Exeter Blue Plaques

Exeter Blue Plaques

This audio trail has been created by Exeter Civic Society. More information about the Society's Blue Plaques scheme and how to join in its work promoting high standards of planning and architecture in Exeter can be found at www.exetercivicsociety.org.uk/

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Sir Thomas Bodley | Corner of Gandy Street & High Street

Sir Thomas Bodley | Corner of Gandy Street & High Street

Sir Thomas Bodley | Corner of Gandy Street & High Street
(Stop 1 of 24)

Sir Thomas Bodley, after whom the famous Bodleian Library in Oxford is named, was born at what is now 229 High Street, Exeter, on the corner with Gandy Street. The present building is a 1930s construction after the original fine town house was demolished for redevelopment. The historic features are genuine but they come from other properties in Exeter, also destroyed. Thomas Bodley was the son of a wealthy local merchant who went into religious exile in 1555 with his family and another Exeter boy, Nicholas Hilliard, who had been placed in their care. Nicholas later became renowned as a painter of portrait miniatures. Thomas Bodley enjoyed a distinguished career at Oxford University, became an MP, and was knighted in 1604 by James I. His development of what was originally a gift to Oxford in 1470 by the youngest son of Henry IV into the basis for a great library has won Bodley lasting fame.

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Thomas Benet & Agnes Prest | Junction of Barnfield Road & Denmark Road

Thomas Benet & Agnes Prest | Junction of Barnfield Road & Denmark Road

Thomas Benet & Agnes Prest | Junction of Barnfield Road & Denmark Road
(Stop 2 of 24)

The Exeter Protestant Martyrs Memorial stands at the junction of Barnfield Road and Denmark Road and records the burning of two religious martyrs, Thomas Benet and Agnes Prest in the 16th century for refusing to give up their Protestant beliefs; as well as unnamed others who suffered a similar fate. The monument is the work of the Exeter ecclesiastical architect, Harry Hems, who has his own commemorative plaque in Longbrook Street. Thomas Benet was burned alive at Livery Dole in Heavitree after fastening anti-Roman Catholic protests on the door of Exeter Cathedral. Agnes Prest, a Cornish wife and mother, and staunch Protestant, was betrayed by her Catholic husband and tried at Exeter Guildhall. Steadfastly refusing to recant, she died at the stake on Southernhay just outside the city walls. Some say that as a girl, Agnes had witnessed Benet's death 25 years earlier.

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General Sir Redvers Buller | Junction of Hele Road & New North Road

General Sir Redvers Buller | Junction of Hele Road & New North Road

General Sir Redvers Buller | Junction of Hele Road & New North Road
(Stop 3 of 24)

The triumphalist equestrian statue at the junction of Hele Road and New North Road is of General Sir Redvers Buller astride his horse, “Biffen”. It is cast from bronze, weighs four and a half tons, and is mounted on a 35 ton base of Cornish granite. General Buller is one of the few people to have been present at the unveiling of their own statue. He was a popular hero and thousands of members of the public throughout the West Country subscribed to the statue, but when it was unveiled in 1905 it annoyed the people of Crediton, Buller's birthplace, because he has his back to the town. General Buller was a courageous soldier who won the VC, but his ability as a commander in different parts of the British Empire was increasingly questioned. When in 1901 he publicly defended his tactics, he was dismissed. He endowed many public buildings all over Devon. He died in 1908, aged 68, at his family estate at Downes, near Crediton, and is buried in the town. On the statue's plinth is the badge of the King's Royal Rifle Corps and its motto, Celer et Audax, “Swift and Bold”. Beneath the statue is the name of the founder, A. B. Burton, and the sculptor, Adrian Jones, whose most famous work is the four-horse chariot at Hyde Park Corner, London.

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William Kingdon Clifford | 82 Longbrook Street

William Kingdon Clifford | 82 Longbrook Street

William Kingdon Clifford | 82 Longbrook Street
(Stop 4 of 24)

The top plaque at 82 Longbrook Street, Exeter, commemorates William Kingdon Clifford, a mathematical genius who died young. He lived in the house, then known as 9 Park Place, as a child. He was born in 1845, the eldest son of an Exeter book seller and magistrate. From school in Exeter, he went on to King's College, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was hailed as one of the brightest young men of his generation. Aged only 26, he was appointed professor of applied mathematics at University College, London. He developed the “Clifford algebra” later used by Albert Einstein and in quantum physics and space research. Clifford married in 1875 and had two daughters. He was an inspirational lecturer and progressive philosopher, stating his conviction that we have a universal duty to question all that we believe. But overwork hastened his death from tuberculosis in 1879, aged only 33, and he is buried in Highgate Cemetery, London. There was a childlike side to William Clifford's character: he flew kites and wrote children's stories though they could be dark and rather frightening. His widow Lucy later became a well-known novelist.

