Cathedral Close, Exeter 4330

Exeter, England, Devon, Exeter

Brief Description

Cathedral Close is approached from several streets and alleys off High Street, Catherine Street, Southernhay and South Street. The space is enclosed by historic buildings along Cathedral Yard and The Close.

Visitor Facilities

This is an urban green space for general public use.
Features
  • Tree Feature
  • Description: Several copper beech trees.
Lawn
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is an urban green space for general public use.
History

Detailed History

Cathedral Close is approached from several streets and alleys off High Street, Catherine Street, Southernhay and South Street. The space is enclosed by historic buildings along Cathedral Yard and The Close.

Every period of English architecture can be seen in the Close. The Cathedral used to be more enclosed and sheltered than it is today. The green on the north side dates partly from the 19th century, created after the treasurer's house attached to the north transept had been demolished in 1821.

The area to the north-west of the cathedral was opened up after the 19th-century church of St Mary Major (on the site of the Saxon minster) was demolished in 1971. Following extensive archaeological excavations the remains of the Saxon minster, the Roman basilica and bathhouse were discovered. The remains were preserved in sand and covered over.

Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe was commissioned by the Dean and Chapter to design a landscape scheme for the Close. Sir Geoffrey's design extended the green over the site of the car park along Cathedral Yard, with the edge defined by a new stone boundary wall. London planes replaced the elms lost to disease, but sadly the planes were felled in 2007.

A new processional way of shallow steps links Broad Gate to a new square at the west front of the Cathedral. The Yorkstone paving is framed by a small pebble gully edging. Portuguese granite is used for the new square. South-west of the ceremonial way, over the site of the remains of the Roman basilica and bathhouse, the slightly rising ground is laid to lawn with several copper beech trees.

Associated People
References

References