The History of Exe Island, Exeter
Sat. 8 May 2021 at 10:00 am
This seminar is the first to be dedicated in its entirety to the history of an artificial island at Exeter – known as Exe Island – from its creation in medieval times through to the present day.
10am to 1pm: Registration and Talks, Gallery 20, Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX
2:30pm to 5pm: Guided Walks
Five morning talks will be given by leading experts in their respective fields. The scene will first be set with a look at the nature of the River Exe channel belt at Exeter prior to the Romans, when the river was much wider and shallower than today. This will be followed by a summary of the construction and development of the first stone bridge over the Exe in c. 1200, and an overview of Exe Island’s leats and mills which lay the foundation for Exeter’s industrial development: Exe Island’s heyday involved the lucrative cloth trade, which peaked around 1700. Finally, a series of reconstruction drawings will give successive ‘bird’s eye’ views of Exe Island urbanisation through to the Georgian era. Exe Island’s industrial and archaeological legacy thereafter declined.
In the afternoon, a series of ‘rotational’ short walks will examine the unearthed segment of the medieval Exe Bridge; the restored Cricklepit Mill; the remnants of Frog Street following the slum clearances of the 1930s and extensive road building; and Tudor House with its ornate, slate-clad façade. These walks will be run in parallel, each starting and ending at the late medieval Grade II-listed ‘House that Moved’. Participants will thus have the chance to join more than one of them. The ‘House that Moved’ is located at the bottom of West Street, opposite Mathew the Miller clock.
This seminar was conceived by The Devonshire Association and realised in cooperation with the Devon Archaeological Society and the Friends of RAMM.