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Rev Theodore Bayley Hardy | Corner of Southernhay East & Barnfield Road

Rev Theodore  Bayley Hardy | Corner of Southernhay East & Barnfield Road

Rev Theodore Bayley Hardy | Corner of Southernhay East & Barnfield Road
(Stop 5 of 24)

Theodore Bayley Hardy won the Distinguished Service Order, the Military Cross and the Victoria Cross in the First World War but never fired a shot. As an Army chaplain, he was the war's most decorated non-combatant, but his biggest fight had been to persuade the Army to accept him at the age of 53. Hardy was born in 1863 at Barnfield House, Southernhay, Exeter. His widowed mother later turned the house into a preparatory school. Hardy gave up teaching to become Rector of Hutton Roof in Westmoreland, for the sake of his wife's health. After she died in 1914 he applied repeatedly to the Army's chaplaincy department and in 1916 was finally accepted in the rank of captain as Temporary Chaplain 4th Class. Hardy served alongside two battalions across the Western Front from Ypres to the Somme, determined to be with the fighting troops. King George V appointed him Chaplain to the King. Eventually he was wounded in action while encouraging a patrol near Cambrai and died ten days later on 18 October 1918, three weeks before the war ended.

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Colonel David Collins & George Prideaux Robert Harris | Gandy Street

Colonel David Collins & George Prideaux Robert Harris | Gandy Street

Colonel David Collins & George Prideaux Robert Harris | Gandy Street
(Stop 6 of 24)

The plaque on a wall in Gandy Street, Exeter, tells the story of an amazing coincidence that happened in the early 1800s in a tent at a convict centre in South Australia. Two men, who had known each other for some time, discovered they had grown up in the same Exeter street. The pair were anything but convicts. One was Colonel David Collins, Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania; his companion was George Harris, Tasmania's Deputy Surveyor General. Collins helped to found the Tasmanian city of Hobart where he is still remembered, and died there in 1810. Harris was also an eminent zoologist and made the first zoological drawings of the “Tasmanian devil”, a rodent-like creature later classified as Sarcophilus Harrisii in his honour. He also brought back to this country the first descriptions of the so-called “Tasmanian tiger” which is now extinct. He too died in Hobart, in the same year as Collins, another coincidence.

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Charles Dickens and Thomas Latimer | 143 Fore Street

Charles Dickens and Thomas Latimer | 143 Fore Street

Charles Dickens and Thomas Latimer | 143 Fore Street
(Stop 7 of 24)

Charles Dickens gave public readings from his novels, including David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby and A Christmas Carol, in the middle of the 1800s to enthusiastic audiences in Exeter, but his connections with the city went deeper. The plaque at 143 Fore Street commemorates his friendship with the campaigning West Country journalist, Thomas Latimer, long-time editor of the Western Times, whose home, officer and printworks were all at that address. Latimer and Dickens became firm friends when, as reporters, they were covering an Exeter parliamentary election and Dickens used Latimer's shoulder as a rest for his note-book in the pouring rain. As an editor, Latimer challenged every corner of civic privilege and secrecy in Exeter, giving his paper the Latin motto, Tempora quaeram, “I will seek out the times”. A chief target of his pen was the activity of the unpopular Bishop Henry Philpotts, Bishop of Exeter from 1831 to 1869. Philpotts eventually sued Latimer for criminal libel but the jury at Exeter Assizes acquitted him to cheers of approval. Commemorative windows in Exeter Cathedral to both Latimer and his old foe the Bishop were destroyed in the air raids of 1942.

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Harry Hems | 82 Longbrook Street

Harry Hems | 82 Longbrook Street

Harry Hems | 82 Longbrook Street
(Stop 8 of 24)

The lower of the two plaques at 82 Longbrook Street, Exeter, records that it was the home for 21 years of Harry Hems, well-known in his day as an ecclesiastical architect and sculptor, whose inspiration was the Medieval Gothic style. The redbrick building on the left, designed by the architect Medley Fulford, was once Hems' workshop. It became known locally as “Ye Luckie Horseshoe” after the horseshoe Harry Hems displayed there. He found it on his way from the railway station in 1866 to his first job in Exeter as a sculptor on the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. At his peak, London-born Hems employed 100 men, mostly craftsmen, and it's said he also paid one person simply to paste in his press cuttings. He contributed sculptures and carvings to over 700 churches around the country, the best-known being the restoration of the great altar screen in St. Alban's Cathedral. His work in Devon can be seen in churches at Kenn, Littleham and Staverton and in the Protestant Martyrs Memorial in Exeter. After Hems died, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum bought some 500 examples of his woodcarving.

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Dr Peter Hennis | St Sidwell's Churchyard, Sidwell Street

Dr Peter Hennis | St Sidwell's Churchyard, Sidwell Street

Dr Peter Hennis | St Sidwell's Churchyard, Sidwell Street
(Stop 9 of 24)

The plaque on the wall of St. Sidwell's Church, Sidwell Street, Exeter, records the courage of a fine and selfless physician and the circumstances of his wasteful and rather stupid death. Irish born Dr Peter Hennis came to Exeter in 1830, aged 31. During the cholera outbreak two years later he was appointed medical officer to the poorest South District of the city where he cared for people constantly without regard to the dangers to himself. But in 1833 he fell foul of Sir John Jeffcott, an Admiralty Court Judge, who accused Dr Hennis of maligning him and challenged him to a duel with pistols. The two faced each other on Haldon Racecourse late in the afternoon of 10 May. Before the command to fire was given, Jeffcott pressed the trigger and fatally wounded Hennis, who did not return fire. On his knees, Jeffcott begged for forgiveness, which Hennis gave. Hennis died eight days later but the judge had already fled to Sierra Leone, where he had been appointed chief justice. Twenty thousand people attended Hennis's funeral in Exeter Cathedral. Jeffcott was eventually tried for murder but acquitted, although his reputation was ruined. The last recorded duel in England was in 1845, a dozen years after Dr Hennis was killed.

