Web page up to date twenty third March 2018

Again to Buildings of

Castle mapThe
Norman, Rougemont
Fortress was constructed on a knoll
referred to as purple hill, or rouge
mont in Norman French, due to its purple, volcanic rock.

Romans first fortified the place, because it was the best level of the spur that ignored the River Exe. The northeast and northwest sides particularly, ignored a formidable steep slope, that was straightforward to defend.

The current fortress was based by
Baldwin FitzGilbert after 1068, for William the Conqueror. It’s thought that 48 homes had been demolished to make manner for the fortress. Two sides utilised the prevailing metropolis wall, Athelstan’s tower and bastions, together with King John’s tower. The doorway
was a sq. three storey gatehouse with an arched entrance that’s
the oldest non-ecclesiastical Norman arch in existence. Displaying constructing strategies which might be clearly Saxon, it’s thought that English masons had been utilized in its building. The gatehouse
had three inner picket flooring and a picket drawbridge that crossed a
moat. Little Fortress Road was the unique strategy to the gatehouse–the map clearly reveals how Little Fortress Road made a curve to fulfill the drawbridge.

A chapel devoted to St Mary was constructed inside the fortress partitions within the early twelfth Century. It was based by William de Avenell, a son of Baldwin FitzGilbert–de Avenell additionally based the priory at Cowick

The fortress, defended by Baldwin de Redvers, survived a
three month siege by King Stephen in 1136, from an earthen siege fortress thrown up at Danes Fortress, simply to
the north. The defenders surrendered when the water provide failed, which had been offered from a effectively and a further rainwater cistern.

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Richard III visited Exeter in 1483, and it was to this go to, that Shakespeare alluded to in his play, Richard III. In it, the king remembers
premonition of his personal
dying when he’s proven across the fortress by the Mayor:

“Richmond – when final
I used to be in Exeter,
The Mayor in courtesy confirmed me the fortress,’
And known as it – Rougemont: at which identify I began,
As a result of a Bard of Eire informed me as soon as,
That I mustn’t stay lengthy after I noticed Richmond.”

After the
give up of Exeter to Fairfax within the Civil Warfare in 1646, the Fortress towers and battlements had been dismantled.

There’s a plaque by the gatehouse to Temperance
Lloyd, Susannah Edwards, Mary Trembles and Alice Molland who had been
tried within the fortress for witchcraft. They had been discovered responsible and are the
final folks in England to be executed for the crime. They had been hanged at Gallows Cross, Heavitree in 1682 and 1685, respectively.

In 1683, the
accounts of Christopher the Duke of Albemarle who was the Lord
Lieutenant of Devon, point out he paid £600 for repairs to the 2 drawbridges, the second being
at an entrance from Northernhay Park. (D&CN&Q) Andrew Brice signifies
in his Gazeteer
of 1751 that the 2 drawbridges had been not in existence.

The Court docket Home

The fortress was a standard venue for a court docket and
in 1607, a Classes
Home was constructed within the inside bailey. With the elevated site visitors into the fortress for the Assizes, and the decaying drawbridge, it was determined to make a brand new entrance. An Act of Parliament was obtained in 1770 to make the doorway and lower Fortress Road. In 1773, the courthouse was demolished and a Palladian model County Courthouse, designed by
Philip Stowey, was constructed of stone on the entrance, with brick on the rear. His authentic design was extra elaborate so
James Wyatt was introduced in by the authorities to cut back the price of
constructing, leading to a extra austere construction. In 1895 the constructing
was enlarged and once more in 1905, when a neo-Palladian wing was added to the north.

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The inside of the fortress has been used for some
odd occasions. A
sheep-shearing competitors was as soon as held within the grounds and it was the
venue of the primary Devon County Present. A statue of the first Earl of Fortescue, by E B Stephens, was unveiled within the grounds in 1863.

First balloon ascent in Exeter

And for these focused on
aviation, the fortress yard was used for launching a number of balloon
ascents, the earliest being in 1786.

Mr. St Croix yesterday ascended together with his balloon (which was a really advantageous one 75 ft in circumference) exactly at 2 o’clock from the Fortress Yard. The ascension was really grand and delightful, and afforded pleasure and satisfaction, blended with terror, to upwards of fifty,000 spectators ….

Different balloon ascents had been made in October 1814, and 1848.

A brand new Crown and County Court docket was opened throughout
2004 on the jap
finish of Southernhay, close to Magdalen Road. The grounds grew to become a carpark, and for Christmas 2007 a brief ice-rink was set
up, which was solely partly profitable as a result of delicate New 12 months. Each Coldplay, in December 2009, and Joss Stone have performed gigs within the fortress grounds. The previous Court docket Home has been transformed right into a centre for wedding ceremony venues, together with a set of AirBnB rental lodging.

Sources: Besleys Information to Exeter, 1885. The British Newspaper Archive. Historical past of Exeter by the Rev Oliver. Wikipedia.The Buildings of England–South Devon by Nikolaus Pevsner.

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