The Churches of Britain and Ireland

  Exeter, Devon

Exeter on Wikipedia.

Lots of useful information relating to the churches of Exeter.

My appreciation to Peter Kessler for his permission to use many of his photographs here, and for his researches into the history of Exeter churches.

Churches in Heavitree, Wonford.

The site of the long-demolished Allhallows on Goldsmith Street. P. L. Kessler / The History Files, wherein it says that the church was demolished in 1906.

The site of Allhallows-on-the-Walls (1843-5), which was built in Friernhay Burial Ground. Declared redundant in 1938 it was demolished in 1950. The churchyard walls and gateways survive. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

The site of the demolished Bedford Chapel, on what is now Bedford Square. Built in 1832, it suffered serious damage during WWII, and was finally demolished on 1946. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

Belmont Chapel on Western Way. SX 927 929. Andrew Ross. Link.

Blessed Sacrament Church (1931-2) on Fore Street. According to the church website the tower was originally taller, but it was damaged by bombing in WWII, and not re-built to the same height. SX 9363 9248. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

Buller Road Evangelical Church. Peter advises that it was originally Open Brethren, built in the last few years of the 19th century, or first few of the 20th, and closing in 2020. A map of 1938 labels it as Mission Hall, though curiously the 25" O.S. map of 1892-1914, the 6" of 1906, and the 1:25,000 of 1949 all fail to label it. SX 9116 9206. P. L. Kessler (2020) / The History Files.

The Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Exeter. SX 923 925. Andrew Ross. Another view, Alan Blacklock. Interior view, Graeme Harvey. Link.

Hereabouts perhaps once stood the Chapel of St. Roche (or St. Roch). The chapel seems to have been built in the 14th century, with almshouses replacing or attached to it the early years of the following century. All were demolished in the 18th century. Coombe Street, which the photo shows, was once known as Rock Lane, and the chapel may have stood in what are now gardens at its southern end. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

The former Chapel of the Assumption of Our Lady. This has been in secular use since at least 1602, and is now known as Tuckers Hall. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

Christ Church Free Church (1957) on Salem Place. SX 9286 9324. Andrew Ross. Another view ( P. L. Kessler / The History Files) and the interior ( Heath Nickels [2016]). A useful history.

Christadelphian Hall on Heavitree Road, where they have been meeting since 1987. P. L. Kessler / The History Files. Link.

Cowick Road Hall, at the junction of Cowick Road and Church Road, is a former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, showing as such on a map of 1890. Maps from the 1950's to 1970's shows it as a Salvation Army Hall. On a later map dated 1989-92, it's labelled as "PW", a place of worship. As can be seen from the photo, it's now in secular use. SX 9128 9178. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

Hereabouts on Paris Street once stood an Elim Pentecostal Church. Opening in 1928, it was demolished to make way for the bus station in the 1960's. P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files.

Emmanuel Church - building commenced in 1897. Western Way/Okehampton Road. SX 911 923. Andrew Ross.

Exeter Spiritualist Centre and Healing Group on York Road. SX 9254 9316. Heath Nickels (2016).

First Church of Christ, Scientist on Longbrook Street. SX 9237 9315. Heath Nickels (2016). Link.

Friends Meeting House (Quakers, 1691) on Wynards Lane. SX 9238 9235. Andrew Ross. Another view, P. L. Kessler / The History Files, whose entry (click on "8") for this building describes it's history. Link.

George's Meeting House, on South St., formerly a Non-Conformist Chapel, now a pub. SX 921 923. Andrew Ross.

Hebrew Congregation Synagogue. SX 918 925. Andrew Ross.

Holy Trinity Church. Previously of uncertain status, thanks to David Cornforth for identifying this as a church, and for advising of his website. On South Street, this church is now the White Ensign Club. SX 921 923. Andrew Ross.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Holloway Street. Only in the building since sometime in the last quarter of the last century, the building was originally a school, dating from 1876. P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Another view, Heath Nickels (2016).

The Mint Methodist Church. SX 917 924. Andrew Ross. Another view, Graeme Harvey, and another, P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Interior view, Heath Nickels (2016). Link.

From 1833 this private residence - now Mowbray Cottage - on Butts Road, was used as a meeting by an Independent congregation, and later by the Wesleyans. Following the Wesleyans vacating in 1860 it was converted to residential use. P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files.

Pinhoe Road Baptist Church at Polsloe Bridge. SX 939 934. Paul E. Barnett (2016). Another view, P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Link.