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Richard Hooker | Exeter Cathedral Green

Richard Hooker | Exeter Cathedral Green

Richard Hooker | Exeter Cathedral Green
(Stop 10 of 24)

The white marble from which the seated statue of Richard Hooker on Exeter Cathedral Green is carved, comes from Greece; its base is granite from nearer home, Moretonhampstead on Dartmoor. Hooker is holding a book depicting his classic work of Elizabethan prose, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. The inscription beneath says simply “Richard Hooker 1553 – 1600” but there is uncertainty over the exact year of his birth in Heavitree which may have been 1554. Richard Hooker was ordained an Anglican priest in 1581. His mission was to promote human tolerance and respect for nature within the framework of divine order and the Church of England. His words, inscribed on the “Arch” in Heavitree's Fore Street, resonate today 400 years after Hooker composed them: “What shall become of man who sees not plainly that obedience unto the law of nature is the stay of the whole world?” he wrote. Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, his great defence of the Church of England, is treasured today as much for the quality of its writing as its theology. John Hooker, Richard Hooker's uncle, was Chamberlain of Exeter at the end of the 16th century and wrote an early history of the city.

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W. G. Hoskins | St David's Hill

W. G. Hoskins | St David's Hill

W. G. Hoskins | St David's Hill
(Stop 11 of 24)

W. G. Hoskins' most visible legacy is the Tudor merchant's house known as “The House That Moved” that he was instrumental in saving from a road scheme in 1961 by having it moved on wheels from Edmund Street in Exeter to its present site opposite St Mary Steps church. Exeter-born William George Hoskins, whose family had lived in Devon for over 500 years, was a historian and conservationist. He wrote painstakingly-prepared books on his native county, but his most influential work is the classic The Making of the English Landscape, first published in 1955. In the 1970s W. G. Hoskins made two television series. While devoted to Devon all his life, he did not always agree with the developments taking place in Exeter, where as a city councillor he was often opposed to the council's plans, and he finally moved out to Cullompton. His ashes were scattered in the countryside near Brampford Speke. Another of his legacies is the founding of Exeter Civic Society.

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Arthur Kempe | Junction of Blackboy Road & Old Tiverton Road

Arthur Kempe | Junction of Blackboy Road & Old Tiverton Road

Arthur Kempe | Junction of Blackboy Road & Old Tiverton Road
(Stop 12 of 24)

The inscription on the drinking fountain in the form of a sculptured shell at the junction of Blackboy Road and Old Tiverton Road, Exeter, reads simply Arthur Kempe. Originally it was part of a drinking fountain for horses at the nearby St. Sidwell cab rank and was moved when a roundabout was built in 1963. Arthur Kempe was a Cornishman who began training as a doctor in Exeter, went to London, and returned to conduct a successful medical practice in Exeter for 16 years. He was elected as surgeon at the old Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in 1855 and built the chapel there to avoid the inconvenience of having services in different wards. It is said that he never took a holiday in 25 years and probably as a result his health deteriorated. He gave up his practice in 1870, visited Italy, lived for a time in Chagford on Dartmoor and died in 1871, after less than a year of retirement.

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Franz Liszt | Royal Clarence Hotel, Cathedral Yard

Franz Liszt | Royal Clarence Hotel, Cathedral Yard

Franz Liszt | Royal Clarence Hotel, Cathedral Yard
(Stop 13 of 24)

Women in the audience used to swoon when piano virtuoso and composer Franz Liszt gave recitals, but it is not recorded that this happened when the celebrated Hungarian gave two performances in 1840 in Exeter. His appearances at the Assembly Rooms, now part of the Royal Clarence Hotel in Cathedral Yard, were part of a British tour and according to a brief report in the Western Times “they were indifferently attended, notwithstanding the wonderful performance.” Among Liszt's compositions for piano is a short piece called “Exeter Preludio” written in the year that he visited the city. Its few bars last only 20 seconds but to music lovers it is recognizable as the introduction to one of his popular waltzes.

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William Miles | Clock Tower, Queen Street

William Miles | Clock Tower, Queen Street

William Miles | Clock Tower, Queen Street
(Stop 14 of 24)

The Clock Tower at the junction of Queen Street and New North Road, Exeter, is not only one of the city's prominent landmarks, it is also a memorial erected by a widow to her loved and admired husband. He was William Miles, who died in 1881, an animal lover and expert on the welfare of horses, whose books on the subject were standards works of reference. Miles, who lived in Dix's Fields, Exeter, was a retired Army officer, magistrate and philanthropist, who at the age of 70 married Louisa Grylls, twenty years his junior, after his first wife died. He died at the age of 81 and Louisa decided that a fitting memorial would be a clock tower incorporating at its base the drinking fountain that her husband had provided for horses toiling up the hill from St David's Station. The tower was finished in 1897. Louisa also paid for the 145 ft spire on St. Leonard's Church, Exeter, in her husband's memory.

