they shared with us the history of the Bampfylde family and their Exeter estates.  Tea andhome-made cakes were the start of the deal and we then set off to see the rooms and the enormous efforts that the Friends of  Poltimore are making to restore the building to its former beauty.


Visit to St Luke's College and Grounds

16 September 2017


The College dates back to 1839 though the Heavitree Road site was only taken over in 1854.  The site has been beautifully developed with ssome glorious trees and beautiful gardens featuring plants in nooks and crannies.  A fascinting morning.  The site turns out to be far larger on the inside than is clear from the outside looking in.  For full details click on "2017.09.14 St Luke's College" on the banner on the left this page.


The Monmouth Rebellion at the Phoenix Theatre

16 September 2017


A 20-strong cast represents the 3000-strong army of dissenting men and women from Dorset, Devon and Somerset preparing to fight the last ever pitched battle on English soil.  We have reserved 20 seats at £1 off. Tickets going fast so book soon. Phone for full details - 07443 601 678. Cost £8 p.p



Visit to  Exeter University Gardens


Thursday, 13 July 2017


On a beautiful sunny  day we met at the bus stop opposite the entrance to the Northcott Theatre and Malcolm took us on  walk around the gardens.   He showed us spaces that even people who had worked there had never seen - the enchanting Taddyforde Valley, the cactus garden, the grassy spaces beside Streatham Hall.  Full details will be listed on the left bar within the next few days.



Visit to Tiverton Castle

Wednesday,10 May, 2017


Few buildings evoke such a feeling of history as venerable Tiverton Castle. Originally built in 1106 by order of Henry I, and later rebuilt and much enlarged in the 13th and 14th centuries, Tiverton Castle was once home of the powerful medieval Earls of Devon and of a Plantagenet Princess. With later additions and alterations down the centuries all periods of architecture from medieval to modern can be seen, with beautiful walled gardens within the romantic ruins. 


Part Scheduled Ancient Monument and part Grade I Listed, the Castle is the private home of Angus and Alison Gordon, who were happy to share it with our members on 11 May.   We started with coffee in the Gordon’s private dining room and then Alison took us on a trip through the Castle (and through history).


Tiverton had close connections with Exeter, particularly during the days of the wool trade, when it was collected in Tiverton and sailed down the river to be sold in Exeter !


For details of the visit click right  on Tiverton Castle.



Can you identify where this is?


25 March 2017


The history of Exwick goes back almost a thousand years. It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 when it had a Mill and a Manor.  By the late 18th Century it had three working Mills and a factory making woollen goods, all now closed and gone - bar one still standing empty and forlorn.


The hills to the North and East, once wooded and later clad in green fields, are now smothered in buildings including many housing estates.  But despite all this, enough of the past still exists, tucked away, to give a good idea of the importance of the village of Exwick, just across the river from the city of Exeter.





The Guildhall, Behind the Scenes

Saturday, 12 November 2016


The Guildhall is a building of outstanding architectural interest, an ancient monument and a busy working building.  It has served as the centrepiece of Exeter’s civic life for more than 800 years.   On 12 November we saw parts of the Guildhall not normally open to the public: precious objects acquired through the ages and displayed in rooms full of history. For full details click on left banner.




    History of Waste Disposal in Exeter

In olden days, recycling consisted of a pig.  In went uneatable food and in due course the pig provided many a good meal – or money if it was sold.


Recycling through the centuries has become somewhat more sophisticated leading to today’s complex systems.  On 15 September we had a talk on the history of recycling (which incidentally provides a fascinating picture of how ordinary people’s living conditions changed through the ages).  The talk ended with a Q&A session and a tour of the recycling plant. More details to follow shortly.





Friday, 20 Janury 2017



Friday morning, 20 January 2017
​, was
 a wonderful opportunity to visit the Orthodox Chapel in Blackboy Road. This charming Tudor building has a rich history dating back to the 15th century and we will be shown around by the pastor, Archdeacon Peter Storer. The adjacent almshouses are all occupied but we will be able to examine their external features.



We first met in the Newtown Community Association hut, which is situated in the middle of Belmont Park, for coffee and a talk – and hopefully a short (weather dependent) walk – exploring the history of  Exeter's parks and particularly Belmont Park.  Michael Parrott will sadly not be free to show us round but he has given us lots of fascinating insights to pass onabout the development of this lovely area.  We then proceeded as a group to the Orthodox Chapel. Cost £3. Booking is essential.


More details if you click the adjacent banner.





All talks are on the second Wednesday 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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