City Centre West
Tiger Bill's Gaumont Cinema and North Street
The City Gate Hotel Iron Bridge and North Gate
HUB Bartholomew St Cemetery
La Boca St Olaves Close
Mosaic St Mary Arches Church and Street
The Hogs Head Lower Market
The Firestone Palace Gate, Bear Street, Sacred Heart Church, Baptist Church
The White Hart South Gate, Holy Trinity Church
George's Meeting House Global Village
Tiggas Wynards Almshouse, Southgate Hotel, Devon and Exeter Hospital
Cafe Paradiso and Kinos Bar Old Eye Infirmary
The Hourglass Inn Colleton Cresent

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Exeter's Guildhall and the Turks Head All change

As you exit Martins Lane, in front of you and slightly to your right you'll see Tudor and Jacobean shop frontages that were renovated when C&A moved in during 1972. Boots had occupied this site before they moved to the top of the High Street in the early seventies. Tesco moved in when C&A ceased trading in the UK in February 2001. Turn left and immediately on your left is Laura Ashley housed in a pair of gable-ended buildings dating from 1549. The pair in fact were built as a single structure. Head south west down High Street past Marks and Spencer (the former site of Waltons), you are following the old path of the Roman Ickneild Way at this point. For further information on the buildings in High Street, click here.

St Petrock's, Banks and Gate

To your right you'll see the Guildhall and on the opposite side of the road is the tall red tower of St. Petrock's Church. At this point before the main road was diverted to its present course, the Ickneild Way took a turn to the left and ran across part of what is now the Cathedral Close and continued its course to the river through the down and through the West Gate. The High Street was diverted to its present position when the Cathedral's Wall was built after 1286. Take a look at the plaque and post on the wall of the Halifax Bank which marks the old site of Broadgate (removed 1825), one of the old cathedral gates. Before Broadgate was constructed, this approach to the Cathedral Yard was called The Fissand. The gate was also known as St Michaels Gate because of the staue of St Michael the Archangel overcoming the Devil which stood above the gate.

The Halifax occupies the site of one Exeter's first banks, the Exeter Bank which was originally built adjoining the building that became the Royal Clarence Hotel. If you look closely you'll see that the Halifax occupies two original buildings, those of the Exeter Bank and the City Bank.

Church Of St. Pancras

Turks Head

The Turks Head was one of Exeter's oldest pubs, but unfortunately closed on 6th January 2005. See the Bygone section of this website for more information. Inside you would have found a large bar area, and being a fairly central pub this place was generally packed on Friday & Saturday nights. The ceiling of front bar was fairly interesting and hadn't really been touched despite several refurbishment's over the years. There was a balcony with archways which was allegedly haunted by a lady in a long flowing gown that appeared on one of the balconies. In the lower bar was a corner in which Charles Dickens used to sit, Dicken's Corner. It was here he is said to have picked up Fat Boy in Pickwick Papers. He also found at Exeter, Mrs Lupin of the Blue Dragon (Martin Chuzzlewit), and Pecksniff. Dickens leased Mile End Cottage in Alphington for his parents and was a frequent visitor.


The Guildhall next door is one of the oldest municipal properties in England, first recorded in 1160 and at various times has been used as a prison.

Courts were also held in there so that justice could be administered and executed under the same roof. The cells were used until 1887. James Cossins mentions in his book Reminiscences of Exeter (1878), that stocks were in place under the centre arch. For more detailed information on the Guildhall, click the link.


Out the back is the Church of St. Pancras. It was here in Waterbeer Street that a new Police Station was built in 1887 and the cells in the Guildhall no longer used. This police station was moved to Heavitree Road in 1960. The Church Of St. Pancras built of Heavitree Stone has the plan of a Saxon Church and there was evidence of a Saxon door when the church was repaired last century. Another theory suggests that it was built before the Saxons in AD400.

A Pavement of the praetorium was found at the end of Waterbeer St, obviously built during Roman occupation, so why not a church of Christian Romans dedicated to the boy saint, St Pancras.

St Petrocks Church Back on the High Street, St Petrocks church was in a very important position where four main routes met (High St, South St, Fore St and North St.). This church could be the oldest in Exeter, dating from 6th century when the saint from Cornwall travelled on after founding Buckfast Abbey and set up a mission here. Part of the building was adapted in the early I990's as a day centre for the homeless financed by Exeter christians of all denominations. Church records date from C12th and are the oldest complete church records in the country.

Head off down North Street where you'll find The Guildhall Shopping Centre which was opened in 1976 by HRH Princess Alexandra. This part of shopping centre replaced the Elephant Inn that stood here for years prior to 1975 and is shown on an old O.S map of 1876. Notice the curvi-linear line of the brick wall and concrete bridge, the type of exhibit that should be in the Tate Modern.

Also since demolished, the Eagle Brewery existed at 38 North Street. The brewery became part of Heavitree Brewery at the turn of the C20th. It was run by John Jonathon Wilkinson (K) and later by George Finch (White 1878).

Opposite this entrance is Tiger Bill's, formerly Porter Blacks which closed in the early part of 2004. The pub had been around for years and had formerly been known as The Golden Hart, Harts and the Longbar. The place is now a restaurant (and bar).

The Gaumont Palace is hidden away from North Street on the RHS. This building now operates as a bingo hall but was originally built as a cinema in 1931. It suffered a hit during the war and internal modifications were made and the hole in the roof filled in. The George Inn formerley stood on this site.

Tiger Bill's History


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