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St Martin's Church

Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ, England
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Very peaceful

Known as the gingerbread church, it is small and has an usual shape due to the fact that when it... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Ian M
,
Whitley Bay, United Kingdom
Our tour took us here for a lovely performance of gregorian chants.

This is a very historic church having been opened in 1065 AD. It's small and just across a square... read more

Reviewed 1 May 2018
CBrown1992
,
Burlington
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A thousand year old church at the heart of modern Exeter, St Martin’s props up the black-and-white building of Mol’s Coffee House on a corner of Exeter’s historic Cathedral Close. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city, consecrated in 1065 - a year before the Norman Conquest, and was once one of six churches clustered in the cathedral’s shadow. It is the most important and complete church in the centre of Exeter, having escaped both Victorian refurnishing and the Second World War bombing which severely damaged many other Exeter churches. The first church on this site was consecrated on 6 July 1065 by Bishop Leofric, the same bishop who founded the cathedral in Exeter. Its tiny parish –- smaller than the size of a football pitch –- served the workers and traders who crowded into the three- and four-storey houses in the surrounding streets. The roughcast exterior of red volcanic stone with bright, white Beer stone windows makes it look a little bit like a fancy gingerbread house. Inside it is simple and full of light. Look out for the communion rails with their closely set balusters designed, according to a 17th-century order from the Archbishop of Canterbury, to keep parishioner's’ dogs from reaching the altar! The gallery has painted on it the arms of the city and there are several magnificent monuments in the church including one of local benefactor Philip Hooper - splendidly bewigged, he kneels at a prayer desk with a skull and pile of books.
  • Excellent41%
  • Very good53%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
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LOCATION
Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ, England
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"cathedral green"
in 4 reviews
"preservation fund"
in 2 reviews
"gregorian chants"
in 2 reviews
"volcanic rock"
in 2 reviews
"quiet contemplation"
in 2 reviews
"interesting history"
in 2 reviews
"sanctuary"
in 2 reviews
"oldest"
in 5 reviews
"protected"
in 2 reviews
"memorial"
in 2 reviews
"performance"
in 2 reviews
"donation"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Known as the gingerbread church, it is small and has an usual shape due to the fact that when it was built it size was constrained by the proximity of the other buildings. The church is no longer used on a regular basis for services,...More

Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2018

This is a very historic church having been opened in 1065 AD. It's small and just across a square from Exeter Cathedral, but a beautiful place, no longer operating as a church and now run by The Churches Conservation Trust of UK. Worth a visit...More

Thank CBrown1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2018

Lovely little spot for some quiet contemplation - just a stone's throw from the bustle of the Cathedral square and the nearby High Street. Some fabulous memorial art. Couldn't find the box for donations.

Thank Christopher K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 November 2017

This is not a church operating as part of the CofE or any other part of a practising faith group. It is maintained, cared for and administered by the Churches Conservation Trust. I'm not sure if that made me feel very different when I took...More

Thank Jannerbloke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017 via mobile

St. Martins was built in the 15th century on top of an older church. There are signs of Norman pieces still in this church and is very interesting to see. Located just behind Exeter's cathedral green.

1  Thank rayrest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2017

A delightful little church that merits a short visit.Very near the Cathedral it is much cared for and I enjoyed a few moments peace here..

1  Thank glyn l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2017

This gem of a Chapel, seclusion and retreat from the busy frenetic City surroundings, can quite be overshadowed by Exeter Cathedral itself, which naturally draws the crowds and visitors : However, St. Martin's is a wonderful Church in which to find quiet contemplation, meditation and...More

1  Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2017 via mobile

Situated on the corner of cathedral close is this tiny medieval church. One of the oldest in Exeter, interesting history board inside explaining the use of volcanic rock as a building material. Definitely worth popping in.

1  Thank GLPJ62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2017

This is a small, ancient church, with an interesting history. Unlike the cathedral, there is no entrance charge, although you are encouraged to leave a donation, or join the CCT.

1  Thank sloughrushhour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2017

Facing the Cathedral Green just yards from Exeter Cathedral itself, this is an ancient church, well-preserved. There are explanatory panels (though part of one of their sections is unreadable due to being behind the font!), and the building is a welcome refuge from the busy...More

1  Thank cltc43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
kaybee53
10 March 2017|
Answer
Response from The_CCT | Property representative |
H ithere, thanks for your question Kaybee. We do host regular medieval choral performances at the church during the summer for private groups. Best wishes, Katrina (On behalf of CCT)
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