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Exeter United Kingdom Exeter History

Modern Exeter is set around the footprint left by the Romans from 50AD onward and this can still be seen with parts of the Roman wall still existing.

Exeter was strategic for the Romans because of it occupying the lowest point on the River Exe.

However, when the Romans fled in the 4th century Exeter was all but abandoned until the Saxons took control of the territory in about 680AD.

In 876 the Danes briefly invaded before being defeated by King Alfred’s forces a year later.

Following the 1066 Battle of Hastings, the city was again attacked when by the Normans when their king, William, arrived at the city’s walls. The Norman’s seized control and Rougemont castle was built around this period on the highest point of the city’s walls.

The Norman legacy was to continue into the next century when they built St Peter’s Cathedral and its twin Norman towers still dominate the city’s skyline.

In the subsequent 200 years Exeter developed as a trading port, but all this was to end as the result of a spat that led to the Countess of Devon building a weir across the river effectively cutting the city off to ships.

It was to remain this way until the construction of a canal in the middle of the 16th century.

World War II was to have a devastating effect on the city with the German blitzkrieg destroyed many of the historical sites, the city’s rebuild was to give it the more face you can see today.

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