Exeter and East Devon books

Secret Exeter

Few cities in the UK present a more favourable impression to visitors and residents alike than Exeter, the county town of Devon. Today it is a modern, thriving and pleasant city, known for its cathedral, university, busy array of shops, cafés and restaurants and historic quayside. However, beyond its quirky narrow streets or the modern charms of the newly revitalised Princesshay, Exeter is well known for its rich historical heritage, evident in its ancient but still partly present city walls, famous medieval underground passages and even in the recollections of those city residents who are old enough to remember the devastation of the Blitz in 1942.

Exeter also has lesser-known aspects in its history, those forgotten fragments of the city s past that have thus far mostly eluded twenty-first-century attention. How many people today know of the devastating Victorian theatre fire, the mass executions or of the multiple sieges that the city has endured during centuries of warfare? In Secret Exeter, local authors Tim Isaac and Chris Hallam venture down the secluded streets and alleyways attempting to shed light on the neglected corners of Exeter s past.

Exeter Through Time

The county town of Devonshire, and at times ranked behind only London and Winchester in terms of national importance, Exeter has more than 2,000 years of history to explore.

From the Romans to the Met Office, via the Civil War and the Baedeker raid of 1942, this compelling story is brought to life here with a fascinating combination of archive material, new colour photographs and informative captions. Proud of its ancient Guildhall, its medieval cathedral, its elegant Georgian terraces and its assertive Victorian museum, the city sits comfortably in the surrounding Devon countryside. The River Exe, once vital to the cloth trade that formed the basis of the city’s wealth in the Middle Ages, now provides all manner of outdoor activities. Such a city can tell tales of a vindictive countess, fabulously wealthy bankers, an outbreak of cholera, a moving house…

The Story of Exeter

Exeter is one of the oldest cities in Britain. It was an inhabited place some two hundred years before the Romans came, and people have lived here without a break for more than two thousand years. The High Street has been in continuous use as a thoroughfare throughout that long period. For centuries Exeter was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the kingdom, and has always been the Mother-City of the south-west.

Hazel Harvey is one of the city’s best-known local historians, and in The Story of Exeter she traces the city’s history from earliest times to the present, concluding with comments on the issues, challenges and opportunities that the 21st century will present. Neither does she neglect the city’s architectural development and heritage.

The book has been written for a readership with a general rather than academic interest in history and is written in an accessible style. This popular history provides new insights and brings the story of the city up to date.

Exmouth History Tour

Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and at the mouth of the River Exe, Exmouth is one of the largest seaside towns in Devon and is regarded as the county s oldest holiday resort. It has two miles of sandy beach and stunning views over the Exe Estuary and Haldon Hills. Exmouth Harbour was the starting point for many of Sir Walter Raleigh s voyages while the town features examples of architecture from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras.

In Exmouth History Tour Christopher and Kay Long take readers on a fascinating journey to see how the town has altered during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Including a handy location map, this pocket-sized guide explores the streets, buildings and landmarks and discovers the well-known and hidden aspects of Exmouth s heritage together with its architectural gems.

The Memory be Green: An Oral History of a Devon Village

Within living memory village life has changed beyond recognition.

When she first moved to Littleham near Bideford, Liz Shakespeare decided to capture a vanishing way of life by recording the memories of elderly men and women who were born early in the twentieth century.

Farmers, housewives and labourers tell stories of oil lamps, outdoor privies, communal harvests, cattle drovers and the arrival of the first tractor. They describe in their own words the days when families kept a pig to supplement a simple diet and water had to be carried from the village pump.

In this remarkable book, the voices of a generation who are no longer with us reveal changes in village life which have been reflected throughout Devon and beyond.