The red-brick Presentation of Mary Convent
sits towards the back of the gated Palace Gate development in
central Exeter. The Palace Gate Convent School was run by nuns from
1896 after they had left France in fear of anarchist upheaval and
great social change. The chapel was designed and added in 1928 by
Octavius Ralling, also architect for the Oddfellows Hall in
Catherine Street. The school closed in 1996 and the buildings were
redeveloped as private dwellings.
George's Meeting Room began as George's
Unitarian Chapel in 1760. It stands on the eastern side of South
Street, midway between the Palace Gate and Magdalen Street junctions.
It was opened as a replacement for James Meeting (below), being
funded by the sale of that meeting house and of Little Meeting.
Tightly hemmed in by surrounding buildings until wartime bomb damage
removed them, only its frontage was intended to be displayed. It
fell out of use in 1983.
Holy Trinity South Gate was sometimes
labelled Old Trinity Church to avoid confusion with 'new'
Holy Trinity (see links). It stands on the eastern side of South
Street, next to the line of the city wall, about forty metres north
of Magdalen Street. This print shows the old South Gate from the
exterior side, with the tip of the church tower just visible over
the top of it, to the right of the road. It was in existence by
1312 alongside the notorious King's Prison.
The old church was taken down in 1819 along with
the gate. The present building was erected as its replacement during
a period of frenetic church building, and corners were cut.
Nevertheless it held its first service on 24 December 1820. The
architect was Robert Cornish who produced a simple, Gothic-style
frontage with a castellated top. With post-war congregations
tumbling, it was closed to be taken over in 1977 as the White
James' Meeting stood on James Street,
all of which except these first few metres was lost to the 1960s
development of Western Way. The meeting house opened here in 1687,
named after King James II. One of three such meetings (the others
being Little Meeting and Bow Meeting), its location was further down
the truncated street. With the opening of George's Meeting opposite
(above), it was converted into private dwellings which survived
until demolition in the 1960s.
Victoria Chapel (Primitive Methodists)
stands on the eastern side of Coombe Street (originally Rock Lane),
now just thirty metres or so north of the Western Way but formerly a
vital route between the quay and the city. Details on the chapel's
founding seem thin on the ground, but its use as such seems to have
ended before 1887 when Coombe Street Tabernacle also closed (below).
The building is now used by the Academy of Music & Sound for their
The Chapel of St Roch (or St Roche)
probably stood on the east side of Coombe Street (originally Rock or
Rock Lane), in the tree line next to the underpass to The Quay. A
street here was recorded as early as 1256. St Roche died in 1327 and
a chapel here soon bore his name - and then so did the street. In
1408/09 a row of almshouses 'replaced' the chapel (or were attached
to it). Later in decay, these were demolished after 1708 and the
ground remade as a garden.
Combe Street Tabernacle Chapel was on the
eastern side of what is now Lower Coombe Street (originally Rock
Lane), overlooking (and viewed from) Quay Hill. It was built from
converted houses in 1769 for Calvanistic Methodists (recorded here
for 1822), part of Mr Whitfield's connection. Between 1775-1836 the
meeting, never well off, was also recorded as being Wesleyan,
Countess of Huntingdon's Connection, and/or Independent. It ended
about 1887 (continued).
St John's Congregational Church stood on
the same site as the Tabernacle (see above). The Tabernacle's
membership had dwindled badly following the opening of Zoar Chapel
(see links). By the 1890s the decayed building had been cleared away
and the site was assigned to Friernhay Congregational Church's
trustees. A new church was built, seating 150. Also known as St
John's Coombe Street, it did well in this poor quarter but was
lost to rebuilding after 1945 (continued).
Riverside Baptist Chapel was the third
chapel to be built on this site after St John's Congregational
Church was demolished (see above). Exeter Civic Society refers to it
as Quay Hill Evangelical Church, and a date of building is
uncertain - although it was certainly post-war. Riverside left their
church around 2017 to become New Hope Baptist Church which started
meeting in a community hall in Exwick. The site in 2019 was being
redeveloped for private housing.