The Churches of Britain and Ireland
appreciation to Peter Kessler for his permission to use many of his
photographs here, and for his researches into the history of Exeter
Churches in Wonford.
The site of Allhallows-on-the-Walls (1843-5), which was built in Friernhay Burial Ground. Declared redundant in 1938 it was demolished in 1950. The churchyard walls and gateways survive. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
The site of the demolished Bedford Chapel, on what is now Bedford Square. Built in 1832, it suffered serious damage during WWII, and was finally demolished on 1946. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Blessed Sacrament Church (1931-2) on Fore Street. According to the church website the tower was originally taller, but it was damaged by bombing in WWII, and not re-built to the same height. SX 9363 9248. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Cemetery Chapel (Anglican) in Higher Cemetery, Heavitree. SX 9369 9313. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files. There is also a Non-Conformist chapel just to the north, at SX 9368 9318. It can be seen on a 2008 Streetview, here. The Anglican chapel (undergoing works at the time) can be seen by turning the view to the right.
Hereabouts perhaps once stood the Chapel of St. Roche (or St. Roch). The chapel seems to have been built in the 14th century, with almshouses replacing or attached to it the early years of the following century. All were demolished in the 18th century. Coombe Street, which the photo shows, was once known as Rock Lane, and the chapel may have stood in what are now gardens at its southern end. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Cowick Road Hall, at the junction of Cowick Road and Church Road, is a former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, showing as such on a map of 1890. Maps from the 1950's to 1970's shows it as a Salvation Army Hall. On a later map dated 1989-92, it's labelled as "PW", a place of worship. As can be seen from the photo, it's now in secular use. SX 9128 9178. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files.
Emmanuel Church - building commenced in 1897. Western Way/Okehampton Road. SX 911 923. © Andrew Ross.
Exeter Spiritualist Centre and Healing Group on York Road. SX 9254 9316. © Heath Nickels (2016).
Friends Meeting House (Quakers, 1691) on Wynards Lane. SX 9238 9235. © Andrew Ross. Another view, © P. L. Kessler / The History Files, whose entry (click on "8") for this building describes it's history. Link.
George's Meeting House, on South St., formerly a Non-Conformist Chapel, now a pub. SX 921 923. © Andrew Ross.
Hebrew Congregation Synagogue. SX 918 925. © Andrew Ross.
Holy Trinity Church. Previously of uncertain status, thanks to David Cornforth for identifying this as a church, and for advising of his website. On South Street, this church is now the White Ensign Club. SX 921 923. © Andrew Ross.
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Holloway Street. Only in the building since sometime in the last quarter of the last century, the building was originally a school, dating from 1876. © P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Another view, © Heath Nickels (2016).Another view, © Graeme Harvey, and another, © P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Interior view, © Heath Nickels (2016). Link.
From 1833 this private residence - now Mowbray Cottage - on Butts Road, was used as a meeting by an Independent congregation, and later by the Wesleyans. Following the Wesleyans vacating in 1860 it was converted to residential use. © P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files.
Part of Providence Chapel on Northernhay (an extension of 1894). The chapel which was opened by the Plymouth Brethren in 1839, became Bible Christian by 1851. This photo was taken in 1983, when the building was being used as a print works. © Ray Harrington-Vail.
The River Dream Centre, on Northernhay Street (1894).SX 918 928 © Andrew Ross. Link. My appreciation to Janet Gimber, whose researches have revealed the following - 1894 is the date of an extension to the Chapel. This extension is visible in the photo, as a smaller building beyond the 5-bayed chapel. The main chapel itself was built in 1839 as a Plymouth Brethren Chapel, and a comment in Pevsner shows that it was Elim Providence Chapel at some point as well.
St. Andrew at Exwick, consecrated in 1842. SX 908 936. © Andrew Ross.
St. Anne's Orthodox Church (on Old Tiverton Road and Black Boy Road). SX 928 932. Andrew thinks this used to be a chapel, and that it looks older than the date given above the gate (1927). © Andrew Ross. It is indeed older than the date, which may be the date for the gate itself. Janet Gimber has found its interesting history here.