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George Oliver | The Mint, Opposite St. Nicholas Priory

George Oliver | The Mint, Opposite St. Nicholas Priory

George Oliver | The Mint, Opposite St. Nicholas Priory
(Stop 15 of 24)

George Oliver was a role model for religious tolerance. Appointed in 1807 as a Catholic priest in Exeter, only a few years after it was possible to worship openly again in the city as a Roman Catholic, he stayed until his death more than 50 years later, by which time most of the legal restrictions on Catholics had been lifted. Oliver grew to be greatly respected. He was conciliatory and never aggressive towards other faiths. His obituary in 1861 in the Western Times said that he arrived at a time when a Catholic priest was eyed with distrust but, abstaining from intruding the dogmas of his religion on anyone, he won people's affection. When he retired in 1851 from active ministry, a collection of ïïïï ï ïï ï ïïï ï ïï ï 100 was presented to him and typically he distributed it among the poor of his parish. Pope Gregory XVI made him a doctor of divinity in 1844, not only for his ministry but also in recognition of his work as a historian. George Oliver was the author of a History of Exeter in 1821 and other studies of local history. He was buried near the high altar of the chapel he served in the grounds of the former St Nicholas Priory.

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John Graves Simcoe | Cathedral Close

John Graves Simcoe | Cathedral Close

John Graves Simcoe | Cathedral Close
(Stop 16 of 24)

John Graves Simcoe, the subject of a lengthy inscription on a plaque between numbers 12 and 14 Cathedral Close, Exeter, was not a native of the city, but came as a boy to his grandmother's home after his father died from pneumonia. After attending Exeter Grammar School, Eton, and Merton College, Oxford, a military tutor in Exeter prepared him for a commission in the Army. He had a highly eventful career in the American War of Independence, was wounded three times, and finally returned to Exeter as a Lieutenant-Colonel to convalesce and write his memoirs. He was briefly MP for St. Mawes in Cornwall, and then in 1791 became Lieutenant Governor of the new province of Upper Canada, present day Ontario, making one of his first aims to abolish slavery. Illness ended his career and he died in Exeter in 1806, aged 54. Simcoe had married a wealthy heiress whose money paid for a 5,000 acre estate at Wolford, near Honiton, where Simcoe is buried. In private life, he was a lover of poetry and wrote verse occasionally all his life.

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The "Devon Witches" | Gatehouse, Rougemont Castle, Castle Street

The "Devon Witches" | Gatehouse, Rougemont Castle, Castle Street

The "Devon Witches" | Gatehouse, Rougemont Castle, Castle Street
(Stop 17 of 24)

The plaque to the Devon "Witches" attached to the ruinous gateway of Rougemont Castle in Castle Street, Exeter, commemorates an act that would be regarded today as a humanitarian outrage. The four women, Temperance Lloyd, Susannah Edwards and Mary Trembles, from Bideford, together with Alice Molland, who were all tried at the Castle and hanged at Heavitree in the 1680s, were the last people in England to be executed for witchcraft. In the atmosphere of fear and accusation that prevailed at the time, they were convicted on the basis of malicious gossip and hearsay. Temperance Lloyd was accused of causing people's deaths by witchcraft; Susannah Edwards and Mary Trembles of causing sickness. It is not known what Alice Molland's so-called crime was. Despite the call on the plaque for “an end to persecution and intolerance”, a mural in Musgrave Row, Exeter, near the public library, still represents the Bideford Three as stereotypes in pointed hats cackling round a cauldron. Attempts to gain an official pardon for the women, including an online petition, have failed so far.

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F. J. Widgery | 11 Howell Road

F. J. Widgery | 11 Howell Road

F. J. Widgery | 11 Howell Road
(Stop 18 of 24)

11 Howell Road, Exeter, was the home for 49 years of Frederick George Widgery, whose landscape paintings, particularly of Dartmoor and the West Country coast, are much sought after today. Widgery, whose father was also a painter, was not the kind of artist to shut himself away in a garret. He was Mayor of Exeter in 1904, and became a Freeman of the city and an alderman. He chaired the city's planning committee until 1938 and the board of governors of both the museum and art college. His studio was at 20 Queen Street, opposite the museum. The Great Western Railway chose one of his striking Dartmoor paintings for a poster depicting “Glorious Devon”. F. J. Widgery liked to say that the letters “FJ” in Exeter's car number plates were chosen because he was mayor in the year the registrations were introduced. He died aged 81 after a short stay in a nursing home and is buried in Exwick Cemetery.