Part of Providence Chapel on Northernhay (an extension of 1894). The chapel which was opened by the Plymouth Brethren in 1839, became Bible Christian by 1851. This photo was taken in 1983, when the building was being used as a print works. Ray Harrington-Vail.

The River Dream Centre, on Northernhay Street (1894). SX 918 928 Andrew Ross. Link. My appreciation to Janet Gimber, whose researches have revealed the following - 1894 is the date of an extension to the Chapel. This extension is visible in the photo, as a smaller building beyond the 5-bayed chapel. The main chapel itself was built in 1839 as a Plymouth Brethren Chapel, and a comment in Pevsner shows that it was Elim Providence Chapel at some point as well.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1883-4) on South Street and Bear Street. SX 9202 9244. Andrew Ross. Link.

St. Andrew at Exwick, consecrated in 1842. SX 908 936. Andrew Ross.

St. Anne's Orthodox Church (on Old Tiverton Road and Black Boy Road). SX 928 932. Andrew thinks this used to be a chapel, and that it looks older than the date given above the gate (1927). Andrew Ross. It is indeed older than the date, which may be the date for the gate itself. Janet Gimber has found its interesting history here.

The remains of St. Catherine's Chapel on Catherine Street. SX 922 928. Paul E. Barnett (2016). The brief Grade II listing.

St. David. SX 915 931. Andrew Ross. Link.

St. Edmund - a ruined bridge chapel. Another view, and another. SX 916 921. A plaque inside the tower reads "It became a Parish Church, was rebuilt 1833-4, damaged by fire in 1969, and made safe by partial demolition in 1975. All Andrew Ross. Link1. Link2.

The re-sited remains of a mid-Saxon church, which had been built into the now-demolished St. George the Martyr, stand on South Street. St. George the Martyr was originally on St. George's Street and South Street, and a "KFC" now stands partly on the site. A plaque provides some dates. All P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. An old engraving of St. George is available here.

St. Mark on Pinhoe Road. SX 936 933. Paul E. Barnett (2016). Link.

St. Martin, at the north end of Cathedral Close. The first church on the site was consecrated July 6th, 1065. SX 9210 9266. Andrew Ross. An old postcard view, from Reg Dosell's Collection. Interior view, Heath Nickels. Grade I listed.

St. Mary Arches. SX 918 925. Andrew Ross. Another view. Alan Blacklock.

A little fabric remains of St. Mary Major on South Street, which stands on the site of older church buildings, including a Saxon minster. See here for a good history, and old photos. SX 920 924. Paul E. Barnett (2016).

St. Mary Steps. SX 920 920. From an old postcard in Reg Dosell's Collection. A modern view. Alan Blacklock. A close-up of the clock, showing the date of its refurbishment (1980). John Balaam (2013). Link.

St. Michael. SX 915 927. Andrew Ross.

St. Nicholas Priory. SX 917 924. Andrew Ross. Link.

St. Olave on Fore Street. SX 9182 9247. Andrew Ross. Another view,  from an old postcard in Reg Dosell's Collection. Interior view, Heath Nickels (2016). Link. Grade II* listed.

St. Pancras. SX 9192 9270. Andrew Ross. Interior view, Jim Parker, and the font, Paul E. Barnett (2016). Another interior view, Heath Nickels. Link. Grade II* listed.

St. Petrock, on High Street. SX 9200 9254 Andrew Ross. Another view, Alan Blacklock. Grade II* listed.

The site of St. Philip (a tin tabernacle) is now occupied by housing on Buddle Lane. Erected in the 1920's, it was demolished before the end of the century. SX 9078 9180. P. L. Kessler / The History Files. An interior view is available here. I've been unable to find an exterior photo, but there must be one out there somewhere, surely.

St. Sidwell. SX 9245 9307. Not a pretty building. Andrew thinks it might have been re-built after WWII bombing, as the graveyard looks older. Andrew Ross. As this old postcard proves, Andrew's suspicions are spot-on. From Reg Dosell's Collection. Two interior views - 1, 2, both Heath Nickels (2019).

St. Stephen on High Street. SX 9211 9272. Andrew Ross. Another view, Paul E. Barnett (2016). Interior view, Graeme Harvey, and another Heath Nickels. Grade II* listed.

St. Thomas on Cowick Street. SX 912 917. Andrew Ross.

St. Thomas (Methodist). SX 909 917. Andrew Ross.

St. Thomas of Canterbury (R.C.). This church closed in the mid-2000's and was subsequently converted into two houses. SX 907 916. Andrew Ross.

