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The City Wall Trail

Discover the history of Exeter's City Wall and the many key events that have occurred throughout its past.

Exeter's City Wall, of which almost 70% still remains is inextricably linked with the history of the city. Being almost 2000 years old it has repelled rebellions and has been the scene for many civic ceremonies and celebrations.

Exeter Castle Circa 1300 - Image Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window Map of Roman Exeter - Image Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window City Wall Mural Towers - Image Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

On this trail guide yourself to 9 colourful information panels. At each site discover the key events that have affected the wall and the people of Exeter. For children there are quizzes and puzzles to solve along the way so bring paper and a pencil with you.

The links below the following paragraph will open the relevant information panel.

This circular tour of the city wall starts in Castle Street. From here the route continues into Northernhay Gardens, where you will find out why the Romans established the first major settlement here and when the city wall was constructed. Walking through Rougemont Gardens to the Norman Gatehouse, it was here where William the Conqueror established a stronghold within the city. An integral part of the city defences were the 4 main gatehouses from which entry to the city was controlled. At the North Gate discover how Exeter was threatened during various rebellions. During the English Civil War, Exeter endured a number of sieges, during this period other methods of defence were used, as highlighted at Snayle Tower. Continuing along the wall's circuit, the West Gate demonstrates that not all the gates were necessarily large defensive structures, and as in the case of the Water Gate, commercial reasons were equally as important. However in the most vulnerable section of the city wall was the South Gate, the most impressive of all the gates. The trail concludes at the East Gate, the principal entry point into the city, which also played a vital defensive role during the English Civil War and the Perkin Warbeck Rebellion.

This trail is approximately 2 miles long please allow one hour to complete it.

A trail leaflet is available to guide you around the City Wall.


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