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Violet and Irene Vanburgh | Walkway between Roman Walk & Southernhay

Violet and Irene Vanburgh | Walkway between Roman Walk & Southernhay

Violet and Irene Vanburgh | Walkway between Roman Walk & Southernhay
(Stop 19 of 24)

The Vanbrugh Sisters, commemorated by a plaque near the Exeter Blitz Memorial in Princesshay, were two celebrated and accomplished actors after whom the Vanbrugh Theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London is named. Violet Vanbrugh and her sister Dame Irene had to break the mould of Victorian convention in order to leave their middle-class Exeter home to make their names on the stage. They were two of the remarkable children of the Rev. Reginald Barnes, prebendary of Exeter Cathedral and Vicar of Heavitree, and his wife Frances. With their younger brother Sir Kenneth Barnes, who was director of RADA for more than 40 years, the sisters left a lasting legacy to British theatre. Violet, a classical actress of great talent, paved the way after overcoming her father's opposition by learning her craft with a touring repertory company. She left a glimpse for us of her powers in the Oscar winning film Pygmalion made with Leslie Howard when she was in her 70s. Her younger sister Irene devoted a great deal of her talent to supporting new writing. She created immensely popular roles in the stage premieres of such classics as Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest for which Wilde chose her to play Gwendoline, and The Admirable Crichton by J M Barrie. Irene was made a Dame in 1941. She too starred in films including the wartime weepie I Live in Grosvenor Square made in 1945 when she was 73.

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Robert Tosswill Veitch | 11 Elm Grove Road

Robert Tosswill Veitch | 11 Elm Grove Road

Robert Tosswill Veitch | 11 Elm Grove Road
(Stop 20 of 24)

Robert Veitch was a member of the Veitch family dynasty of pioneering horticulturists who introduced hundreds of new plants and flowers from across the world into people's gardens, conservatories and homes. Many of them were available from the famous Veitch “Exotic” Nurseries in Exeter which Robert ran following the death of his father, James. Robert, whose career spanned the middle of the nineteenth century, was influential in making gardening a serious popular pastime. He extended the nurseries to run along New North Road and to cover the area that is now Velwell Road. Veitch bought 11 Elm Grove Road, the site of the plaque, and the adjoining property in 1865 so that he could live next to the nurseries. One of his specialities was fruit trees and he developed varieties suited to Devon's climate. He was also a noted garden designer, creating grounds at Streatham Hall, now part of Exeter University, and Exeter's Higher Cemetery. He and his business partner popularised the fashion for domestic rock and water gardens that changed the country's suburban “gardenscape”. Robert died at Torquay in 1885. The blue plaque in his honour was unveiled by the Exeter-based garden designer Hugo Bugg, winner of a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2014 at the age of 27, the youngest person to achieve this level of success.

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Harry Weslake | Clyde House, 16 Princes Street South

Harry Weslake | Clyde House, 16 Princes Street South

Harry Weslake | Clyde House, 16 Princes Street South
(Stop 21 of 24)

Harry Weslake was a motor engineer of genius and his contribution to the internal combustion engine has probably affected most of our lives. His plaque is situated at Clyde House, 16 Prince's Street South, St Thomas, where he spent his boyhood and youth in the early years of the 20th century, before his family moved to another property in St Thomas, Franklyn House, which is now a hospital. Harry was not someone who enjoyed travelling slowly. He dedicated his entire life to making car, motor bike and aeroplane engines more powerful and more efficient. His genius showed itself first in patenting the WEX carburetter that set world and British motorcycle records in the 1920s. “The Carburetter that goes one Better” as the advertising said. The name WEX was a combination of Weslake and Exeter, before Harry moved his manufacturing to London. He later designed engines that powered grand prix cars like Bentley and Jaguar at Le Mans; and assisted the development of the famous Vanwall racing cars, as well as MGs and production models such as the Austin Mini. Towards the end of his life he returned to motorbike engines, sending speedway riders Phil Collins and John Louis to world and British championships in the mid-70s. Harry collapsed and died at the age of 81 at the World Speedway Championships in 1978 at Wembley, where a Weslake machine had broken the track record. Many cars on the road today are better because of his groundbreaking engineering.

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General Charles Gordon | Lamp Post at Junction of Heavitree Road & Magdalen Road

General Charles Gordon | Lamp Post at Junction of Heavitree Road & Magdalen Road

General Charles Gordon | Lamp Post at Junction of Heavitree Road & Magdalen Road
(Stop 22 of 24)

The memorial to General Gordon is in an unusual position, at the bottom of a lamp post at the junction of Fore Street and Magdalen Road, Heavitree. It reads: Charles George Gordon, 26 January 1885. The date is that of General Gordon's famous death at the siege of Khartoum. He was born in 1833 in Woolwich into a military background but his family also had connections with the St Thomas area of Exeter. His grandparents lived in Lower Bowhill House and their memorial is in St Thomas Church. Gordon visited the church early in 1884 to see the memorial shortly before being summoned to the Sudan where he was die a hero a year later. Gordon was a close friend of the Heavitree vicar, Prebendary Reginald Barnes, who was so affected by Gordon's death that he paid for the lamp with the inscription to be erected. An information board installed by Exeter Civic Society near the lamp post explains the history of the memorial.

