Discovering commemorative plaques to famous Exonians and other notable figures connected with the city is a great way to explore Exeter’s heritage. The Civic Society’s blue plaques scheme is dedicated to putting up new plaques and creating interest in all the plaques and other monuments that mark links between historic people and the city. We hope these webpages will encourage residents and visitors alike to look for the plaques and enjoy them. If you notice any inaccuracies or omissions, please tell us.
To discover a building has associations with a famous historical figure connects past and present in very direct, and often surprising, ways. It adds to knowledge of our heritage and pride in our surroundings. The Civic Society’s blue plaques celebrate Exeter’s associations with notable people.
New plaques are proposed by members of the Exeter Civic Society or by any interested individual or organisation. You can use the “Who’s missing?” nomination form or contact the team members direct by email:
The main criteria are that the individual should normally be dead for at least twenty years, should have a specific location in Exeter associated with him or her, and should have made a significant contribution to society. More detail is given on the nomination guidance page. Once those criteria are met the Civic Society draws up a priority list – funding for plaques is limited – and the permission to erect a plaque is obtained from the owners of the property. Planning permission has then to be sought, the plaques commissioned and installed, and normally an event organised to celebrate the person commemorated.
The Audio Trail
The audio trail features commentaries, photographs and text on a range of the most interesting and intriguing plaques and memorials in the city and the stories of the notable people associated with them. Many of the commentaries were recorded by ECS members. The trail is ready for use but new audio tracks are still being added.
The trail can be accessed on the internet at www.placeify.co.uk/blueplaques
It has been designed to be used in the open, on mobile phones and tablets, while viewing a plaque, or at home on a computer to plan a route in advance. The site also allows users to post their reactions to the plaques.
The venture was created in conjunction with Placeify, a web-based platform that uses interactive map locations. Will Barrett, a PhD researcher at Exeter University, who helped to create it, said: ‘It has been a very enjoyable project to work on, not least because it gives us an opportunity to explore Exeter in a different way, but also because it gives a greater sense of the characters whose names are on those familiar, and sometimes less familiar, plaques.’ If you experience any difficulties using the trail, please contact the Civic Society at email@example.com.
A colourful map of the sites featured in the audio trail has also been produced and is obtainable, free, from tourist information spots.
There is a long list of worthy candidates for plaques in the future, but we still welcome and encourage suggestions on our “Who’s Missing?” form on this website.
We can always use more help. If you interested in this project, would like more information about blue plaques, or have any corrections to make, please contact any member of the blue plaques team, Hilary Neville (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ian Maxted (email@example.com).
Our information sources have included individuals, libraries, and online sites, and are too numerous to acknowledge separately but to them all collectively we are very grateful. If you are looking for more information about famous people connected with Exeter, there are two excellent websites to try: Exeter Memories (www.exetermemories.co.uk) and Devon Heritage (www.deveonheritage.org). And do not forget the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, an invaluable source that can be accessed online from any Devon library.
Good plaque hunting!