40 Facts About Exeter


Exeter Cathedral, founded in the mid 11th century, became Anglican in the 16th-century English Reformation.

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Exeter became an affluent centre for the wool trade, although by the First World War the city was in decline.

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Administrative area of Exeter has the status of a non-metropolitan district under the administration of the County Council.

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Exeter began as settlements on a dry ridge ending in a spur overlooking a navigable river teeming with fish, with fertile land nearby.

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In January 2015, it was announced that Exeter Cathedral had launched a bid to restore the baths and open an underground centre for visitors.

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City held a weekly market for the benefit of its citizens from at least 1213, and by 1281 Exeter was the only town in the south-west to have three market days per week.

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The insurgents occupied the suburbs of Exeter, burnt down two of the city gates and attempted to undermine the city walls, but were eventually forced to abandon the siege after they had been worsted in a series of bloody battles with the king's army.

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Exeter was made the Common Council as the legal owner of any estate left to the orphan children of Exeter, until they have reached the age of 21 to be partially paid back.

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Schools in Exeter teach that the motto was bestowed by Charles II in 1660 at the Restoration due to Exeter's role in the English Civil War.

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Early in the Industrial Revolution, Exeter's industry developed on the basis of locally available agricultural products and, since the city's location on a fast-flowing river gave it ready access to water power, an early industrial site developed on drained marshland to the west of the city, at Exe Island.

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However, when steam power replaced water in the 19th century, Exeter was too far from sources of coal to develop further.

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Exeter was bombed by the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War when a total of 18 raids between 1940 and 1942 flattened much of the city centre.

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Exeter is in two parliamentary constituencies, the majority of the city is in the Exeter constituency but two wards are in East Devon.

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Since World War II until recently, Exeter itself was relatively marginal, with its Member of Parliament usually drawn from the governing party.

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The Exeter MP is Ben Bradshaw, with the Youth MP being Georgia Howell, and Simon Jupp represents East Devon.

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Exeter's city council is a district authority, and shares responsibility for local government with the Devon County Council.

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Exeter has had a mayor since at least 1207 and until 2002, the city was the oldest 'Right Worshipful' Mayoralty in England.

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Ambulance services in Exeter are provided by South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

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The West Trust Divisional HQ and 999 control is in Exeter which provides cover for Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and the Isles of Scilly.

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City of Exeter was established on the eastern bank of the River Exe on a ridge of land backed by a steep hill.

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In George Oliver's The History of the City of Exeter, it is noted that the most likely reasons for the original settling of what would become modern Exeter was the "fertility of the surrounding countryside" and the area's "beautiful and commanding elevation [and] its rapid and navigable river".

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Exeter sits predominantly on sandstone and conglomerate geology, although the structure of the surrounding areas is varied.

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Exeter has mild wet winters, punctuated by colder spells that are usually short-lived.

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Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year compared to other locations at this latitude; however, the topography of Exeter can enhance the diurnal range by a couple degrees Celsius, as spots along the sheltered valley of the River Exe such as Quayside, St Thomas and Exwick see colder nights and warmer days, the only exception to this is with foggy and frosty weather in the winter during anticyclonic activity when fog can linger all day and keep daytime temperatures suppressed.

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The weather station for these reading is at Exeter Airport; adding one degree Celsius to the readings from the maximum daily temperature and deducting a degree from the overnight minima broadly covers the location disparity.

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Out of all the Devon districts, Exeter receives the largest number of commuters from East Devon, followed by Teignbridge.

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Exeter has been identified among the top ten most profitable locations for a business to be based.

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M5 motorway to Bristol and Exeter starts at Birmingham, and connects at Bristol with the M4 to London and South Wales.

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Exeter is the main rail hub in the South West and is linked to most branch lines in Devon, including to Paignton, Exmouth, Barnstaple and Okehampton.

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Exeter St Davids is served by all services and is a major interchange station within the South West Peninsula's rail network, whilst Exeter Central is more convenient for the city centre but served only by local services and the main line route to London Waterloo.

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Exeter Airport lies east of the city, and the local airline, previously called Jersey European and British European but later as Flybe, was a significant local employer until its collapse in 2020.

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Exeter Canal, known as the Exeter Ship Canal, was first constructed by John Trew in about 1566, representing one of the oldest artificial waterways in Britain.

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The weir had the effect of preventing water-borne trade in the City of Exeter and forced boats to load and unload at Topsham from where the Earls of Devon were able to exact large tolls to transport goods to and from Exeter.

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University of Exeter, which has two campuses in the city, includes the Business School, the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, the Henry Wellcome building for Biocatalysis, and, as of September 2018, the Exeter Centre for Circular Economy.

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About 30 years the city of Exeter operated a maintained school system in which the divisions between phases came at different ages from most of the United Kingdom, with first, middle and high rather than infant, junior and secondary schools, so that children transferred between schools at the age of about 8 and 12 rather than 7 and 11.

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The medieval city of Exeter had nearly 70 churches, chapels, monasteries and almshouses.

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Exeter Synagogue, located within a near proximity to Mary Arches Street, was completely erected in 1763.

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The Northcott Theatre is situated in the Streatham campus of the University of Exeter and is one of relatively few provincial English theatres to maintain its own repertory company.

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Additionally, Exeter University has a well established student station, Xpression FM, which broadcasts on 87.

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Exeter is twinned with Rennes in France, Bad Homburg in Germany, Yaroslavl in Russia, and Terracina in Italy.

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