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Dame Georgiana Buller | Bellair, County Hall, Topsham Road

Dame Georgiana Buller | Bellair, County Hall, Topsham Road

Dame Georgiana Buller | Bellair, County Hall, Topsham Road
(Stop 23 of 24)

Dame Georgiana Buller was the daughter of General Sir Redvers Buller, whose statue stands at the top of St David's Hill. In her youth, she acted as her father's assistant in running his Devon estate at Downes, near Crediton, but after his death she moved to Exeter and made a distinguished career of her own.She and her mother became involved in setting up the Devon Red Cross, and Georgiana rose to be Deputy County Director in 1913. During the First World War she raised money for and ran a group of eight temporary military hospitals in Exeter, comprising over 1400 beds, which had cared for more than 35,000 wounded soldiers by the time they closed in 1920. She was the only woman in the country to have held such a post at that time, and for this work she was awarded the Royal Red Cross, and made a Dame in 1920.

In the 1920s Dame Georgiana was instrumental in raising money for and managing the building of an orthopaedic hospitalforchildren. This opened in 1927 as the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital at Gras Lawn, not far from Dame Georgiana's home at Bellair. Later she successfully lobbied the County Council to provide the money to extend the service to adult patients. It is now incorporated into the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, but retains its original name.

She moved on to develop a training centre for people with disabilities from the counties in the South West. This opened in 1937, called St Loye's College. Used initially for men only, it expanded to create places for women, and then, during the Second World War, provided a resource for retraining disabled servicemen. The centre later became the base for an occupational therapy training school. The institution was renamed St Loye's Foundation, and it is now part of the Exeter-based charity Step One.Elsewhere Dame Georgiana helped to found a similar training college in Leatherhead, which is now the QueenElizabeth Foundation for Disabled People.

Dame Georgiana bought Bellair in 1926, and lived there until her death in 1953. It now forms part of County Hall.

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Elsie Knocker | 1 Barnfield Crescent

Elsie Knocker | 1 Barnfield Crescent

Elsie Knocker | 1 Barnfield Crescent
(Stop 24 of 24)

The plaque was unveiled by Paul Baker, the regional director of the Royal Air Forces Association, on 4 November 2017.

The inscription reads: Exeter Civic Society. Elsie Knocker, Baroness de T'Serclaes, 1884-1978. Nurse and ambulance driver on the front line in Pervyse with Mairi Chisholm 1914-1918. Born here 29 July 1884.

Elsie was the daughter of Dr Lewis Shapter, surgeon at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. She was orphaned at an early age and adopted by Lewis Edward Upcott, a teacher at Marlborough college. She trained and worked as a nurse and midwife and married Leslie Duke Knocker in 1906 but the marriage was dissolved after the birth of her son. She became an enthusiastic motor cyclist which is how she met Mairi Chisholm. On the outbreak of war in 1914 she volunteered with her friend Mairi to work as a despatch rider on the western front but soon found that their nursing skills were more in demand. Working independently they set up a first aid post in the cellar of a bombed out building on the front line in Pervyse and from a series of locations in that town they worked for four years in atrocious conditions, during which time they cared for some 23,000 casualties. They had to raise funds to support their work and, when they visited the Barnfield Hall in 1916, Exeter citizens raised sufficient to run their dug-out, two ambulances and one lorry for three months. They were visited by King Albert of Belgium and other dignitaries and were awarded the British Military Medal in 1917 for rescuing a wounded pilot in no-man's land. In 1918 they were invalided out following a gas attack. Elsie finished war as an officer in the Women's Royal Air Force. In 1916 she had married a pilot, Baron Harold de T'Serclaes but they separated after the war when he learned of her divorce. In 1939 Elsie joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force as a senior officer working with RAF Fighter Command and was twice mentioned in despatches. On 3 July 1942 she lost her son, Wing Commander Kenneth Duke Knocker, who was killed when his plane was shot down over Groningen. She withdrew from the RAF after her son's death but was active as a fundraiser for the Royal Air Forces Association during and after the war. In 1964 she published her memoirs, Flanders and Other Fields and died in 1978 aged 94.

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My Exeter Blue Plaques Notes

Exeter Blue Plaques

Exeter Blue Plaques

This audio trail has been created by Exeter Civic Society. More information about the Society's Blue Plaques scheme and how to join in its work promoting high standards of planning and architecture in Exeter can be found at www.exetercivicsociety.org.uk/

Discovering a building's associations with a famous historical figure connects past and present in a very direct, and often surprising, way. It adds to our knowledge of our heritage and the pride we take in our surroundings. Exeter Civic Society’s blue plaques celebrate Exeter’s associations with notable people. By following the links you can find, and listen to, information about these and many other plaques and memorials all over the city. Good plaque hunting!