Salvation Army Hall. SX 921 921. Graeme Harvey.

Salvation Army Temple on Friars' Gate. Interior view. SX 9214 9216. Both Heath Nickels (2016). Link. The entry on Peter Kessler's website provides a little history of this former Quaker building.

Seventh-day Adventist Chapel on King William Street. SX 9246 9315. Heath Nickels (2016). Link.

Sidwell Street Methodist Church. SX 926 931. Andrew Ross. Link.

South Street Baptist Church. SX 9204 9242. Andrew Ross. Link.

Southernhay U.R.C. SX 924 927. Andrew Ross.

The Chapel of the Holy Trinity and Maison Dieu on Magdalen Street, belonging to Wynards Almshouses. SX 923 923. Andrew Ross.

Toronto Road Mission Church pre-dates the 25" O.S. map of 1904-5, and Peter Kessler's entry for this church dates it to the 1890's, and suggests that it ceased to be used as a church "by the 1940's". SX 9289 9335. P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files.

The former Victoria Chapel on Coombe Street (Rock Lane as was), was Primitive Methodist. It's now in use as an Academy of Music. On-line information about this chapel is remarkably sparse, but according to the entry on Peter Kessler's site, it went out of use "before 1887". P. L. Kessler / The History Files. A 2018 Streetview.

Vineyard Church, on Prospect Park. P. L. Kessler (2020) / The History Files. Link.

The former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Chapel Lane, Alphington. Dated here to 1895, with closure probably after 2012, as a Streetview from that year shows it apparently still active. The same source also mentions an earlier chapel (1836-1866) on Ide Lane, which may be the present village hall (Streetviews in 2008 and 2018). Dated here to the 1830's, it has the look of chapel about it, but I haven't been able to confirm this suspicion. SX 9172 9018. P. L. Kessler (2020) / The History Files.

Westgate Christian Fellowship occupies the former Bartholomew Street Baptist Church. A handsome building from 1817 (this source, which includes a photo of the church from the 1970's, says the foundation stone was laid 30th September 1817), the Baptists left in the 1960's, whereupon the current Fellowship took over. SX 9161 9239. P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Link. The Grade II listing mentions a date in the pediment of 1827, contradicting other sources. Enlarging the original photo from this entry only shows a blank where the date may be expected, so perhaps it has been plastered over.

Possible old chapel, now a bed shop. SX 912 919. Andrew Ross.

A possible former chapel at SX 919 925. Paul E. Barnett (2016).

Cemetery Chapel (Anglican) in Higher Cemetery, Heavitree. SX 9369 9313. P. L. Kessler / The History Files. There is also a Non-Conformist chapel just to the north, at SX 9368 9318. It can be seen on a 2008 Streetview, here. The Anglican chapel (undergoing works at the time) can be seen by turning the view to the right.
Heavitree Independent Evangelical Church off Fore Street. Originally the site of Ebenezer Gospel Hall for a few years before WWII, it was destroyed in 1942, and only re-built in 1979. SX 9395 9233. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
The site (now housing) of Heavitree Gospel Hall, which stood at the junction of Alpha Street and Goldsmith Street. SX 9376 9265. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
St. Michael and All Angels on Church Street, as seen by the Streetview van in 2008. SX 9376 9227. Link. Grade II* listed.
U.R.C. on Homefield Road and Fore Street. Originally a Mission of 1885, it was re-built as Congregational in 1903. SX 9371 9242. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.

The former Baptist Chapel (1905) on Hope Road. It had a relatively short life, the congregation moving to new premises in 1931 (for which, see the next entry). The building is now in use as a nursery.
P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Baptist Chapel (1931) on Wonford Street. See also the previous entry.
P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
City Community Church meet in the Ludwell Valley Centre on Ludwell Lane. Peter Kessler, whose photograph this is, suggests that this building may also be a former Salvation Army Outpost.
P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
The former St. Loye's Church (Anglican) stands at the junction of Wonford Street and Salters Road. Originally a school, so labelled on the 6" 1904-6 O.S. map, and continuing as such until the 1950 1:2,500 edition, the next map I have access to (the 1952 1:1,250) labels it as St. Loye's (C of E). The 1989 has it as "PW". Other than what can be gleaned from maps, the internet is remarkably lacking in any information about this church. P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Exeter and Devon Crematorium, off Topsham Road, has a Crematorium Chapel (1963, multi-faith). P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Wonford Methodist Church on Burnthouse Lane. Another view. Both P. L. Kessler / The History Files. Link.




31 May 2021

Steve Bulman

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