A History of Early Exeter

Devon’s capital city of Exeter is probably best known for its beautiful Norman era cathedral. However, the age of the city goes back a long time before even this old building. It was the Romans who put Exeter on the map. Around 50AD, Romans built a fort on a location near to the river Exe that went on to lead to the sea at Exmouth.

Exe is actually a word that comes from the ancient Celtic word for water. The fort that was built, in a strategic location, quickly became an important Roman settlement, and in Roman times, Exeter was named Isca Dumnoniorum, usually just referred to as Isca.

The marketplace, town hall and the Roman baths all were built in Isca, as they were in many other Roman towns and cities during those times, the baths were the height of Roman social life. A large wall was then built around the town, another common feature of Roman towns, as they were further protected from any intruders.

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When the Romans left Britain and the Empire fell, what remained were the settlements, although many people went off to live in the countryside once more. However, Saxons made their way to Britain and discovered these Roman towns. They referred to them as ceasters, and therefore Isca became Exe Ceaster. Of course, it is easy to see how this has changed over the centuries and become Exeter!

Exeter really became a success when the Danes arrived. King Athelstan had the walls repaired, and built more around the high street, improving the quality of the town and life for those in it. The work to build the magnificent cathedral began in 1050, when the bishop moved to Exeter. The castle near to the city was built not long after, by William the Conqueror – the red rock of the area gave the castle its name – Rougemont Castle!

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The main industry of Exeter throughout the medieval times was the wool production, and this was even more prosperous due to the fact that Exeter was also a perfect natural port. Nowadays, Exeter is still a great place for businesses large and small – from this Locksmiths Exeter www.guardiansecuritysw.co.uk/locksmiths-exeter/ to the Met office, Exeter has seen centuries of change which can be seen in the streets and buildings, but always continues to prosper.


News Reporter
Hi, I am Rylee McGlothin; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor, and adventurer passionate about life. At this moment, I am working with decor and design.

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