Heritage in the City

13 – 22 September

With the UK wide Heritage Open Days celebration coming up this month, we’ve put together a list of the top tours and open days you can do in the city centre.

Exeter Cathedral is offering not one, not two, but 10 special tours.  Each of these tours concentrates on different people, architectural details or periods in time and are designed to give you a one-off perspective on the city’s most celebrated building.  Among the eclectic collection of themes, you can choose from Cathedral Quirks and Oddities, Corbels of the Cathedral or Inspiring Women in the Cathedral.

Have a go at a Heritage Haiku – Exeter University’s Place in Poetry project is encouraging people to write and share a poem celebrating the heritage of the city, as part of a UK project to reflect on cultural and national identities in England and Wales.  With a chance to meet poet Sara-Jane Arbury the Heritage Haiku events are taking place at Devon and Exeter Institution, Exeter Custom House, RAMM and St Nicholas Priory.

The brilliant Red Coats are running five special tours over the Heritage Open Days celebration, with unique themes for each: Discover Exeter, is wide ranging two hour tour of the city, Exeter Herstories, a look at the achievements of women in Exeter through time and around landmarks in the city centre, Medieval Exeter & St Mary Steps Church, a specially adapted tour to look at Exeter’s history as one of the richest and largest cities in the land, Religious Houses of Exeter and Roman Exeter.

Four of central Exeter’s ancient churches are running separate and different talks about their history in the city centre, each with a unique story to tell:  St Martin’s, St Olave’s, St Pancras and St Petrock’s will each play host to visitors on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September.

Exeter Guildhall is focusing its open day on World War II, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D Day.  The fun and family-friendly experience will run on Friday 20-Sunday 22 September and will give visitors the opportunity to explore the Guildhall, its artefacts and artworks.

Exeter Library is allowing visitors to view its most treasured and important Special Collection items.  The White Glove Experience will enable visitors to view, touch and hold some very special books, dating back as far as 1480.

Exeter Synagogue is inviting people to come and view this special Georgian building – the third oldest Synagogue in the UK on Sunday 22 September.

Exeter Underground Passages will be open to visitors free of charge guided tours as part of the Heritage Open Days, giving people the opportunity to find out more about these fascinating vaulted medieval passages.

City shopping centre, Princesshay is running tours of the centre taking in the public art, specific landmarks, back of house and a roof tour, titled Overground and Undergound, the tours will run on Friday  20 and Saturday 21 September.

Built in the 17th century, Tuckers Hall is the city’s only surviving trades guild. With lots of opening times to choose from visitors can expect a fascinating insight into this historic building.

Many of the events require pre-booking – please visit heritageopendays.org.uk to check opening times, booking instructions and other details.

Other venues across the city are hosting Heritage Open events, including: the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, Bowhill House, County Hall & Bellair, Devon & Exeter Crematorium, Devon Heritage Centre, Dissenter’s Graveyard, Exeter City Football Club, Exeter Energy Recovery Facility, Exeter Livestock Centre, Exeter Northcott, Pynes Water Treatment Works, Killerton, Poltimore House, Sandy Park Stadium, St Anne’s Chapel, St Clement’s Church, St Michael’s & All Angel’s Church, St Katherine’s Priory, St Sidwell’s, Topsham & Tuckers Hall, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk

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