St Luke's Chapel, University of Exeter,
is at the front of the university grounds on the southern side of
Heavitree Road, overlooking the junction with Gladstone Road. St
Luke's College began life in 1839, in the form of a teacher training
college and with the participation of members of Exeter Cathedral.
A purpose-built college was erected in 1853-1854 to free up the
Cathedral Close site it had previously used. The chapel was added
in 1863 and was enlargened in 1912.
St Clare's Chapel, Livery Dole, stands
inside the narrow 'v' formed by the Fore Street and Magdalen Road
junction (and is shown in this print of 1853 with the old almshouses
that were removed in 1850 standing to the left of the chapel).
'Livery Dole' first appears in records from 1279. For many centuries
it was the scene of various executions, by hanging and burning at
the stake. The last recorded execution took place in 1531, for
denying the Pope's supremacy.
Sir Thomas Denys, sheriff of Devon, later
regretted that execution, leaving instructions in his will for
twelve almshouses to be built near the site. Completed in 1594, they
were rebuilt in 1851 and extended in the 1970s. The chapel was built
in 1592 to serve the almshouse residents, and possibly also for
prayers to be said for those previously executed at the crossroads.
It consists of combined nave and chancel, built in Heavitree Stone
and supported by buttresses.
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is set
back from the north side of the busy Fore Street, about thirty
metres east of the Magdalen Road junction. The early 1800s Heavitree
House stands to the immediate west (now a veterinary surgery). It
and its grounds were purchased in 1930 so that the church could be
built. Wartime damage necessitated the removal of the top part of
the tower and its enormous four tonne bell that had so upset the
locals upon its installation.
Heavitree United Reformed Church is at the
north-west corner of the Fore Street and Homefield Road junction. A
small mission chapel was built here in 1885, and was enlarged to its
present size in 1903 as Heavitree Congregational Church. This
required the acquisition and demolition of Homefield House which
once stood on the corner. During the Second World War the church's
basement was used as an air-raid shelter, but the building was badly
damaged in 1942.
Heavitree Gospel Hall stood at the
south-east corner of the Alpha Street and Goldsmith Street junction,
to the immediate north of Heavitree's main shopping area. It is not
shown on all OS maps, but it is marked on the 25-inch map of
1892-1914. It was built by the Plymouth Brethren but, by the
post-war period, it had apparently gone. A relatively new-build
house occupies the spot today. The Plymouth Brethren apparently
moved to the Ebenezer Gospel Chapel (below).
Heavitree Independent Evangelical Church
is set back from the south side of Fore Street, behind a
single-storey post-war shop and about twenty metres east of Gordon's
Place. The Conservative Rooms once stood here, but when they moved
out in 1935 the congregation of Heavitree Gospel Hall (see above)
moved in, naming it Ebenezer Gospel Chapel. They were bombed
out in 1942 but finally managed to rebuild in 1979. The current name
is a fairly recent change.
Mowbray Cottage Meeting is on the eastern
side of Butts Lane, overlooking the Meyer Court turning opposite.
The cottage entered nonconformist use as an independent, possibly
Congregational chapel in 1833. By 1851 the premises appear to have
been used by Wesleyan Methodists who may previously have been
meeting elsewhere from their formation in 1816. It ceased to be
used for religious purposes by 1860, and was converted into a
St Michael & All Angels Church Heavitree
stands on the western side of Church Street, overlooking both the
Church House (see links) and the Kingsway junction opposite. Records
exist of priests serving Heavitree from the thirteenth century but a
church must have existed during the Saxon period. It was founded
near 'Hefa's' or heafod treow (chief tree), later corrupted
into Heavitree. The district grew in importance thanks to the main
London Road (now Heavitree Road).
The earliest record of a church dates from 1152
when it was granted to Exeter Cathedral. It was altered in the
fourteenth and rebuilt in the fifteenth century and then the church
tower was rebuilt in 1541. In the same year it is said that the
heafod treow was felled. The church was extensively rebuilt in
1829, especially the nave, largely creating the building that can be
seen today. It has a high ceiling, ornate stone carving, and many
fine examples of stained glass.
Eight photos on this page by P L Kessler, and one
from The History Files Collection. Additional information from
Discovering Exeter 3: Heavitree, Trevor Falla, Exeter Civic
Society, 1983, and from Nonconformity in Exeter, 1650-1875,