The disastrous fire which destroyed the Royal Clarence Hotel in October 2016 shocked Exeter and received widespread dramatic coverage. The historic hotel made up one corner of the block of buildings between St Martin’s Lane and Broadgate, many of which are ancient constructions and for which still exist rich historical documentation.
Todd Gray and Sue Jackson have mined this rare concentration of archival and architectural information to produce a fascinating and commendably approachable history of the buildings so recognisable to countless visitors of the High Street and Cathedral. Nearly all the buildings have been occupied as shops or workshops and houses for hundreds of years and the details of the trades and uses gleaned from the historical documents and architectural records bring to life the stories of these properties and their occupants. It is astonishing that this wealth of history has survived and this book will surely widen the appreciation and knowledge of Exeter’s unique heritage.
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