Then, Now & Next Walk: The State of Exeter City Walls

Wednesday 7th August at 14:00-16:00
Meet in front of Waterstones in the High Street at 2pm.
Gert Vonhoff will lead a walk along the Exeter City Walls where we can talk a bit about how this defining structure has developed over time and in which state it is today.

In November 2023, our chairman wrote to Exeter City Council about our dismay for the state the City Wall is in. This structure is one of the best preserved city walls in the country, on a par with those in Canterbury and York and running for around 2 miles, of which some 70% is at least partially preserved, and is one of Exeter’s treasures. The Northernhay and Southernhay stretches are exceptionally well preserved. But again, the wall appears in Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register in 2023, referring to “minor localised problems” and plant growth. We believe this really underplays the problems. Significant sections of the wall including by the Catacombs, the City Gate Hotel, Castle gatehouse and especially in the Northernhay Gardens and Athelstan’s Tower areas are fenced off and have been for some time (years), with signs warning the public to keep out. The arched walk through from Rougemont Gardens to Northernhay Gardens has been fenced off and blocked up for at least 2 years. This unfortunately makes a mockery of the City Wall Trail, one of the Council’s most high-profile tourist attractions.

We will be following this trail and see ourselves whether any action has been taken.

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