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      (a)we, together with our licensors, own and control all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and the material on our website; and
      (b)all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and the material on our website are reserved.
  3. Licence to use website
    1. You may:
      (a)view pages from our website in a web browser;
      (b)download pages from our website for caching in a web browser;
      (c)print pages from our website;
      (d)stream audio and video files from our website; and
      (e)use our website services by means of a web browser,
      subject to the other provisions of these terms and conditions.
    2. Except as expressly permitted by the other provisions of these terms and conditions, you must not download any material from our website or save any such material to your computer.
    3. You may only use our website for your own personal and business purposes and you must not use our website for any other purposes.
    4. Except as expressly permitted by these terms and conditions, you must not edit or otherwise modify any material on our website.
    5. Unless you own or control the relevant rights in the material, you must not:
      (a)republish material from our website (including republication on another website);
      (b)sell, rent or sub-license material from our website;
      (c)show any material from our website in public;
      (d)exploit material from our website for a commercial purpose; or
      (e)redistribute material from our website.
    6. We reserve the right to restrict access to areas of our website, or indeed our whole website, at our discretion; you must not circumvent or bypass, or attempt to circumvent or bypass, any access restriction measures on our website.
  4. Acceptable use
    1. You must not:
      (a)use our website in any way or take any action that causes, or may cause, damage to the website or impairment of the performance, availability or accessibility of the website;
      (b)use our website in any way that is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful, or in connection with any unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful purpose or activity;
      (c)use our website to copy, store, host, transmit, send, use, publish or distribute any material which consists of (or is linked to) any spyware, computer virus, Trojan horse, worm, keystroke logger, rootkit or other malicious computer software;
      (d)conduct any systematic or automated data collection activities (including without limitation scraping, data mining, data extraction and data harvesting) on or in relation to our website without our express written consent;
      (e)access or otherwise interact with our website using any robot, spider or other automated means;
      (f)violate the directives set out in the robots.txt file for our website; or
      (g)use data collected from our website for any direct marketing activity (including without limitation email marketing, SMS marketing, telemarketing and direct mailing).
    2. You must not use data collected from our website to contact individuals, companies or other persons or entities.
    3. You must ensure that all the information you supply to us through our website, or in relation to our website, is true, accurate, current, complete and non-misleading.
  5. Posting material
    1. To be eligible to post information on our website you must be at least 13 years of age and resident in the United Kingdom.
  6. User IDs and passwords
    1. If you register for an account with our website, we will provide you with a user ID and password.
    2. Your user ID must not be liable to mislead and must comply with the content rules set out in Section 9; you must not use your account or user ID for or in connection with the impersonation of any person.
    3. You must keep your password confidential.
    4. You must notify us in writing immediately if you become aware of any disclosure of your password.
    5. You are responsible for any activity on our website arising out of any failure to keep your password confidential, and may be held liable for any losses arising out of such a failure.
  7. Cancellation and suspension of account
    1. We may:
      (a)suspend your account;
      (b)cancel your account; and/or
      (c)edit your account details,
      at any time in our sole discretion without notice or explanation.
  8. Your content: licence
    1. In these terms and conditions, "your content" means all works and materials (including without limitation text, graphics, images, audio material, video material, audio-visual material, scripts, software and files) that you submit to us or our website for storage or publication on, processing by, or transmission via, our website.
    2. You grant to us a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, store, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your content in any existing or future media / reproduce, store and publish your content on and in relation to this website and any successor website / reproduce, store and, with your specific consent, publish your content on and in relation to this website.
    3. You hereby waive all your moral rights in your content to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law; and you warrant and represent that all other moral rights in your content have been waived to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.
    4. Without prejudice to our other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach any provision of these terms and conditions in any way, or if we reasonably suspect that you have breached these terms and conditions in any way, we may delete, unpublish or edit any or all of your content.
  9. Your content: rules
    1. You warrant and represent that your content will comply with these terms and conditions.
    2. Your content must not be illegal or unlawful, must not infringe any person's legal rights, and must not be capable of giving rise to legal action against any person (in each case in any jurisdiction and under any applicable law).
    3. Your content, and the use of your content by us in accordance with these terms and conditions, must not:
      (a)be libellous or maliciously false;
      (b)be obscene or indecent;
      (c)infringe any copyright, moral right, database right, trade mark right, design right, right in passing off, or other intellectual property right;
      (d)infringe any right of confidence, right of privacy or right under data protection legislation;
      (e)constitute negligent advice or contain any negligent statement;
      (f)constitute an incitement to commit a crime[, instructions for the commission of a crime or the promotion of criminal activity;
      (g)be in contempt of any court, or in breach of any court order;
      (h)be in breach of racial or religious hatred or discrimination legislation;
      (i)be blasphemous;
      (j)be in breach of official secrets legislation;
      (k)be in breach of any contractual obligation owed to any person;
      (l)depict violence, in an explicit, graphic or gratuitous manner;
      (m) be pornographic, lewd, suggestive or sexually explicit;
      (n)be untrue, false, inaccurate or misleading;
      (o)consist of or contain any instructions, advice or other information which may be acted upon and could, if acted upon, cause illness, injury or death, or any other loss or damage;
      (p)constitute spam;
      (q)contain pictures of children under the age of 16 years whose parental consent hasn't been completly gained;
      (r)be offensive, deceptive, fraudulent, threatening, abusive, harassing, anti-social, menacing, hateful, discriminatory or inflammatory; or
      (s)cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to any person.
    4. Your content must be appropriate, civil and tasteful, and accord with generally accepted standards of etiquette and behaviour on the internet.