St. Edmund - a ruined bridge chapel. Another view, and another. SX 916 921. A plaque inside the tower reads "It became a Parish Church, was rebuilt 1833-4, damaged by fire in 1969, and made safe by partial demolition in 1975.” All © Andrew Ross. Link1. Link2.
The re-sited remains of a mid-Saxon church, which had been built into the now-demolished St. George the Martyr, stand on South Street. St. George the Martyr was originally on St. George's Street and South Street, and a "KFC" now stands partly on the site. A plaque provides some dates. All © P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. An old engraving of St. George is available here.
St. Martin, at the north end of Cathedral Close. The first church on the site was consecrated July 6th, 1065. SX 9210 9266. © Andrew Ross. An old postcard view, from Reg Dosell's Collection. Interior view, © Heath Nickels. Grade I listed.
A little fabric remains of St. Mary Major on South Street, which stands on the site of older church buildings, including a Saxon minster. See here for a good history, and old photos. SX 920 924. © Paul E. Barnett (2016).
St. Mary Steps. SX 920 920. From an old postcard in Reg Dosell's Collection. A modern view. © Alan Blacklock. A close-up of the clock, showing the date of its refurbishment (1980). © John Balaam (2013). Link.
St. Michael. SX 915 927. © Andrew Ross.
The site of St. Philip (a tin tabernacle) is now occupied by housing on Buddle Lane. Erected in the 1920's, it was demolished before the end of the century. SX 9078 9180. © P. L. Kessler / The History Files. An interior view is available here. I've been unable to find an exterior photo, but there must be one out there somewhere, surely.
St. Sidwell. SX 9245 9307. Not a pretty building. Andrew thinks it might have been re-built after WWII bombing, as the graveyard looks older. © Andrew Ross. As this old postcard proves, Andrew's suspicions are spot-on. From Reg Dosell's Collection. Two interior views - 1, 2, both © Heath Nickels (2019).
St. Thomas on Cowick Street. SX 912 917. © Andrew Ross.
St. Thomas (Methodist). SX 909 917. © Andrew Ross.
St. Thomas of Canterbury (R.C.). This church closed in the mid-2000's and was subsequently converted into two houses. SX 907 916. © Andrew Ross.
Salvation Army Hall. SX 921 921. © Graeme Harvey.
Southernhay U.R.C. SX 924 927. © Andrew Ross.
The Chapel of the Holy Trinity and Maison Dieu on Magdalen Street, belonging to Wynards Almshouses.SX 923 923. © Andrew Ross.
Toronto Road Mission Church pre-dates the 25" O.S. map of 1904-5, and Peter Kessler's entry for this church dates it to the 1890's, and suggests that it ceased to be used as a church "by the 1940's". SX 9289 9335. © P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files.
The former Victoria Chapel on Coombe Street (Rock Lane as was), was Primitive Methodist. It's now in use as an Academy of Music. On-line information about this chapel is remarkably sparse, but according to the entry on Peter Kessler's site, it went out of use "before 1887". © P. L. Kessler / The History Files. A 2018 Streetview.
The former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Chapel Lane, Alphington. Dated here to 1895, with closure probably after 2012, as a Streetview from that year shows it apparently still active. The same source also mentions an earlier chapel (1836-1866) on Ide Lane, which may be the present village hall (Streetviews in 2008 and 2018). Dated here to the 1830's, it has the look of chapel about it, but I haven't been able to confirm this suspicion. SX 9172 9018. © P. L. Kessler (2020) / The History Files.
Westgate Christian Fellowship occupies the former Bartholomew Street Baptist Church. A handsome building from 1817 (this source, which includes a photo of the church from the 1970's, says the foundation stone was laid 30th September 1817), the Baptists left in the 1960's, whereupon the current Fellowship took over. SX 9161 9239. © P. L. Kessler (2019) / The History Files. Link. The Grade II listing mentions a date in the pediment of 1827, contradicting other sources. Enlarging the original photo from this entry only shows a blank where the date may be expected, so perhaps it has been plastered over.
Possible old chapel, now a bed shop. SX 912 919. © Andrew Ross.
A possible former chapel at SX 919 925. © Paul E. Barnett (2016).
11 February 2021
© Steve Bulman