Exeter Spiritualist Centre & Healing Group
occupies a small plot on the western side of York Road, overlooking
the junction with Oxford Road on the opposite side of the road. In
the late Victorian period this part of the road was occupied by
smaller individual buildings clustered around a central courtyard
which ran right through the centre of the present building. OS maps
show this was cleared early in the twentieth century but the church
building was a post-war construction.
Sidwell Street Methodist Church stands on
the northern side of Sidwell Street, around thirty metres east of
the junction with York Road. A mission church is shown on this site
the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 and Methodists have been worshipping
around here since the 1830s. A hall as a combined chapel and Sunday
School was built in 1896 to serve a growing congregation. When a
larger purpose-built chapel was required the present building was
opened in 1905.
St Anne's Chapel stands inside the eastern
'v' formed by the junction between Old Tiverton Road and Blackboy
Road - a once-important junction for all points to Tiverton and
Pinhoe respectively. There once stood here a small hermitage that
was annexed to a small chapel, either for St Anne or St Agnes - both
seem to have been used and the nearby St Anne's Well (137 metres to
the north) may have been linked to it. The chapel is known to have
been rebuilt in 1418.
After the Dissolution it was purchased by Oliver
and George Mainwaring, In 1561, 1570, and 1617 their family endowed
parts of it as almshouses. Extensive restoration work was undertaken
in 1907-1910 by removing a house which was partly within the chapel,
demolishing the chaplain's house, and rebuilding two almshouses. The
building is currently (2019) on load to the Greek Orthodox community
as St Anne's Orthodox Church, 'Prophet Elias Parish'.
St James' Free Church stood at the top of
Grosvenor Place, on its eastern side. At the time of building the
chapel was firmly part of a Grosvenor Place that ended behind the
shops on Blackboy Road, with a connecting footpath between them. It
was only wartime damage and later road-widening that brought the
site into full view of Blackboy Lane. It's unclear when the Countess
of Huntingdon's Connexion built their chapel on this site, or when
they formed this congregation.
The Fore Street congregation of the Free Church
of England (see links) swapped that meeting place for the expensive,
overlarge Southernhay Chapel in 1846. Soon finding it too large for
their numbers and with its ownership taken out of their hands they
left it to a Presbyterian group and joined the members of St James
(above) to form Christ Church Free Church. The chapel was
destroyed by bombing in 1942 but the present modest building
replaced it in 1957.
Belmont Park Hall (possibly also known as
Silver Street Hall), was on the east side of the north-south
run of Silver Street (now 'lane') as it leaves the junction with
Blackboy Road. The hall seems not to have had any religious
connections until the Salvation Army arrived in the immediate
post-First World War years. Their missions were and are often short
term, and this one ended when the hall closed in the mid-1920s.
Today a five-story tower block sits on the site.
St James's Church Sidwell was on the
northern side of St James' Road (formerly Cake Lane), towards the
back of the community playground and car park, immediately east of
what was St James (infants) School of 1907 and is now (2019) 'the
park', part of St James' Park football ground for Exeter City
Football Club. The church was built in 1836 to replace St James Old
Church in the city. It was destroyed by bombing and was replaced in
1956 by St James Stoke Hill.
Toronto Road Mission Church is at the west
end of the bottom arm of Toronto Road's reversed L-shape, largely
hidden along the passageway to Old Tiverton Road. Toronto Road was
built in the 1890s, its bay windows and tiled, pointed porches
making superior homes for engine drivers, accountants, journalists,
carpenters, librarians, and policemen. The mission church is shown
on late Victorian OS maps, but it appears to have ceased in use by
Mount Pleasant Methodist Church stood at
the north-east corner of Pinhoe and Mount Pleasant roads. The
25-inch OS map of 1892-1914 shows only a hall on the adjacent site,
immediately to the east (which became Polsloe Park Christian Chapel
- see links). The church is evident on the post-war OS maps, having
been built in 1910. Falling attendances in the 1960s meant that it
was closed and then demolished in 1971 to make way for the Watermere
Court tower block.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Additional
information from Discovering Exeter 5: Sidwell Street, Hazel
Harvey, Exeter Civic Society, 1986.