    5. You must not use our website to link to any website or web page consisting of or containing material that would, were it posted on our website, breach the provisions of these terms and conditions.
    6. You must not submit to our website any material that is or has ever been the subject of any threatened or actual legal proceedings or other similar complaint.
  10. Report abuse
    1. If you learn of any unlawful material or activity on our website, or any material or activity that breaches these terms and conditions, please let us know.
    2. You can let us know by email by clicking here: info@1010media.co.uk
  11. Limited warranties
    1. We do not warrant or represent:
      (a)the completeness or accuracy of the information published on our website;
      (b)that the material on the website is up to date; or
      (c)that the website or any service on the website will remain available.
    2. We reserve the right to discontinue or alter any or all of our website services, and to stop publishing our website, at any time in our sole discretion without notice or explanation; and save to the extent that these terms and conditions expressly provide otherwise, you will not be entitled to any compensation or other payment upon the discontinuance or alteration of any website services, or if we stop publishing the website.
    3. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law we exclude all representations and warranties relating to the subject matter of these terms and conditions, our website and the use of our website.
  12. Limitations and exclusions of liability
    1. Nothing in these terms and conditions will:
      (a)limit or exclude any liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence;
      (b)limit or exclude any liability for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation;
      (c)limit any liabilities in any way that is not permitted under applicable law; or
      (d)exclude any liabilities that may not be excluded under applicable law.
    2. The limitations and exclusions of liability set out elsewhere in these terms and conditions:
      (a)govern all liabilities arising under these terms and conditions or relating to the subject matter of these terms and conditions, including liabilities arising in contract, in tort (including negligence) and for breach of statutory duty.
    3. To the extent that our website and the information and services on our website are provided free of charge, we will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature.
    4. We will not be liable to you in respect of any losses arising out of any event or events beyond our reasonable control.
    5. We will not be liable to you in respect of any business losses, including (without limitation) loss of or damage to profits, income, revenue, use, production, anticipated savings, business, contracts, commercial opportunities or goodwill.
    6. We will not be liable to you in respect of any loss or corruption of any data, database or software.
    7. We will not be liable to you in respect of any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage.
    8. You accept that we have an interest in limiting the personal liability of our officers and employees and, having regard to that interest, you acknowledge that we are a limited liability entity; you agree that you will not bring any claim personally against our officers or employees in respect of any losses you suffer in connection with the website or these terms and conditions (this will not, of course, limit or exclude the liability of the limited liability entity itself for the acts and omissions of our officers and employees).
  13. Indemnity
    1. You hereby indemnify us, and undertake to keep us indemnified, against any and all losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including without limitation legal expenses and any amounts paid by us to a third party in settlement of a claim or dispute) incurred or suffered by us and arising directly or indirectly out of:
      (a)any breach by you of any provision of these terms and conditions; or
      (b)your use of our website.
  14. Breaches of these terms and conditions
    1. Without prejudice to our other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach these terms and conditions in any way, or if we reasonably suspect that you have breached these terms and conditions in any way, we may:
      (a)send you one or more formal warnings;
      (b)temporarily suspend your access to our website;
      (c)permanently prohibit you from accessing our website;
      (d)block computers using your IP address from accessing our website;
      (e)contact any or all your internet service providers and request that they block your access to our website;
      (f)commence legal action against you, whether for breach of contract or otherwise; and/or
      (g)suspend or delete your account on our website.
    2. Where we suspend or prohibit or block your access to our website or a part of our website, you must not take any action to circumvent such suspension or prohibition or blocking (including without limitation creating and/or using a different account).
  15. Third party websites
    1. Our website includes hyperlinks to other websites owned and operated by third parties; such hyperlinks are not recommendations.
  16. Competitions
    1. From time to time we may run competitions, free prize draws and/or other promotions on our website.
    2. Competitions will be subject to separate terms and conditions (which we will make available to you as appropriate).
  17. Variation
    1. We may revise these terms and conditions from time to time.
    2. The revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of our website from the date of their publication on the website, and you hereby waive any right you may otherwise have to be notified of, or to consent to, revisions of the terms and conditions. / We will give you written notice of any revision of these terms and conditions, and the revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of our website from the date that we give you such notice; if you do not agree to the revised terms and conditions, you must stop using our website.
    3. If you have given your express agreement to these terms and conditions, we will ask for your express agreement to any revision of these terms and conditions; and if you do not give your express agreement to the revised terms and conditions within such period as we may specify, we will disable or delete your account on the website, and you must stop using the website.
  18. Assignment
    1. You hereby agree that we may assign, transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with our rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions.
    2. You may not without our prior written consent assign, transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with any of your rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions.
  19. Severability
    1. If a provision of these terms and conditions is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other provisions will continue in effect.
    2. If any unlawful and/or unenforceable provision of these terms and conditions would be lawful or enforceable if part of it were deleted, that part will be deemed to be deleted, and the rest of the provision will continue in effect.
  20. Third party rights
    1. These terms and conditions are for our benefit and your benefit, and are not intended to benefit or be enforceable by any third party.
    2. The exercise of the parties' rights under these terms and conditions is not subject to the consent of any third party.
  21. Law and jurisdiction
    1. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law.
    2. Any disputes relating to these terms and conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
  22. Our details
    1. This website is licensed and operated by Exeter Blue Plaques.
    2. You can contact us by using by email to info@1010media.co.uk
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