Southernhay (also known as Southernhay Gardens)4378

Exeter, England, Devon, Exeter

Brief Description

Southernhay is an urban space with a series of four central gardens defined by formal terraces on the west side and more varied buildings to the east.

History

Southernhay was the site of fairs in ancient times and remained as grazing until the late-18th century. The site is the most expansive layout of Georgian Exeter, still impressive, even though the north-west part was destroyed in the last war and replaced by an uncomfortably large office block in 1974. The area became a municipal space after 1946, having previously been private gardens for the Georgian terraces.

Visitor Facilities

These are municipal gardens for general public use.

Detailed Description

Southernhay is an inspired piece of design and a most pleasant urban space with a series of four central gardens defined by formal terraces on the west side and more varied buildings to the east.

In Southernhay West, the even and restrained three-storied red brick terraces following the line of the city ditch, were designed by Matthew Nosworthy in 1789, his first recorded work in Exeter. It is very much in the tradition of London work of the 1770s: blank arcading framing the round-headed ground-floor windows, white string courses, doorways with Coade stone surrounds and faces in the keystones.

Numbers 1-1a were well restored when converted to offices in 1975-7. Behind is a landscaped walk alongside the city wall. Opposite, in Southernhay East, development began a little earlier, with the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in 1747 and some individual late-18th century houses. Examples include numbers 27-28 with good door-cases, between others of the early-19th century, for example number 36, with a Roman Doric portico. To the north is a stucco terrace of around 1820 with a one-storeyed Greek Doric colonnade of twenty-one bays and three pediments.

Features
  • Terrace (featured building)
  • Description: Southernhay West was designed by Matthew Nosworthy.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

These are municipal gardens for general public use.
History

Detailed History

Southernhay was the site of fairs in ancient times and remained as grazing until the late-18th century. The site is the most expansive layout of Georgian Exeter, still impressive, even though the north-west part was destroyed in the last war and replaced by an uncomfortably large office block in 1974.

Contact

Telephone

01793 445050

Official Website

Other websites

Owners

  • Exeter City Council

    Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1JN
References

References