Posts Tagged ‘Exeter’

St Martin, Exeter

Posted: March 27, 2019 in Devon, History, Medieval History, UK

The site of an ancient church in the Cathedral Close, most of the current church dates to the 15th century. Its furnishings reflect the 17th and 18th-century low-church tradition.


Built in the mid 15th century to house 13 ‘poor men of good character’. In the 17th century, married couples were admitted and in the 18th century, the constitution was changed again restricting occupancy to single women or widows. The residents were moved to new accommodation in 1890, but the almshouses continued to be used as homes for the destitute until it was bombed in 1942.

Artists impression of the Almshouses

St Stephen, Exeter

Posted: March 25, 2019 in Devon, History, UK

This church on the High Street was founded in Anglo-Saxon times but has been remodelled over the centuries, the latest being in 2012 when the church interior was redesigned to enable it to function as a space for community activities as well as church services

Exeter Cathedral (4)

Posted: March 15, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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The Exeter Astronomical Clock (1484). The upper dial was added in 1760. The door to the works has a hole cut in it to allow access for the Bishop’s Cat to deter mice and rats from taking up residence in the clock.

Elephant Misericord (13th Century). Carved from a drawing of an elephant given as a gift to King Henry III (1207-1272)
Tomb of Bishop Walter Bronescombe (1257-1280) who initiated the rebuilding works of the current Cathedral.

The strange case of the Lady with two left feet. This is a sculpture on the tomb of John Atkinson Rudman, a merchant and Alderman of Exeter. The sculptor has strangely given the lady two left feet. Did he hope no-one would notice his mistake?

Exeter Cathedral (3)

Posted: March 14, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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14th Century Minstrels Gallery

This unique 14th Century Minstrels Gallery has 14 Angels, 12 of whom are playing Musical instruments.

Exeter Cathedral (2)

Posted: March 13, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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As I walk into the west door I am taken back by the glorious architecture

Exeter Cathedral (1)

Posted: March 12, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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Construction of the Cathedral in Exeter began in 1194, but only small parts of this original building remain as a major rebuild was carried out between 1270 and 1350 to give the building we see today. As you approach the west door the wonder of the Cathedral rises up before you and welcomes you into its glorious interior.


A visit to Exter Museum and a chance to see the only Great Black-headed Gull ever recorded in the UK. This bird which is a larger version of our Black-headed Gull breeds in an area stretching from Russia to Mongolia and winters in the Eastern Mediterranean, Arabia and India.

This bird was reportedly seen on the Exe estuary in June 1859. Realising it was something unusual the observers shot it! This was standard practice in Victorian times before the advent of conservation and photography. The specimen was eventually sent to the British Museum for identification and was displayed there.

The specimen of Great Black-headed Gull in Exeter Museum
Photo by Keith

When the owner died his collection passed to the museum in Exeter and the Gull returned there where it can still be seen on display.

There is much doubt over such Victorian records. You only need look at cases such as the Hastings Rarities, where many exotic birds were claimed to have been seen in the locality but which have since been shown to be improbable and have been removed from the list of species recorded in the UK.

However, there have been a number of records of Great Black-headed Gulls in Scandinavia and Holland over the years and the majority of these have occurred in May and June. In 1993, this record was re-examined by the British Records Committee who found there was no reason to disbelieve it was a genuine record. So although there has been no further confirmed record in the UK for 160 years it may turn up again one day.

Naturelog: 28 February

Posted: March 7, 2019 in Birds, Devon, Natural History, UK

Keith and I headed off to Exeter today to look around the city. However the train travels along the River Teign, the coast and the Exe estuary before it reaches the city, so a chance to see some birds on the way. Large numbers of Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin and Oystercatchers are present plus Shelduck, Cormorants and Gulls. On our arrival, our first stop is a local Church to see the Peregrines which roost there. we are fortunate and both are sitting out on the steeple before the male flies off.

Peregrine Falcons
Photo by Keith

On the way back to our base in Brixham, I see a Little Grebe on the River Exe in the city and 12 Brent Geese on the Exe estuary to add to the species seen on our trip.

Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Rock Dove (Feral) (Columba livia ‘feral’)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)