EPW024104 ENGLAND (1928). Bedford Circus, Exeter, 1928

© Hawlfraint cyfranwyr OpenStreetMap a thrwyddedwyd gan yr OpenStreetMap Foundation. 2019. Trwyddedir y gartograffeg fel CC BY-SA.

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Pennawd [EPW024104] Bedford Circus, Exeter, 1928
Cyfeirnod EPW024104
Dyddiad September-1928
Enw lle EXETER
Dwyreiniad / Gogleddiad 292226, 92678
Hydred / Lledred -3.5270209017578, 50.723145309617
Cyfeirnod Grid Cenedlaethol SX922927


In 1773, the construction of Bedford Circus was started by Robert Stribling when the first 14 houses, creating a crescent, were built. Constructing the whole circus was a long process and, not to be fully completed until 1825. There was a small, elliptical, iron fenced green inside the access road around the front of the houses. A statue of Lord Courtenay, a member of an old Devon family and MP was placed on the green in the 19th century and can be seen in the 1928 Aerofilms photo above. In the 20th century, many of the houses became offices for insurance, banking and other businesses. On 4th May 1942, the bombing of Exeter resulted in many destroyed buildings, including Bedford Circus which was mostly burnt out. An argument has raged ever since about whether the circus could have been saved rather than demolished. With thanks and acknowledgement to exetermemories.co.uk The coloured photo shows Bedford Circus from the High Street entrance.

Allen T
Wednesday 3rd of September 2014 06:09:21 PM
Egypt Lane, an ancient right of way largely forgotten until the rebuilding of Princesshay in 2005. There were two deaths from cholera, probably occupants of the almshouses, in 1832.

Allen T
Tuesday 2nd of September 2014 12:41:55 PM
I believe this could be St Catherine's.

Allen T
Monday 1st of September 2014 06:53:28 PM
Yes it's a great photo of St Catherine's Chapel and the Almshouses.

Allen T
Tuesday 2nd of September 2014 12:36:26 PM
Devon and Somerset Stores a grocery store.

Allen T
Thursday 23rd of May 2013 11:56:23 PM

Allen T
Monday 20th of May 2013 04:54:51 PM
Ramp to roof car park.

Allen T
Monday 20th of May 2013 04:54:03 PM
A roof car park!

Allen T
Thursday 16th of May 2013 10:30:28 PM
On further investigation I believe that this could be the garage roof of Hughes Garage, bombed during the May 1942 blitz but still trading on or about this site until the 1980's and maybe beyond as Hughes of Exeter.

Allen T
Monday 20th of May 2013 04:52:51 PM
St Martin's Church This is one of the oldest churches in Exeter and was consecrated by Bishop Leofric on 6th July 1065. As Bishop Leofric came from Burgundy, the church was dedicated to St Martin of Tours, the patron saint of beggars. Some original Anglo-Saxon stonework in the walls remains from this period including the use of Beer stone. The church is on a cramped and skewed site, forcing the nave and chancel onto different axis. Most of the church was refurbished between 1420 and 1455, including the west window which was presented by Bishop Lacy, while the furnishing dates from the 17th and 18th-centuries. The roughcast tower is built of red Heavitree sandstone. The roof is a typical Devon style 'wagon' roof, although the mullions are made of wood, rather than stone. The porch was added in the 19th century.

Allen T
Thursday 16th of May 2013 05:48:47 PM
Mol's Coffee House dating back to the 16th Century where Sir Francis Drake was alleged to have frequented.

Allen T
Tuesday 11th of December 2012 04:37:19 PM
Bedford Circus

Allen T
Tuesday 11th of December 2012 04:36:04 PM
The Abbot's Lodge - lost in the blitz

Kate Burhouse
Sunday 18th of November 2012 12:01:14 AM
St Lawrence church

Kate Burhouse
Saturday 17th of November 2012 11:58:13 PM
St Stephen's Church

Kate Burhouse
Saturday 17th of November 2012 11:42:28 PM
The Clarence Hotel

Kate Burhouse
Saturday 17th of November 2012 11:41:34 PM
Deller's Restaurant on the corner of Bedford Circus (now Bedford Street)and High Street. These photos show the extent of the tragic loss of irreplaceable architecture and city centre history during the 1942 blitz.

Allen T
Wednesday 26th of September 2012 05:26:55 PM
This is the old Choir School, destroyed in the 1942 blitz.

Kate Burhouse
Tuesday 26th of June 2012 01:52:48 PM

Cyfraniadau Grŵp

The whole of this beautiful Georgian facade known as Bedford Circus and the rest of the architecturally irreplaceable Exeter city centre was destroyed in one night by German bombers in the Baedecker blitz of 1942.

Allen T
Thursday 16th of May 2013 06:01:13 PM
The 'whole' of Bedford Circus wasn't destroyed in the Blitz. Part of it was destroyed, part of it was damaged and some of it remained intact. It was only completely destroyed by the City Council during the post-war reconstruction. The same is true of the marvelous Georgian houses in Dix's Field.

Sunday 27th of January 2013 11:30:41 AM
Yes an interesting comment wolfpaw, and what a can of worms that could open. The more I examine the anecdotal history of the buildings that were lost during and immediately after the war I wonder how strong the hand of Exeter City Council in the legal destruction of "saveable" buildings was. I have a sneaking suspicion that much of the destruction by the Luftwaffe in May 1942 was subsequently used as an excuse to give the city centre over to the motor car and "modernisation". However I have some sympathy for the council as far as Bedford Circus is concerned as the photos I've seen show some front walls of the buildings standing only and demolition appears to be the only solution given the cost of pastiche rebuilding in what was a critically austere time which makes today's austerity look positively wealth laden. It's the fifties, sixties and seventies destruction that ECC are accountable for.

I'm sure that many of us grieve for the buildings we have lost and the wonderful BFA photos only reinforces that sense of loss.

Allen T
Thursday 16th of May 2013 06:01:13 PM